Athletes Who Are Heroes – don’t take a knee, they take action

Is there really racial discrimination or is it manufactured by the media?

Black athletes continue to take a knee and raise a fist of anger at the American National Anthem. The NFL commissioner said, “I truly respect our players wanting to speak out and change our community.”

But what have they changed? How have they bettered the community? Have they instilled a nationalist unity? Have they created solutions? Do they share their money with the ‘unequal’? Do they actively participate in the community? No, they simply draw attention to themselves and create an explosively negative atmosphere.

But not all players are equal…

Larry Fitzgerald puts his money and his time where his soft spoken mouth is by actually establishing camps through his First Down Fund. In addition he established the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund in honor of his mother who died from complications of breast cancer. He has taken mission trips to Africa, India, Thailand and the Philippines to support economic development. He has gone on USO trips to raise money for wounded veterans. HE IS A HERO.

There is Albert Pujols who established a foundation to help families and children with Down Syndrome. There is Warrick Dunn who has donated millions to single parent families who can’t afford the downpayment for a home. Dikembe Mutombu who has donated over $15 million to build a hospital in his native Dominican Republic. Roberto Clemente who worked tirelessly to give money and food to the needy in Puerto Rico. THEY ARE HEROES.  And there are many more like them!

They did not take a knee at the National Anthem. They DID something pro-active.

Heroes are an important component of society, but we have lost sight of the definition. Today we give hero status to greedy, arrogant athletes who think that disrespect is ‘doing something’.   Or Black Lives Matter who claim on their website to be looking for non-violent means of protest while leaving a trail of dust, violence, fires, looting and assaults behind them. They collaborate with gangs – as in the Atlanta protests, and they have accomplished exactly nothing positive, instead instigating racial divide, loss of businesses, property damage and riots. How are they ‘heroes’?

Taking a knee represents a protest to social injustice. And while many vocal supporters say that we need to fix the problem instead of taking offense to the knee, they have an interesting perspective – ‘you fix the problem’ – while I and they disrespect our country. In some instances it has gone so far as to demand that all whites own their responsibility for slavery in the 1800’s and ante up.

So what do they actually want? Significant social change. What does that look like?

The major demand is to stop violence and racism. And while there are instances of police going rogue, they would seem to have no color associated with their rogueness. Most often it is rooted in fear, fear for their own life. And the only way to diminish that fear would be to clean up neighborhoods and target the cause – street gangs. How do you target street gangs? You meet youth at their prime – between the ages of 5 and 16. You provide alternatives, you educate and train and teach and train some more. You give single parent mother’s a chance.

But instead of training the youth, the root cause, Black Lives Matter, the kneeling athletes target the police. If you can’t recognize the root cause of the problem, then you are only solving the side effects and ultimately nothing will change. You can train the police all you want about being more sensitive, but as gangs continue to grow, mutate and multiply, all the police training will fly! There are now an estimated 1,150,000 gang members. The largest two are African-American; the Crips and the Bloods.

Systematically, these gangs unite to ‘take out cops’. In a recent protest in Atlanta, the Crips and Bloods and BLM all united to chant death to cops.

I’d say it was a fair assessment that such protests would NOT instill anti-racist beliefs and a more sensitive feeling toward targets and profiles. Gang shootings in Chicago this year have topped out over 3000 with 500 dead. Baltimore had its bloodiest year ever in 2015 with 344 murders.

Who is protesting these statistics?

No one because these statistics do not promote the agenda of racism or social injustice, they represent the cause and the cause is apparently unimportant…

Because the ‘cause’ isn’t the police, it isn’t racism, it isn’t even social injustice. The cause is the 65-75% of black fathers who abandon their sons and daughters, their wives and their responsibilities, leaving an ever widening gap of social inequality.

Kaepernick? He can’t relate at all. He was swept up into loving arms by a two parent household. He was given a privileged lifestyle and now earns millions of dollars. He has no social injustice. He has no value system. And those that follow should take a hard look at the REAL HEROES that represent the athletes actually doing something that has value, integrity, honor and unity.

Bronco’s, Super Bowl and Oscar – where the real WIN is…

I am not known as the biggest football aficionado, I do know a thing or two and frequently ask very observant questions like, “why is he so mad…”, or “who designed those outfits…?”. But this year, for some reason people noticed that when they plunked me down in front of the television that a losing Bronco team won, so if they are and I am around, I am called to the scene to use my mojo.

Today was no exception as the Bronco’s went from winning, to too close for comfort, to winning, to are you kidding me, to uh-oh, to winning! And while I appreciate Peyton Manning, and this is most likely his last hurrah, the furor in Denver is definitely the biggest fan base in all the NFL. It has been cautioned that if the Bronco’s lose a game, road rage will inherit the roadways the next day as gloom sets in.

While, I don’t go in for the face painting and the beer guzzling, and the party ’til you drop crowd my neighbors have already begun setting off their horde of fireworks leftover from the July 4th celebrations. And if I had any – I’d be doing the same. Because right now – the Bronco’s are the closest thing we have to a hero in this bleak world. While it’s too bad that our politicians can’t garner even a speck of this kind of fame and notoriety for greatness, maybe it’s because they are so narcissistic that focusing on self has left them empty of the ideal of Greatness.

An interesting perspective that might have alluded me had a blog viewer not made the point, the difference between the Academy Awards and the Super Bowl is – immense! One is subjective and fanciful, while the other is a true – WIN. It’s a team event to the nth degree. And while there will be partying to be sure, it is partying because of a win, not because a bunch entitlers think it is a contest of how much flesh a ‘lady’ may show for tittilation. I mean, why not just wear a string bikini?

A true Win, in the conventional sense is much more compelling and intoxicating. As my friend Mikey reiterated, in Art there really is not Win, because it is always subjective as in the eyes of the beholder. So Academy nominees, take a break, because in Art, you really haven’t won anything but the approval of a small narrow bunch of old men.

And while the Bronco’s haven’t won the 2016 Super Bowl – yet, it is an iconic time for Manning, and even the curmudgeons have to accept that fact.