Colin Kaepernick's words behind his protest comes to fruition once again. The latest deaths of unarmed men black at the hands of law enforcement have been added to the tally. In Tulsa, Oklahoma Terence Crutcher was was subjected to a taser and a gunshot. In Charlotte, North Carolina 43 year old Keith Lamont Scott was reportedly "holding a gun" according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police before he was gunned down. His family contends that he was merely holding a book (reminiscent to the scene from "Set It Off" with a champagne bottle for substitution). In Middle River, Maryland Tawon Boyd stood only 5'5 & 150 pounds yet it was deemed necessary for five police officers to beat him to death in response to what appeared to be a domestic dispute. And today, Justin Carr who was protesting the murder of Scott in Charlotte died today of a gunshot wound suffered on Wednesday at the hands of...you guessed it...the blue lives. In the context of sports we examine the prominent sports figure of today and how they react current state of social injustice.
At the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina embroiled in ongoing protests, stood one Cam Newton in his weekly presser waffling whilst proclaiming, "black people had to do better themselves". Except doing better doesn't absolve a black person from being viewed as less than or a "nigger". Cam was the best quarterback in football last year and voted the top player by his peers. But that didn't stop his white detractors from using coded words. It didn't stop them from disparaging him for smiling and proclaiming that dabbing in the end zone is not how the game is played. Cam's reluctance to pick a side has been disappointment for some but his lack of foresight in this time has been more egregious.
Richard Sherman was so unnerved by the latest acts of terrorism on black lives that he refused to speak to the media about football. Perspective was on his mind as he has probably endured this kind of police behavior for most of his young life personally and via friends/family in the streets of Compton. Doug Baldwin demanded, "all 50 state attorney generals review policies and training polices for law enforcement." A bit of a contrast from the faux display of unity on the opening week. Understand that unity is the ultimate mythical goal but it cannot be achieved without conflict and UNCOMFORTABLE discussion.
When the entire Indiana Fever kneeled during the anthem yet another murder as the backdrop it was awe-inspiring. While women remain largely oppressed by men in today's society their strength allows them to be the most progressive to change and what's right & just in the world. Tamika Catchings echoed the sentiment of Kaep stating that they intend to take a stand for "what matters to us".
Steve Kerr divulged that the Golden State Warriors discussed the social injustices often. He also stated, "you should be disgusted with what's taking place in this country." Kerr was the most notable white voice in sports to acknowledge the ills of America towards the black man. As per usual the Dilfer’s, Brees', and Harbaugh’s of the world who were so vigilant about about a cloth wrapped in racist’s history were silent as black lives were unjustly lost.
To comeback full circle...Colin Kaepernick graced TIME magazine on one knee...the method's madness has reached the substance myself and others had hoped for. But there is still so much work left to be done.