In my last of common sense sports talk, I took the NBA to task for their blatantly insincerity as it relates to the fight against anti-black racism.
In this edition I must deal with the players and what they are saying, what they aren’t saying and perhaps what they should not be saying.
A lot of NBA players have talking on some societal issues like never before and some have spoken passionately, others from a fear-based perspective, and yet some have said a lot and yet nothing at the same time. Listening to all of this chatter, I could not help but feel like something was missing- and that was direction.
Allow me to explain.
You cannot tune in to an NBA game or even NBA TV without being bombarded with ads that have clearly been carefully crafted to appear , at least at a superficial level, to be in opposition to anti-black racism. These terms such as “racial injustice” , “social change” , “societal inequality” seemingly have the veneer of calling out anti-black racism but are merely manufactured catchphrases without specific meaning. Several of these ads feature NBA and WNBA players spouting these social justice catchphrases and it extends to their interactions with the media. What has become painfully obvious is that most of these voices, either unintentionally or purposely muddying the waters.
Because these terms neither accurately identity the problem nor a specific solution or endgame have been used there is always the possibility of the energy of the movement being diverted and siphoned off elsewhere. The specific reason that instigated the protests across the country was the anti-black racism that lead to the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, not “societal inequities” or “racial injustice.” Failure to get a hold of this now will lead to happened with civil rights ,other groups with slide in using the talking points started by black people and claim the tangibles for themselves, while black people are still left to deal with anti-black racism.
The term that the players really need to use is anti-black racism because it specifically addresses the issue and it eliminates the issues associated with using the terms “BlacK Lives Matter” , one being put in the position to demonstrate that black lives have value. It also essentially turns the “All Lives Matter” argument into a non-sequitur. Third, it makes it extremely difficult to splinter off needlessly to “All Black Lives Matter” and even Black Trans Lives Matter, both of which were already covered initially by BLM.
When you are seeking to achieve anything, clearly defined goals/endgame need to be established. As I have alluded to previously, pay attention to the words and terms used. A lot of the players are saying Breonna Taylor needs justice, which she does, but what does that mean because none of the players have articulated what “justice” is. So I shall fill in the gaps by telling you what it is not. Firing the race soldiers is not justice. Charging and arresting them is not justice. Even convicting them is not quite justice as we have seen in the Peter Liang case. Justice is these instances would and should consist of long prison sentences ( at least 30 years) with no possibility of parole or capital punishment. Punishing the race soldiers and sending qualified immunity the way of the dinosaur is justice and none of the players have had the wherewithal or the testicular fortitude to say that.
Until these “outspoken” players realise that and correct their course accordingly by specifically addressing both the problem and the solution, neither can get rectified.