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Jackie Robinson, Barack Obama, Travyon Martin — Something’s Not Right.

Let's get this right.

Let's get this right.

Michael Vick gets two years in jail for killing dogs. Plaxico Burress gets two years in prison for accidentally shooting himself in the leg. And, somehow, Chad Johnson was sentenced to 30 days behind bars for patting his attorney on the butt in court.

Yet, George Zimmerman is a free man, cleared in the death of Trayvon Martin.

Despite Zimmerman shooting the unarmed teen on his way back home from a store, a Florida jury found Zimmerman not guilty of both second-degree murder or even manslaughter.


For all the advances black people have made, it's moments like this that kick us in the teeth and reminds us that our lives aren't always valued like the majority in these United States.


At this moment of heartache and anguish, we get no solace in the fact that the President of his country is black.

Nobody says to themselves, “well, at least, we dominate on the playing field in the NBA and NFL or that MLB's Prince Fielder owns the fifth-largest sports contract in American sports history.”

None of this matters.


It also should come as no surprise that it hits the sports community especially hard and there's a connection.

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The struggle to be seen as equal and just as worthy as white folks took place on the diamond, field and court.


It was the classic injustice.

Most see the same thing in this case. It's the reason many athletes were compelled to take to Twitter and voice their displeasure with the verdict that once again shook our core.

And the range for comments were from extreme to measured to rational.

New York Giants star receiver Victor Cruz lashed out at Zimmer. He tweeted this : "Thoroughly confused. Zimmerman doesn't last a year before the hood catches up to him."

It was quickly taken down after it was posted.



Miami Heat star guard Dwyane Wade tweeted:


Chicago Bulls' center Nazr Mohammad tweeted what's at the root of this for our people moving forward.

It's the racial profiling of black people that cut us to the core, makes us feel less than white people in this country.

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It's happened to me so often. It makes you feel sick inside, less than the next guy.

I've had older white women clutch their purses as I walked by on a NYC subway platform.


Some don't care that I have a masters degree from Columbia or that I’m a reporter.


Some simply see the color of your skin and assume you're a thug, a criminal.

The late, great Ed Bradley from 60 Minutes often talked about not being able to get a cab standing outside CBS.

And how humbling must it be for famous actors and sports stars that are followed in department stores, as if they are going to shoplift.

The Martin case really hit home for me. I was in the same exact situation as a 17-year-old youth in Queens Village, New York.

On this night, I was looking for the house of my gym teacher who lived a few blocks from my high school.



I was driving and was forced off the road by two white men in an unmarked car. They flashed a dime-store badge and asked me what I was doing in that neighborhood.

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Worse, they pulled a gun on me. When I questioned them, first about not being cops and why they have a gun pulled on me, one of the men said there had been a lot of break-ins in the neighborhood.


And he also said he has a gun because he wants to get home tonight.

I was blessed that I wasn't shot. I easily could have been and it would have been their word and not mine.

In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in a segregated Major League Baseball in 1947. It changed this country in so many ways.



Still, after a disheartening verdict like this, the senseless killing of one of our own – for no apparent reason other than being black – pains us. Sadly, it tells you that not enough has changed.

It's a fear that is still alive, still worth fighting against.

Rob Parker is a columnist for The Shadow League. He is also an analyst for Fox Sports 1 in Los Angeles. He co-hosts The Odd Couple on Fox Sports Radio and is also an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California.