I must have awakened Michael Vick by mentioning him in my last post. Unfortunately, I wish he would have stayed asleep or at least quiet. Vick is catching volcano lava heat for suggesting that Kaepernick should cut his hair to change his image in order to get back in the good graces of the NFL owners. That strategy worked for Vick because he was returning to the NFL from prison, as a convicted felon for a crime that most think he should never be forgiven for. I was a strong supporter of Vick and hoped that he got another chance to play in the NFL. On principle though I was a bit miffed that Vick got more time for cruelty to dogs than most get for murdering people of color or even abusing another human being. And, we all know that there are an endless number of domestic abusers who go unpunished and suffer no time off the gridiron for their abusive ways.
Kaepernick peacefully took a knee to protest MURDER! That is, the unjustified murders committed by police on black and brown bodies – SANDRA BLAND, PHILANDO CASTILE, ALTON STERLING, to name a few of which there are too many and counting. For the conservative holy rollers let me remind you of one of the Ten Commandments – THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT MURDER. I mention that commandment because folks seem to be really religious until….
A lot has already been said of Vick’s comments. Some have permanently revoked Vick’s invite to the cookout (I agree with this), called him a sellout, etc. For me, it’s just another sign that we still aren’t judged by the content of our character. We don’t value people of substance. We just want them to look the part. As a black woman with “dreadlocks” this is of significant concern because regardless of the number of degrees I have or my skill set, I know that my career goals may eventually be decided on looking the part. Or, confirming the standard opinion instead of providing a diversity of thought. I’m not saying that I should be allowed to wear sweats when the dress code clearly requires business attire. I’m speaking of fairness of actually using the list of job qualifications to make a decision. Kaepernick is a quarterback. His hair is not a qualification. His stance on police brutality is not a qualification. The only qualification that should be considered is his production on the field in comparison to the likes of Mark Sanchez (Bears), Geno Smith (Giants), Austin Davis (Seahawks ) and several more who have been signed as quarterbacks. Until you can justify their signings, don’t pretend that this is about football, let alone hair.
To my forever president, Barack Hussein Obama, on behalf of this country, these United States of America, and the well over 65 million that voted for Hillary Clinton, WE ARE SO SORRY. PLEASE ACCEPT OUR APOLOGY. The current level of activism for the #RESISTANCE keeps me hopeful of avoiding total destruction under the current administration, but it also makes me wonder what could have been. What could this country had accomplished if there was this current level of engagement?Maybe we could have stomped out the Super-Obstructionist McConnell’s evil plan and forced the Senate to vote on your justice appointee, Merrick Garland. Maybe we wouldn’t have to look at the passive aggressive and smug Speakerless Ryan (speakerless cause he ain’t said shit worth hearing) admit to his agenda of destroying health care options for 23 million citizens. Citizens that you fought so hard for to have health insurance. In some cases, for the first time. Instead of fighting so hard to keep what you put in place, if WE had done our due diligence and fulfilled our citizen obligations, maybe at this point in time WE would instead be implementing upgrades to strengthen the ACA/Obamacare that would stay in place regardless of who won the last election.
But, alas, that is not our current fate. Because WE didn’t give you the support that you needed, we are left running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Tirelessly and exhaustingly fighting for crumbs. Each day, or each tweet brings a new issue that WE have to address. We can’t fight for improvements because what is proposed by what Auntie Maxine calls the Kremlin Klan is so dangerous and unChrist-like, that we have to try to just maintain the status quo.
Since this is a sports blog, let me bring it back to sports. Michael Vick was probably one of the most exciting players to ever play football. Certainly one of the most exciting quarterbacks. Vick was an enormous talent, but after being banned from the NFL and sent to prison for dog-fighting , Vick admitted that he hadn’t fulfilled his full potential because he didn’t work as hard as he should have. He just relied on his natural abilities which were pretty damn good by the way. If he had had the work ethic of a Peyton Manning or Kobe Bryant to match his natural abilities, just imagine how much better he would have been. We may be talking about him as a potential hall of fame quarterback. But, just like Vick, we had the talent in the intelligence, compassion, and steady hand of Barack Obama in the oval and we squandered it. We squandered it to a bunch of white male welfare kings. It’s welfare to get paid to do nothing. No one but elected officials can go on national TV and confidently say that they refuse to do their jobs and still get paid.
So to you, POTUS 44, I apologize. I apologize for leaving you hanging. I apologize for not calling my senators weekly like I do now, at least until I need a mental and emotional break. If I could turn back time (wait, did I just quote Cher. Desperate times) I would do it so differently and I know others would to. Until I find that DeLorean, accept our apology. WE’RE SORRY!!
