Soapbox Rant: Who Cares What They Think?

Posted: March 27, 2012 in Bunker

Written unedited in 20 minutes. Got it off my chest.

Dave gets it.

Perhaps because it’s an election year and I guess this Trayvon Martin tragedy has stirred up a little bit of controversy, but I’ve been hearing people clamoring for more athletes to take a stance on social and political issues. I respond with a simple, why?

In the spirit of Rick Pitino, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ain’t walking through that door, Jim Brown ain’t walking through that door, Bill Russell ain’t walking through that door. That’s not to say that socially conscious famous athletes do not exist, but haven’t we gotten over the idea that these athletes are automatically role models. Didn’t this help do away with that? While I applaud LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and the rest of the Miami Heat wearing hooded sweatshirts as a sign of solidarity with Trayvon Martin, I don’t think they should feel obligated nor required to do so by the public.

The twitter generation has given athletes an unprecedented amount of exposure and interaction with fans. It’s brought us closer and humanized many of these stars. The twitter generation has also been the home for ignorant gaffe after ignorant gaffe from a multitude of athletes. For some reason those who scream for athletes to step up and take stand are often shocked when athletes say things they don’t particularly agree with or they may find a bit offensive.

Re: Larry Johnson

““think bout a clever diss then that wit ur *** pic. Christopher street boy. Is what us east coast cats call u.”

Re: Rashard Mendenhall

“We’ll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style.”

“What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side…”

“For those of you who said you want to see Bin Laden burn in hell and … on his ashes, I ask how would God feel about your heart?”

Re: David Tyree – Super Bowl Champion Against Gay Marriage 


All of these men were slammed for their “ignorant” views. Who cares they’re athletes right? But apparently, especially in the black community, we’re looking at these men to be leaders. I’ve heard people complain that men such as Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter and even Tiger Woods have a responsibility to the black community to speak out on its behalf. WHY? It never seems to cross people’s minds that athletes don’t live the same lives as your average African-American, that their experiences now are vastly different. They may not pull the lever for the Democrat like they may have in their younger days. They could even tend to be more conservative given that the Horatio Alger “pull yourself up by your boot straps” was their reality.

For now, leave the political pundit circus to MSNBC, CNN and Fox News. Let’s keep it off the World Wide Leader in Sports.


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