White Consciousness and the Black Athlete: Why the $40M Slaves Metaphor Remains Relevant

Photo Credit: ThoroughlyReviewed, Flickr

Article below by Dr. Ronald E. Hall at eurweb.com.  A very well done and thorough article by Dr. Hall who compares the relative freedom and lack of aversion to addressing social justice issues among those in the NBA and the NFL; and while it is true that NBA players appear to have more power and autonomy than those in the NFL, there should be no illusion that racism is not prevalent in the NBA.  We have several recent high profile examples such as Donald Sterling’s rant and comments of Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson.  Further, none of the NBA players have knelt during the national anthem, and likely not only because it is expressly prohibited in the collective bargaining agreement. In fact, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver already stated that he wanted players to stand for the anthem.  So it is one thing to allow players to wear t-shirts and not respond to their decision to make comments during press conferences that directly address racial injustice.  It is quite another to engage in a form of peaceful protest that the commissioner does not support, and which racist white fans will undoubtedly be apoplectic about the same way they are in the NFL.  There has already been an incident of NBA fan Haley Perea throwing her drink on fellow Lakers fans who’d decided not to stand for the national anthem.  However, despite my disagreement with the notion that the NBA is head and shoulders above the NFL on this issue, the article remains informative and an important addition to the discourse surrounding the national anthem protests and the slave-like treatment and consciousness sports executives and administrators regarding Black athletes. 

*In the NBA, Black athletes are free as men in what to think and treated as such by franchise ownership/fan base. Subsequently NBA owners, own their franchises but also respect players when they disagree and occasionally when they agree join players and fans in protest of civil injustice.

This fact was recently on display in Sacramento when NBA Kings ownership decided to partner with “Black Lives Matter” after the shooting of an unarmed Black male named Stephon Clark by city police (http://www.sacbee.com/sports/nba/sacramento-kings/article207256604.html ). Star players such as LeBron James protested only to be criticized by Fox News’ Laura Ingraham in a slave era directive to “shut up and dribble” (http://www.sacbee.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/ailene-voisin/article207183894.html ).

Read the rest at eurweb.com.