Yeah, that’s me on the campus of the Ohio State University in front of “the Shoe” with my Alabama crimson Tide t-shirt on. Why? Cause that’s how my petty is set up. This was no accident. Oh no. I intentionally wore my Bama tee to troll OSU fans. All in good fun though. Buckeyes have the bragging rights since they defeated the Tide in the 2015 Sugar Bowl of the first College Football Playoff series.
As I was there in the Horseshoe taking my pics, I was greeted with a die-hard Buckeye fan who very appropriately told me to get out of there with my t-shirt. That’s us flipping each other the bird just like we should. Nothing like sports to bring people together just to flip each other off. Just good ole rivalry fun.
Do you remember when you looked forward to the next day? Have you recently let your inner child come out? If you answered no to both of these questions then you haven’t been having fun.
As adults, we juggle many responsibilities. Work. Spouse/Partner/Significant Other. Kids. Bills. Illness. And on and on. So much so that we often lose ourselves in the midst of doing what we have to do. Let me tell you that that’s no way to live. What are we doing those things for if we don’t take a minute to enjoy life and have something to look forward to? We know work is on the to do list for Monday morning, but do we look forward to it. Heck nawl!
That’s why I’m working hard at never growing up. Yes, I’m a responsible adult, but I want to remain in touch with the kid in me. I recently did this by taking a bike ride with similarly-minded women. Although I was only anticipating riding for five miles, ten at most, we actually rode for 20 miles. Yes, 20 effing miles. There were a few times when I caught myself smiling for no reason at all.
If you watch the news or are connected via any social media platform, you know that the world is experiencing very challenging times. There are a lot of angry people out there. I’m willing to bet that those angry folks are not having fun. So, go out and be a kid again and have unfiltered fun.
Let me know what childlike fun you had or plan to have in the comments.
“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
This is a great quote by a person of great significance in sports, Jackie Robinson who integrated Major League Baseball. It says that his integration of baseball was not only important because of the opportunities it gave to other players of color, but also opportunities to people in other areas. Many of the changes that come about in society come about when there is acceptance in sports, arts and entertainment.
In this day and age when you have so many team athletes only concerned with their individual statistics or endorsement deal, Jackie Robinson provides a reminder that their are higher ideals to achieve. Never more in recent history has this been as needed as it is today. In small ways our lives are impactful whether that’s our goal or not. So, imagine if we can be intentional about the impact we want to have on others. I’m sure Jackie Robinson didn’t have a goal of his number 42 being worn each year by every player in the league. But, that’s exactly what happens because he was intentional with the sacrifices he made and that impact is being recognized.
What are your intentions on impacting the lives of others?
Before there was Colin Kaepernick, there was Mahmoud Abdul Rauf of the NBA. Like Kaep, Rauf didn’t stand for the national anthem because he viewed the American flag as a symbol of oppression and tyranny. Rauf’s NBA career ended early because of this protest as it seems Kaep’s may as well. As of this writing, Kaep is still a free agent QB where lesser talented QBs have been signed. Unlike Kaep, Rauf did not get the public support that Kaep has gotten. During the NFL season, Kaep’s jersey was number one in sales and his teammates honored with the team’s most prestigious award. Not receiving support makes his decision even more heroic. Like Muhammad Ali, Rauf stood on his principles which have stood the test of time. His legacy can serve as inspiration for future Kaepernicks.
On International Women’s Day, Nike announced that it was developing a sports hijab, Nike Pro Hijab for Muslim women athletes that should be available in spring 2018. In last year’s Olympic Games, Ibtihaj Muhammad made headlines for being the first American to compete in a hijab and then the first to win a medal. Since the election of our 45th President, affectionately called Cheeto Satan and Marmalade Mussolini by some, attacks on women wearing the hijab has increased. So, this comes at a crucial time.
For those who don’t know, the hijab is worn by Muslim women as a part of Islamic practice to signify modesty and decency. Because of the requirement for modesty in dress, Muslim women athletes can’t exactly wear what most of us wear when we are working out at the gym. So, this is an important step for Muslim women to have access to top athletic gear. Emirati figure skater Zahra Lari is already wearing the Nike Pro Hijab.
I foresee non-Muslim women like runners who want to become more aerodynamic and unbothered with their hair wearing the Nike Pro Hijab. This is a nice stride in normalizing the hijab in American culture and bringing it to the mainstream. I hope that the sports hijab becomes a fashion statement for all women athletes. The more that it is worn and seen can lead to fewer incidences of bullying and hate crimes against Muslim women and girls.
This isn’t the first time that Nike has taken the lead to fill a need. In 2015, Nike developed the LeBron Soldier 8 FLYEASE with Matthew Walzer who was physically unable to tie his shoes. This shoe allows him to wear his favorite basketball shoe and not have his parents tie his shoes or wear an unattractive shoe that focuses on the disability. For this and now the sports hijab, this Adidas girl really appreciates Nike who just keeps doing it.