The saga of professional athletes and free speech continues as the Golden State Warriors mull whether to attend the White House. It’s a tradition for most pro franchises that win the title to rub elbows with the president and bask in the pageantry of the event. Not long ago, it was a foregone conclusion, save for the handful of individual team members who either couldn’t make it or chose not to, for whatever reasons.
Now, with the Warriors, we’re looking at perhaps the first pro franchise as a whole who could tell the president, and what he represents, to hit the road, Jack.
Videoclip de Ray Charles Lyrics / Letra Ray Charles Hit The Road Jack ———————————————————— (Hit the road Jack and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.) (Hit the road Jack and don’t you come back no more.) What you say?
However, it is not the players who’re holding the means to pen that tale, but rather columnists and talking heads on cable sports networks.
Sadly, among the most prominent is the corpulent yet small-minded Jason Whitlock on FS1.
Whitlock has long been an opponent of professional athletes’ activism to protest police brutality and the oppression of people of color in the United States of America. Though his stance isn’t popular among many African-Americans, many in the mainstream share Whitlock’s poor opinion of players like Steph Curry, LeBron James, and others who have not hesitated to use their celebrity status to comment on the unfortunate state of race in America.
America’s historic rhetoric aside, our country seems completely at odds with the racial truths that are inherently a part of the democratic experiment. The death of Philando Castile at the hands of Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez, as well as his subsequent acquittal, are a neon arrow pointing unceasingly at institutional racism.
Here’s what Kaepernick had to say after the verdict via Twitter.
A system that perpetually condones the killing of people, without consequence, doesn’t need to be revised, it needs to be dismantled!
As was to be expected, Whitlock waded into the fray as if it were his duty, and his take was sheer doodie to boot as he takes shots at Golden State’s organizational considerations of whether or not to attend the White House for the traditional celebration of NBA champions.
While Whitlock’s comments are par for the course for what we’ve come to expect from him as he breaks his neck to condemn players exercising their First Amendment Right to free speech, its actually a bit sad to watch a brother go out in such fashion to speak from a vantage point that is not only counter to the existence of his American ancestors but the Constitution of the United States.
What would America be like for Americans of African descent if we didn’t exercise our First Amendment Rights? The one discernible consequence would be the complete sterilization of American culture; no Jazz, no Hip-Hop, no R&B, no Blues, no Gospel music. Yes, art is considered free speech.
What about cultural contributions beyond music? None of the great thinkers of the African-American Diaspora would exist. No James Baldwin, no Maya Angelou, no nothing.
Whitlock starts off by saying that Curry plays for a team in an area that likes to eliminate people they disagree with rather than create a dialogue, and I was wondering whether or not he had watched the violent attacks against blacks and Muslims that have been all over the news for months.
He also stated that Steph and the Golden State Warriors should go to the White House to engage Trump with their disagreements rather than refusing to attend at all. He’s referring to a Donald J. Trump that many believe is the most immature President to ever hold the office. Has he not been watching the news?
“This is a San Francisco, Silicon Valley-based basketball team. Steph Curry is part of that culture that instead of engaging with people we disagree with, we want to eliminate people we disagree with. America has never been about that. That’s not a healthy strategy. If Steph Curry and members of the Golden State Warriors have strong disagreements with President Trump, they should go engage him in debate and discussion, and make their disagreements known to him, and give him an opportunity to react. This whole thing of resist, and were not going to deal with this person, and were going to ignore this person, its unhealthy, its un-American, it’s really cowardly. I like Steph Curry a lot, but he is a young person being led astray by social media and people in this country that just want to overthrow everything.”
When I see Whitlock’s glee at admonishing black folks that are genuinely of the belief that their overtures will make America better for all, his objectivity flapping listlessly in the wind like a tattered flag becomes questionable.
He called Steph Curry and the Warriors cowards, but in a contemporary political environment that has witnessed white America violently display their views on race and gender, as well as a White House whose perpetual silence on such acts has acted as a dog-whistle shout out to the mentally disturbed, Currys stance is indeed brave. As the graffiti on LeBron James Los Angeles area mansion can attest, not even an NBA superstar is beyond the reach of racists and xenophobes.
In Whitlocks case, his tokenism comes from a socio-political perspective. While there are others with similar ancestry and upbringing who agree with Whitlocks perspective on race, class and politics in America, he has elevated himself to a point of notoriety in part because of his ridiculous takes on race and what it is to be black in America.
EXCLUSIVE: NBA championship winning Warriors decide unanimously as a team they will boycott White House invitation to meet President Trump.
It’s time that someone takes a stand that will resonate on an international scale. By dissing Donald Trump and the truly un-American ideals of racism, indecency, sexual violence and cowardice that he personifies and represents, the Warriors would be making the loudest and best statement yet.