When COVID 19 hit it was not taken as seriously as it should have been. Then when businesses closed and sports were taken away everybody knew it was a serious matter at hand. This country has been battling something more serious than COVID 19. That would be racial injustices. Racial tensions in the world have divided people more than any civil war ever could. African Americans are called thugs criminals etc and being treated very poorly and disrespectfully. The only time a black person is tolerated is when they are entertaining others and even then it comes with a hefty price to pay.
When you are talking about sports or just about any type of entertainment more times than not you will be mentioning an African American. In a country where African Americans make up only 14% of the population the majority of sports consist of that of black people. Sports that may not get as much attention such as golf and tennis have prominent black figures such as Tiger Woods, Serena, and Venus Williams, and even Naomi Osaka has reminded the media that she has Haitian roots.
Laura Ingraham told Lebron James and Kevin Durant two of the best basketball players ever to shut up and dribble when they criticized Donald Trump. To tell a man to shut up and dribble is to tell him your voice does not truly matter and your only purpose is to entertain and play basketball.
All around the country, protests against systematic injustices are starting to arise. Some are peaceful and some are violent. The peaceful ones tend to go overlooked time and time again. The protest at hand is not just because of George Floyd who was just recently killed by Minneapolis Police but rather because it seems that black people are constantly being killed and targeted by those who are put in place to protect us.
The phrase peaceful protest gets thrown around when no protest is what they would much rather see. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf sparked controversy for refusing to stand for the national anthem and calling the flag of the United States a symbol of oppression. In the 1996 season he would not come out of the locker room during the national anthem nobody noticed until a reporter said something about it. The NBA players union came together and said that Abdul-Rauf could pray in his hands he just had to be present during the National Anthem many people took offense to that. Although the had just had the best season of his career, won most improved player of the year and helped the Denver Nuggets give the 96 bulls one of their 10 losses that season, he was traded and never received the playing minutes he once had and was out of the NBA by 29. Phil Jackson in recent years came out and tweeted about how Stephen Curry was previously seen in Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.
Colin Kaepernick is another example of a peaceful protest that cost him his job because he was being an inconvenience to people who don’t understand his struggle. Kaepernick took the world by storm when he had to come in and replace Alex Smith and led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl that season. He was beloved by everyone until he took a stand well better yet a knee during the national anthem. Fans and media took shots at Kaepernick from all angles saying that he should be grateful to be here proving that his protest was very much so needed.
When Kaepernick became a free agent at first one could argue he may not have been good enough but when teams go out and get people who have not played in years over Kaepernick then now you are showing which side you stand on when it comes to Equality. People were coming out of the woodworks to call Kaepernick a national disgrace, however, an Army veteran told him the right way to protest was to take a knee. Kaepernick himself in 2016 said he had to stand up for people that are oppressed.
Country music known as a genre preponderantly ran by white Americans but recently two African American men were taking the genre by storm. Kane Brown’s sophomore album “Experiment” was received well and hit number 1 on Billboard, but that is as far as it goes with billboard and Brown. Brown has been nominated five times for Billboard and has yet to win, the Country Music Awards has taken a step further and has not even given Brown a nomination.
Lil Nas X took the world by storm when he debuted his hit song “Old Town Road”. The song reached number 19 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart before the magazine disqualified it. The song was disqualified on grounds that it did not fit the genre, fans in return asked the definition of country music. To combat the not country enough, Old Town road was remixed featuring Billy Ray Cyrus one of the biggest country stars of all time. Though it was not re-entered onto the overall country charts, both the original version of the song and the remix featuring Cyrus eventually peaked at number one on the flagship Billboard chart, the Hot 100, for a record-breaking nineteen consecutive weeks. To discredit Lil Nas X, his hit song was placed in the lesser-known Country Rap genre.
In 1967, Muhammad Ali refused the draft to Vietnam War and faced a fine of 10,000 dollars and a three-year boxing ban, losing his prime years and being stripped of his boxing title. Ali was called a disgrace to the country and was called a simplistic fool and a pawn.
“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?” Ali said in 1967, showing that not much has changed between 1967 to 2020
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Martin Luther King Jr said these words and America was built on the foundation of injustices.
Masai Ujiri, the president of the Toronto Raptors said, “To overcome racism, we must raise our voices.” Ujiri made headlines in 2019 when the Raptors won the NBA title and security would not let him on the court to celebrate with the team. To make matters worse the officer took up a lawsuit against saying he was assaulted by Ujiri.
Those are just a few instances where black prominent people reputations are attacked and their hard work being toyed with. Racism and intolerance bring a plethora of stereotypes and hate that nobody deserves. Things need to change nowadays in this country one group of people can protest stores being closed and not being able to get haircuts while another group of people protesting social injustices and being attacked for it.