Our Game 2: “Checking In With Joetta”


Legendary New Jersey high school principal Joe Dr. Clark had a lot to say when he was battling the public school system and society’s ills. As a key cog in America’s “First Family of Track & Field,” his daughter Joetta Clark Diggs' distinguished accomplishments on and off the track gives her a respected and informed perspective on a variety of issues relating to sports, business, society, youth, fitness, education and relationships.

“I have a radio show on blogtalk radio now called "Checking In With Joetta” every Wednesday from 9pm to 10pm EST," she told The Shadow League. “We cover everything from business to track and field, sports, incidents in Ferguson, Mo. and Michael Brown. Just all sorts of topics. We get over 99,000 hits a month on the site so it’s also a great way for potential sponsors to promote their businesses and advertise. We bring them on live."

She stays on her Digital Underground too.

“Next month I’m speaking at the Pennsylvania Convention for Women. I’m doing a health and fitness component and a business component.”

It was only right that JCD also offer The Shadow League her opinion on the NFL and this domestic violence stain that has engulfed the league and presented young, black male athletes in particular, in a negative light.

“I think it’s society’s problem,” Joetta said. “ I’m not going to fall into the trap of saying it’s black people or black athletes, because white athletes do the same things too. It’s a societal thing and I’m not going to say the black man is angry and all of the different things that you here. I’m not going to fall into that. I don’t believe that to be true.

As far as what Ray Rice did, you’re talking about a personal issue. To be honest with you I really can’t sit there and dissect things because it’s a systemic problem for someone to marry someone who treats them like that. That needs to be addressed personally by going to counseling, and I think that white people do the same thing. Women get hit and they still marry men and protect them… There’s adultery that goes on, women still get married and protect. It’s societal.

Athletes are held to a different standard so when bad situations get out and it’s an athlete, he gets thrown out and blown up and then different causes and different people come out to try make you support their cause and make you a spokesperson for their cause. So that’s how that case works.

Rather than be a leading voice in women getting battered, a result of this should be that the NFL players get some kind of psychological help to alleviate that type of behavior from their marriage. Because they are now married and these behaviors affect more than just them. So that is the bigger issue for me.

Just because you give these players all of this money, it doesn’t mean they are going to behave in the appropriate manner off the field. It’s not the money that you give them that will change behavior. People who don’t have money act the same way. It’s a societal thing. A psychological thing. It’s something that each person needs to deal with individually. Not a financial thing. If you paid a male or female athlete who was an abuser $10 a year, they’d still behave the same way. If an athlete made $5 a year, his spouse would still stay regardless of the money. It’s a psychological thing that needs to be addressed that I can’t speak to. It’s about character.

You don’t know what’s going to trigger it. The bottom line is there is some dysfunction going on and that has to be addressed.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.