by: Bob Parks
In the social media world that infects almost everything else, most in the professional media are hesitant to criticize athlete activists out of fear of being called names like out-of-touch, elitist or racist. Actually, that’s precisely what should be said about pro athletes who are not only handsomely paid to put their skills and bodies on the line, but are role models to young people who want to be just like them.
That’s the problem.
Friday night in Huntsville, Alabama, President Trump veered off from the political into sports and condemned the owners and athletes in the National Football League who either kneel or sit during the pre-game playing of our national anthem.
Depending on the sport, pro athletes make several thousands of dollars just for few hours they’re on the field or court.
One would think their minds would be focused on the game to be played and not a “cause”.
Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.
— Statement From NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, 9/22/17
No mention from Goodell of the unfortunate lack of respect for the American people, flag, and system that allows athletes to make huge amounts in compensation for playing a game; a system that the law-abiding observe and mostly those who have deadly interactions with police do not.
And let’s not forget the immortal words of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick that got all this started on August 27, 2016….
I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.
So, for all those players who are NOW saying this was never about disrespecting the flag, yes it was. Read.
But since it’s important, trendy, and can garner thousands of those all-important “likes” on their social media accounts, some athletes have chosen to take the easy way of attaching themselves to an issue instead of taking the risk of publicly challenging the American people by stating the problems and articulating possible solutions.
One reason some can’t state the problem is because they’d have to look into that inconvenient mirror of racial hypocrisy.
While denouncing the president, let’s be honest here: going to the White House for most of these black players only became a big deal when they could be pictured with the half-black president. Protesting such an honor only became taboo because of President Obama’s skin color, and as President Trump is hated by most in the media and police shootings have become such a social justice cause, attention-seekers take any opportunity to address both by screaming “Look at me!”
When it comes to young black men having deadly run-ins with law enforcement, when was the last time you heard either LeBron “King James” or Steph Curry ever tell young people that they have no business out and around after the street lights come on? Has any made more of an emphasis on education during their endorsements? Has not ONE black social justice activist made the correlation between the high police presence in the community and higher rates of criminal activity? Has any asked where are the black fathers to keep their sons out of trouble?
WHY do liberals continue to have such low expectations of black people, thus denying us the basic human dignity of knowing right from wrong?
The left, especially in the racist entertainment industry, has very low expectations of black people as evidenced by their programming and ad campaigns that mostly portray us as either potential athletes, gangsta’ rappers, or domestic abusers. In sports, black athletes are celebrated with soft, piano-bedded profiles where the mother and/or grandmother is hailed as heroines who succeeded despite the odds.
But only in rare instances, mainly involving interracial marriages, is a father a part of that profile. Sadly, too many black professional athletes have different last names than their mothers and siblings there’s a good chance many don’t even know who their “deadbeat” fathers are, and promiscuity in sports is glamorized.
Women, especially women in the black community are not feral animals in an alley, involuntarily breeding. They too should be responsible with whom they decide to bed but God help the first celeb or athlete that says that in a PSA. Then again, a PSA with black fathers who speak are few and far between as the sanctimonious wouldn’t make us endure a depiction of something they deem unrealistic.
Thanks to a Democrat Party that rewarded the broken black family structure and genocide-level of abortion in one community alone, there are millions of young black boys who’ve been deprived of the structure and leadership a responsible father in the home provides to keep them off the streets and clear of the long arm of the law.
The ONLY reason we’re still having this “discussion” about black people and the police is because of political policies the elected have no reason to undo because it keeps them in power. If a few more black people are killed (see: Chicago on a daily basis), it’s no big deal.
Disrespecting the American flag and national anthem is zero-sum symbolism. Actually having to honestly address the root causes of the ills in the black community is something the self-serving will never address because they just aren’t courageous enough to withstand the blowback from those who refuse to acknowledge that there are root causes at all.
Bob Parks is the founder of Black & Right.