Yes, I will be watching the NFL this season…

This blog post may come as a surprise to some.

Many of you have watched me take a stand against injustices I see and encounter. Many of you have read my thoughts about what has been happening in this world. Many of you know I have no problem expressing how I feel about certain situations. So many of you may have been expecting a different blog title than the one you received.

Listen, everyone knows I love football. Not just like. I love it. Always have. Always will. Youth. Middle school. High school. College. NFL. I love it all. It is an escape for me. It is a place of solace in this crazy world. It is something I look forward too every September. And they are the reasons why I will be in front of the tv tonight.

Let me be clear. My love for the game is not greater than the desire I have to see things change in this world as well as effect change. However, here is the reality. The National Football League has long been a corporation that expects its employees to behave a certain way, follow certain protocols and always put the interests of their team, first. No different than most businesses, right? Well the difference here is the NFL has long been a corporation that rarely practices what it preaches. It wants to protect the shield but it has not been willing to do what needs to be done to make sure the shield is presented in a continuous, positive light.

Take a look at the facts.

The NFL has had an issue with drugs for years. Instead of addressing it head on, they initally tried to ignore the problem in hopes that it would go away. However, it did not so they were forced the deal with it.

The NFL has had an issue with its concussion protocol for years. Instead of addressing it head on, they tried to ignore the problem in hopes that it would go away. However, it did no so they were foced to deal with it.

The NFL has had in issue with domestic violence for years. Instead of addressing it head on, they tried to ignore the problem in hopes that it would go away.However, it did not so they were forced to deal with it.

See a pattern here?

Instead of using its voice to be a prominent opponent of these issues, the NFL decided long ago that the overall image of the shield was more important than the people behind it.

Listen, I get it. Again, it is a business. However, it is disappointing to routinely see one of the most powerful locomotives in this world routinely being reacticve instead of proactice.

Still, knowing all of this has not deterred me from watching the product that has been put onto the field. I love it and I do not ever see that changing.

Do I wish that it would? Absoluely. Did I consider boycotting? Sure did. Am I suprised at the blackballing of Colin Kaepernick? Absolutely not.

I am hoping that the NFL will learn from its past handlings of major controversies. The movement Kap started will not be ending anytime soon. If anything, its picking up even more steam and instead of trying to ignore it the NFL would be wise to face it head on. Deal with the injustices that not only plague our society but the National Football League as well.

The NFL is a well oiled machine. You would have to actively boycott it for years to make even a small dent in the profits they accumulate. And if you really want to make a noticeable dent, then the boycott would have to extend beyond the league and into the pockets of their partners as well – DirectTV, Gatorade, Verizon, Nike, Papa John’s, etc.

In the meantime, we all can do more in our own communities to deal with the injustices that surround us on a daily basis. Mentor some youth. Attend city council meetings. Volunteer. Hold community events that promote unity. Speak out against racism, sexism, classim, all the isms. Run for office. If we are going to make real changes that have a lasting impact then it starts in our communities. Lets all do our part to ensure that happens.

I plan to continue my efforts during football season.

 

Til next time…toodells.

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My problem with Dabo Swinney…

If I did not learn anything else in 2016, I learned that in times of controversy people’s true colors will shine brightly.

Enter Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney.

Before September, I was a fan of his, I guess. I had nothing against him. I liked his story. I liked the fact that he was an underdog and had been counted out numerous times. I liked his positive energy, his upbeat attitude and the fact that he always gave credit to God for his many blessings.

I liked what he stood for until he provided me with his opinion surrounding one of 2016’s most controversial figures, Colin Kaepernick.

Like the majority of coaches around the country, Swinney was asked to give his opinion regarding the manner in which Kaepernick had chosen to express his disgust regarding the unjustices plaguing black people and people of color in this country. Swinney’s initial response was that he would not discipline a player who decided to take a stance by not standing for the national anthem even though he thought it would be a distraction. Distraction huh?

Strike one.

Swinney further explains that he believed there is a right way to do things and he did not think two wrongs made a right. According to him, he would foresee the “distraction” as divisive. Divisive huh?

Strike two.

