• The Culture

WHAT TOOK SO LONG?

Updated: Aug 30


by Myles Battle


Another UNARMED black man by the name of Jacob Blake is the latest victim of excessive deadly force by the police, the entity who took an oath to allegedly “serve and protect.” However, there’s two interesting and amazing developments that occurred in the aftermath of this unfortunate incident.


First, Mr. Blake, by God’s grace and mercy, managed to survive the barrage of seven bullets fired into his back (truly his guardian angel was on his job that day). Secondly, the players in the National Basketball Association (NBA) took swift action to protest this nefarious attempted murder and modern day lynching by boycotting their very own playoff games. This is significant because it’s the first time in major American sports history teams refused to play games and subjugate themselves to the status quo of entertainment in the name of justice, equality, and the eradication of racism. While the actions of the players are duly noted and should be celebrated and applauded, one could pose an intriguing question.


WHAT TOOK SO LONG?


Approximately 75% of the players in the NBA are African American and just about every marketable superstar from Lebron James to Giannis Antetokounmpo are black men as well. Why did it take so long for them to flex their muscles for the benefit of social justice and exercise the absolute power they’ve maintained all along? Were they scared to risk losing endorsements and lucrative business opportunities? Were they scared of being black-balled from the league, forever ostracized from the game they love? (Example of what happened to Colin Kaepernick) Or were they afraid to fight against the corporate policy of political and societal correctness, not wanting to adopt the image of the militant angry black man? I have no idea, I’m just ecstatic that they’ve found their voice as a united front and they’re using it to effect real change.


It’s encouraging to witness them using their platform to speak on behalf of the voiceless and disenfranchised. A shift is taking place right before our very eyes. And it’s not even a shift, it’s a tidal wave! People of color in positions of power with elevated social platforms are vociferously speaking up advocating for the black community to be heard. Silence equals complicity and the NBA players understand they can’t be silent anymore. You hear that NFL? Football season is right around the corner and your contemporaries in the NBA have spoken loud and clear.


Enough is ENOUGH! Martin Luther King once said, “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”


NFL, you are officially on the clock.


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