Houston Texans’ owner, Bob Mcnair, recently made a statement “we can’t have inmates running the prison” in reference to the recent protests in the NFL. People heard this and, once again, jumped out the window with this fake anger and outrage. I guess people are very offended with being called inmates but my question is this. What else would you call them? They/we are inmates in a sense. For the most part, this is a group that allows themselves to be silenced and marginalized due to fear of losing some money.
On a grand scale, it starts in college. From a young teen, these guys who push their bodies and health to the limits to hopefully get “selected” to attend any number of WHITE COLLEGE INSTITUTIONS. Now mind you, the Black American community have a number of Historically Black Colleges they could attend but that’s another discussion for another day. They go to these White Colleges and choose to live the life of poverty as a student athlete. They’ve been brainwashed into thinking that a “free” college education is equal to the BILLIONS of dollars a year these institutions rake in. Billions made off their blood, sweat, and tears. They play year after year for these schools enduring injury after injury all-the-while the schools are bringing in millions on top of millions every week. The “lucky” ones get chosen to join the NFL as a professional football player.
Sure, they dangle hundreds of thousands of dollars and sometimes millions in these young mens’ face. Again, this money is nothing in comparison to the advertising, merchandising, and sponsor deals that the owners take in. Now the NFL has no problem recognizing any number of topics. Anything from breast cancer, domestic violence, terror attacks, veterans, child abuse, women’s rights, and just overall American patronage. But the minute a person of color, namely Colin Kaepernick, speaks out about issues facing Black Americans in this country it’s a huge problem. Again, the NFL and it’s players have no problem using its platform to bring to light any societal issue it chooses. But if that light is shed on issues affecting the Black Man, it’s suddenly this huge problem. Ironically, somewhere around 70% of NFL players are black men.
So I say this. Don’t get mad if someone calls you a name if that’s exactly what you/we are acting like. After the statement, Wide Receiver, Deandre Hopkins attempted to take a stand. He skipped practice the next day. Annnnnd? So what! You show up to the game on Sunday as if nothing had happened. If these men really want to stand up for something….how about not showing up for the game. We can’t keep crying about how we want things to change but we don’t do anything to effect change. I’m personally sick and tired of seeing these guys kneeling at the beginning of the game. What in the world is that supposed to do? Real change requires real sacrifice. Real sacrifice would be not showing up to the game. We’ve been conditioned to put our own individual interest over the interest of the “greater good”. The sad part is, we (Black America) are the only group who does this. Every other group puts community/objective first and then the individual. Nothing will nor should change until we realize this. Once we understand that togetherness is the only way we can effectively cause change. More importantly, change will hurt and change will sting a little bit in the beginning. It’s not supposed to be easy. Historically, it never has been. Until we comprehend this as a people, then we are all prisoners. Don’t be mad at Bob Mcnair for calling us that. Be mad that we aren’t doing anything to empower our community to where they can’t refer to us as that.