Jackie Robinson, and Athlete/actor/scholar Paul Roberson–they led the way and took the blows. Robinson had a black cat thrown on the field during a game by racist whites and Roberson had his passport revoked by white politicians and labeled a member of the communist party.
The race card that President Donald Trump recently played was a joker, “Fire the sons of bitches” back fired. The Colin Kaepernick boycott in the NFL had hit a wall, but thanks to Donald Trump he is back on the radar screen and all the credit goes to the leader of the free world, the President of the United States. His calling for NFL players to be fired for not standing and honoring the American flag was the best thing to happen to the plantation mentality found in pro sports in my life time.
Black trailblazers like Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, Paul Roberson, Jackie Robinson, Emmett Ashford, Curt Flood, Jim Brown, John Carlos, Tommy Smith, Dr. Harry Edwards and Muhammad Ali all carried the torch for human and civil rights. They blazed a path and left a trail that few have followed until “Fire the sons of bitches” was heard across America. There are so many frauds and cowards in pro sports including, players, coaches, owners and sportcasters (if the shoe fits wear it). The Colin Kaepernicks, Richard Shermans, and Michael Bennetts, are far few and in-between. Too many black athletes are putting the dollar bill first instead of solidifying a future free of racist cops killing their people and love ones. Instead of a rope and a tree, the new lynching tool is a gun in the hands of a racist cop. Michael Bennett was the best example, his experience after the Floyd Mayweather fight in Las Vegas proves that stardom and money does not make you a free black man in America.
The late Lou Stokes (D-Ohio), Jim Brown and the late Dick Gregory true warriors in the civil rights movement and we have the scars to prove it.
President Donald Trump’s criticizing black athletes came to a head when he told a roaring crowd of Alabama supporters how great it would be if NFL owners fire every son-of-a-bitch who didn’t stand for the national anthem. Sunday September 25, 2016 will go down in sports history as the day when black athletes came out of hiding across the NFL and said, “Hell No!” The day will rank right up there with the 1968 Olympic Games when sprinters Tommy Smith and John Carlos raised their black fisted gloves against racial discrimination in America.
There are many who say “Politics & Sports don’t mix.” Politics and sports have been mixing since the early days of slavery. The first pro athlete was a slave, in the early 1800s slave owners had too much leisure time on their hands. One day a slave owner saw two of his slaves racing each other back to the plantation and came up with the idea of having his slaves compete against each other to entertain “The Master.”
The contests would eventually turn to plantation against plantation. There were heavy wages bet and plantations would be lost and participants sometimes would be granted their freedom and some would lose their lives.
The games would consist of track and field, boxing, and horse racing. No one understood the peculiar ways of the thoroughbred horses better than the slaves who took care of them. When the Kentucky Derby first ran in 1875 there were 15 riders and only three were not black. For close to three decades black riders dominated the Kentucky Derby. They were the first black superstar athletes in the United States. Isacc Murphy is considered one of the greatest riders in American thoroughbred history. He won three Kentucky Derbies and was the first rider inducted into the Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
Olympic sprinters Jesse Owens, Tommy Smith and John Carlos were on the fast track and on the forefront of the civil rights movement.
The response to Trump’s threat was swift and heart-warming as players, coaches and owners finally joined arms together on the field of play or were told to stay in the tunnel during the playing of the anthem (Pittsburg Steelers) in protest of Trump’s misguided efforts to divide and conquer. Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger said, “I could not sleep after staying in the tunnel, I wish there could have been another way.”
Pittsburgh Steeler Coach Mike Tomlin stood on the field with several coaches while one of his linemen Alejandro Villanuena stood just outside the tunnel with his hand over his heart? Alejandro a former Army Ranger later admitted he had thrown his teammates under the bus “Unintentionally.” Much like Trump he instantly became a hero to the racist in the country. His number 78 jersey went to the front of the bus in sales in the NFL it is now a best seller. NASCAR owner Richard Petty has since become a Trump echo and standard bearer saying, “I will fire anyone who protest the America flag.” Legendary driver Dale Earhardt, Jr., said, “All Americans have the right to peaceful protest, he then quoted John F. Kennedy, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Earhardt could be right, NFL stadiums around the country should be on high alert for the rest of the season.
There were still owners like Jerry Jones who refuse to acknowledge that Kaepernick’s protest had nothing to do with the American flag or the military. Jones convinced his players to kneel on the field arm in arm before the national anthem was played to show solidary and when the anthem was played they were told to stand at attention. My question, how does that show solidarity with the rest of the league, especially, when you have an owner dictating the terms of surrender?
Colin Kaepernick’s protest was about the shooting deaths of unarmed people of color, but the Jones, the Trumps and Fox News are still pretending they don’t understand.
