Last night was the Espy Awards. The Espys are an award show by ESPN. They give out awards to the best athletes in baseball,basketball,football,tennis among other sports. Well with all the police brutality,cop shootings,protests and racial unrest as of late….athletes chose to speak out. At the beginning of the show Carmelo Anthony,Chris Paul,Dwayne Wade and Lebron James spoke out about political activism. They brought up how atletes can be a voice to heal racial injustice. Wade said that seeing no value in black life has to stop. He also said that racial profiling and “shoot to kill” mentality has to stop. They also went on to mention athletes like Jim Brown,Muhammad Ali,Arthur Ashe,Jackie Robinson who stood for something. And that they we going to follow in their footsteps. It must also be said that all four of these men are real friends off the court. I wonder if they came up with this idea on their own. Regardless,they made some good points although it wasn’t perfect. The video is only 3:30 minutes long. Watch it and tell me what you liked or didn’t like about it. I’d like to hear your thoughts.
Let me say that I don’t really watch the Olympics much. I see the whole thing as some type of weird ritual that everyone from around the world participates in. It’s a sporting event for the elite to have bragging rights about who has the best athletes. I do enjoy sports from time to time.I watched it more as a kid but I have more things I’m interested in as an adult. Having said that,I saw something very strange a few days ago. After Serena Williams won her match she began Crip walking! I saw footage of it on the news. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I really don’t think this was something you want to do in front of the world. I know she’s from Compton and she may have grown up doing it as a kid as a fun dance. But I see it as glorifying a lifestyle that kills thousands of black people in inner cities around this country. Also remember Serena’s sister was killed a few years ago in a violent crime. I don’t think Crip walking for the world to see is how black people want to present themselves to billions around the world.
Don’t get me wrong,I think Venus and Serena are great athletes. They’re beautiful sistas. I’ve rooted for them many times during their matches. They’ve broken countless records. And have been great role models for little black girls who may want to take up tennis. I just think this was a major misstep. The ghetto culture is not something we as black people should glorify. I’m cool with expressing a pride in being of African descent or black heritage here in America. But it should be something that you can be proud of. Not a dance that’s popular by gang members that terrorize black neighborhoods. When Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their black fists at the Olympics in 1968—that was a moment of protest. Those brothers were making a statement on the bigotry,racism and oppression that black people were going through(and still are). I commend those brothers for not being afraid of the backlash they would get for doing this act.But look how far we’ve fallen. From speaking out against oppression to Crip walking?? Black people have to remember that when you’re on the stage for the world to see–you’re representing the black collective. It’s not just about YOU. I know there are those who will say “Serena was just repping for her Compton culture.” There’s a lot of different ways you can represent for your city,state or country. I don’t think Malcolm X,Huey Newton,Rosa Parks or Marcus Garvey fought and died for our people–just so we can Crip walk for the world to see. We got to do better.