Estimated reading time: 8 minute(s)
The horrific and unprovoked murders of two unarmed Black men by white policemen—both captured on video—has reignited a Black community, which demands change. The advent of the iPhone has now given us ample and undeniable proof that Herod’s slaughter of Black infant boys (Matthew 2:16) is being systematically carried out by America’s police.
Blacks across class divides can now readily see that there is no escaping the obvious: there is a race war in full operation and we are losing it. Despite that ominous assessment it is heartening to see the many high-profile athletes speaking up with conviction. Jabari Parker, Damian Lillard, Anthony Brown, Sam Dekker, Garrett Temple, J.R. Giddens—all tweeted their displeasure. Our Brothers Lebron, Chris, Carmelo, and Dwayne stood together at the ESPN awards show and made this profound statement:
[L]et’s use this moment as a call to action to all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence and, most importantly, go back to our communities, invest our time, our resources, help rebuild them, help strengthen them, help change them. We all have to do better.
In the midst of this powerful political activism by our NBA giants, the National Basketball Association’s white leadership is on a different page altogether. The decision by the NBA to snatch the 2017 All-Star Game from North Carolina to protest its controversial LGBT bathroom law is an entirely arrogant move that ignores the urgency of the life-and-death issues raised by its own players. That one game alone was expected to give a $100 million dollar jolt to the city’s economy, and—more important—it provided the best forum for the NBA players to raise the issue of Black bloodshed and police brutality and to make their agenda heard. That is no small matter. By comparison, the highest-profile protester of the North Carolina law was the rock star Bruce Springsteen, whose canceled Greensboro show was expected to gross just $2 million.
The NBA used its formidable economic muscle to deal a significant body blow to North Carolina, but whose muscles is it flexing? And for whose benefit?
Of the 70 NBA team owners and reps who made that $100 million decision, there was but one Black man in the room—Michael Jordan. And the game was snatched from the city of Charlotte, the home of the only Black-owned team in a league where 80% of the players are Black. And of the 26 NBA All-Stars voted by the fans, 25 are Black. Further, not a single All-Star Game ticket will be bought or sold to watch ANY of the 70 owners do any “owning.” Incredibly, basketball fans are expected to pay near $2,200 for a single seat to the NBA All-Star practice session on that weekend. For this price fans will be watching Black men performing a uniquely Black athletic skill—a skill they acquired in Black neighborhood pick-up games long before they ever wore an NBA uniform.