I’m looking for a heartbeat….
I wanted to write about the amazing game Steph Curry posted for the Warriors. I’d hoped to break down how the Hawks might battle back into their series and give the Cavs a run in the East. I spent my morning thinking about the NBA draft and the different scenarios based on team needs. These were the topics I WANTED to think about today.
Instead, I’m still wrapping my brain around yet another cop skating by after spraying a brown person with bullets. I’m also trying to reconcile why I saw a post from Jalen Rose about it and not a damn word from anyone else in sports. I understand many professional athletes fear voicing an opinion but I’m done giving them a pass.
When young black men and women were being mistreated during segregation athletes such as Jim Brown and Muhammad Ali didn’t remain silent. Ali sacrificed 3 years of boxing because he refused draft induction. Two young black men made a statement in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico on the medal stand. Carlos Delgado protested the singing of America the Beautiful because he felt the wars in the Middle East were ridiculous. I applaud all these men for what they did to further their conviction, but far more often, especially in the modern era of huge contracts and big money endorsements, athletes are more and more silent. Michael Jordan was always famously silent whenever anything controversial came up. Tiger Woods remains “above” the fray…..even as other golfers are making racists comments and the mainstream golf media is critiquing every shot and second-guessing each putt. I can’t even recall a significant response to the Rodney King verdict……and outside of O.J. that was THE defining judicial moment of my lifetime.
All this is to say: SAY SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING, THINK SOMETHING!
I respect the t-shirts worn, moments of silence and hashtags as much as the next person, but where is the statement? Where is the outrage? Where is the soundbite calling for action? Hell, where’s the Vine with an athlete supporting the police, GOP or conservatives? (All opinions are welcome) What’s it gonna take for the young black and brown men and women of professional sports to break the silence and speak up for all of those who wear their jerseys and emulate their play? Why don’t we require more than just leading by example?
I’ll tell you why…..becomes money trumps conscience and Political Correctness trumps honesty. I can’t tell you the last interesting player interview I heard. As long as players continue their canned answers the endorsement deals keep rolling in. I’m not hating on cash, but damn….can I get a glimpse of humanity? No, because we don’t value humanity unless it’s OUR humanness.
This is a rambling rant, but the lack of honesty and soul among athletes is disheartening. I miss the poetry of Darryl Dawkins, the realness of Manny and the social conscience of Jim Brown.
So I’m calling out LeBron, Kyrie, Horford, Teague and any other player moved to do so:
Make a STATEMENT in Cleveland! Give the media something REAL to report. And tell all the people, young and old, that speaking out is OK and standing by is NOT.