Some media personalities even came out of the closet and aired their opinions as it related to race, sports and politics. Opinions never so boldly heard on the airwaves since the Original Inside Sports created the format of Sports, Politics and Community Reach Back mix took over the airwaves in Washington, DC in 1970.
The “Talking Heads” on radio, television and in print media didn’t seem to have a clue as how to bring everyone to the table to talk with understanding until Trump added his two-cents. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer had a panel of experts asking “Is there Racism in the NFL?”
The panel of experts never played a down in the NFL or walked in the shoes of an inner-city black man. Christine Brennan is a long time Washington Post reporter and now a columnist for U. S. A. Today (over 3 decades as a pioneering female reporter), Mike Wise is another former misguided Washington Post columnist/talk show host. It was definitely a case of the blind leading the blind.
First, it was ESPN television known as Washington Post North it was there members of the Washington Post sports’ department would start their second careers in television media. The beat goes on the with the Undefeated now the Third Arm of the Washington Post and ESPN–the Fake News and Fake News Reporters are never ending. The late civil rights and equal opportunity employers were NBA Boston Celtic owner Walter Brown and the great Red Auerbach. If it was really possible to be color blind, Red and his wife Dotie were.
Trump’s “Fire the sons of bitches” gave ESPN’s Jemele Hill got a stay of execution, because they were coming after her. She called Trump a white surpremacist and he hired and surrounded himself with like personalities. But now she will be given the “Sportscaster of the Year Award” for having bigger balls than her male counterparts.
On Sunday I use the remote to catch all the highlight shows and I notice very few black commentators taking a hard position on Trump despite “Fire the sons of bitches” outburst, most played it safe with the understanding “I just work here and I will work to give the scores again next week.”
You could also see Fox News political commentator Tucker Carlson and former NFL running back Freddy Mitchell getting into a heated exchange during an interview on Carlson’show on Sunday. The exchange centered around Carlson’s condemning NFL players for not honoring the flag and then said to Mitchell “I understand their frustration.” Mitchell’s response “You don’t understand, because you have not walked in their shoes!” He became incensed with Mitchell’s response he didn’t understand and he turned beet red in the face.
I have always said, “There are some well meaning white folks or we would have never made it out of slavery, but they will never fully understand racism, because they have never walked in my shoes!”
Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones and Trump have the identical same problem. Their ideology is the same, both keep going back to the disrespect for the flag during Kaepernick’s protest (camouflage). The protest had nothing to do with the military or the flag. They all want to deny and claim that race has nothing to do with it, the NFL is 70% black and the players protesting are 99% black and Colin Kaepernick is black=racism.
Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones pulled the wool over the eyes of the players and fans Sunday Night and they are still asleep. There was a rumor that Jones had warned his players several weeks ago that no one on the team would be allowed to kneel during the national anthem without consequences. Sunday night the Cowboy team nixed plans to join their opponent the St. Louis Cardinals to show solidarity by locking arms with each other. Instead on the orders from Jones they decided to lock arms only with each other and kneel together before the anthem played. They would them stand together to the playing or the singing of the anthem!
This was not a show of solidarity with the players who considered themselves free, especially, if he had decided or wanted to kneel or raise his fist against racism in America. The Cowboy players were dictated to not participate in pregame demostrations and that is not the definition of a “Free Black American Man.”
Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning that he had spoke with Jerry Jones, he tweeted, “I spoke to Jerry Jones , a winner who knows how to get things done, players will stand for country.” How could any black player say that they believe in freedom of speech and play for the Dallas Cowboys?
The GREAT ones, heavyweight Champions Jack Johnson and Joe Louis, Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali are tough human rights acts to follow.
I remember Gregg Popovich saying after Trump was elected President of the United States, “I am still sick to my stomach, and not basically because the Republicans won or anything , but the disgusting tenor and tone and all the comments that have been xenophobic , homophobic, racist, misogynistic.” Popovich later said, ‘And to think I live in a country where half of the people ignored all of that to elect someone like Trump. That is the scariest part of the whole thing to me.’ When he was told of the firing of FBI Director James Coney, Popovich said, “I feel like there is , a pall, over the whole country, in a paranoid surreal sort of way that has nothing to do with the Democrats losing the election, this individual thinks he is on a game show and everything that happens begins and ends with him, not our people or our country.” Popovich’s greatest nightmare has now become a reality.
Trump called out in Black & White:
https://www.yahoo.com/news/texas-sports-anchor-dale-hansen-162028451.html?.tsrc=fauxdal / Sportscaster calls out Trump in an exemplary commentary! http://www.foxsports.com/watch/undisputed/video/1056079427823 / Shannon Sharpe and Ray Lewis in dispute over flag