Colin K’s crusade vs racism resurfaces
Civil unrest in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic continued coast to coast in the United States on Thursday.
But gone are the usual looting of stores and destruction of police vehicles that occurred during the past eight days in response to the death of George Floyd.
As witnessed locally on television, riots that played out in the streets of major American cities have turned into mostly peaceful rallies since spreading like wildfire following Floyd’s demise last week after a white police officer knelt on his neck.
The outbreak of protests brought about an unusual outpouring from sports personalities—athletes, coaches and officials around the world who declared racism a widespread disease.
After all, one of their own, Colin Kaepernick led the crusade that drew broad attention to racial injustice and police brutality against African Americans.
During the 2016 National Football League (NFL) season, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback showed disgust for ethnic inequality by kneeling during the playing of the US national anthem.
Kaepernick, who is black, has since remained without a job in American football. Just recently, he reached a settlement with the NFL over his accusation that he had been blackballed from the league because of his silent but potent act of dissent.
Donald Trump, often tagged the most divisive US president ever, ranted then against the NFL and the National Basketball Association (NBA), the most powerful sports groups in the universe. He called any football player kneeling during the pregame playing of the Star Spangled Banner “a son of a b*tch who should be ran out of the league.”
Trump’s tirade against popular players continues today, since most NFL and NBA players are black, a stunt that appeals to his conservative base of mainly rural white voters overlooked by pollsters the last time and are key to his reelection in November.
Prominent among the many sports figures who slammed Trump’s failure to heal the wounds of division are LeBron James, pitcher Marcus Stroman and coach Doc Rivers.
Meanwhile Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady, who is white, has sidestepped questions about his friendship with Trump and joined other NFL players in calling for a probe into the death of a black hiker allegedly killed by two white men in Savannah, Georgia, recently.
But the most resonant sports voice in the ongoing outcry against prejudice belongs to Michael Jordan, considered basketball’s greatest player of all time by millions of fans, including countless Filipinos.
Although criticized for his reluctance to take a stand on many social issues, Jordan has not been mum about the deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement.
Jordan said it more forcefully than the present superstars.
Writing on Twitter, Jordan exclaimed: “We have had enough.”
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