To drive home his failed point, Swinney begans to paint this picture of “luxury” that have been afforded to black people that leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. never got to experience-things that were just a dream to him. He reminded us of the fact that President Obama is a two term president, that interracial marriage is now legal, that there are black head coaches, quarterbacks, CEOs, NBA owners, etc. He ends with suggesting that if this country is so bad then “some of these people need to move to another country.”

Strikes three, four, five and six.

If you have been following my blog closely the past two years then you know how much my gears grind when people who look nothing like me try and tell others and myself how we should think, feel and act. Or how we should feel grateful that we now are able to experience “luxuries” that my grandparents could not. I do not care what your title is, where you are from, how much money you make or what side of the bed you sleep on, you do not have the right to tell me how I should react to the lopsided amount of injustices being dished out to people of color every hour.

Now that I have done a little research, I guess I should not have been surprised at his words considering the fact that a few years ago Swinney, who will receive a $400,000 bonus for winning the championship, said he would quit coaching football if players started receiving compensation “because there is enough entitlement in the world as is.” I think I am out of strikes.

As a Christian, I have a problem with Christians like Dabo Swinney who give God all the praise when millions are watching but when the numbers are few, the love he preaches about is not evident in his words. There is no love in telling people to leave who want to see things change for the better in this country. There is no love in being a leader of young men while suggesting that any form of protest against wrongdoings constitute as a “wrong.” There is no love in reminding black people how far we have come without acknowledging the backward steps that are being taken by those in power. There is no love in not supporting compensation for young men and women in a billion dollar industry while making $5.1 million a year off the backs, legs and arms of these young men. To some, this may seem like a stretch and I can almost guarantee that those who think that will not look like me.

Honestly, I would like to be all excited about Clemson’s win. I would like to be all hip hip hooray for the ACC. I would like to be able to call up one of my best friends who is the only Alabama fan I know and offer up a mound of trash talk. Unfortunately, I cannot. To revel in Alabama’s loss is to celebrate Clemson’s win and with Dabo Swinney roaming the sidelines it is impossible for me to do. Although, I am extremely excited for DeShaun Watson. Class act all the way.

However, that is where my excitement stops. I have long accepted the fact that some people will say whatever they want to and seemingly still be rewarded in spite of. One thing I do know for sure is that the Good Book was spot on when it says you reap what you sow. From one Christian to another, Dabo you have been gifted a unique opportunity. Do not ruin it because you choose to not take the time to understand. As a Christian that is exactly what you should be doing. The love you speak about should be evident in your thoughts, words and deeds.

Remember, God is watching.

 

Until next time…TOODELLS.

 

Soo, Joe Mixon wasn’t the aggressor…

Alright. Lets keep it real.

If Joe Mixon was a walk-on or a third string running back for the University of Oklahoma, he would no longer be on the team.

But money talks. And Mixon was the number one recruit for the university in 2014. No way they can kick him off the team, right? They need him because he will produce on the field, right? And him producing on the field means fans will come to the games, right? And fans coming to the games means they are spending money right? And if fans are spending money then that is all that matters, right?

I will admit. I did not do a lot of research on this topic until today. I remember when the news dropped in 2014 about Mixon being suspended. At the time, the news reports were pretty hush hush other than to tell us that he had hit a woman and would be suspended for the whole season.

When the video was released this past Friday, I decided not to watch it. I have a very hard time sometimes erasing visuals from my mind. The thought of watching a man hit a woman so hard that bones were broken in her face was sickening.

At the time, I thought to myself, I do not care what a woman says to you, as a man you need to have more self control than that. And I know there are plenty of women out there that have the ability to provoke a man to the point where striking them becomes inevitable. However, in this case, I thought the actions were pretty straightforward. That was, until I talked to my mother today.

It was during a discussion with my mother than I found out Amelia Molitor ASSAULTED Mixon FIRST. Pause. Say what now? This I have to see. And there it was, as clear as a morning at the beach. Molitor pushes Mixon. Mixon draws back as if he is going to hit her but does not. Molitor slaps Mixon. Mixon lands a right jab and down goes Molitor.

This is definitely not the story that was being reported two years ago.

After this, I begin to dig a little deeper and what I found was disturbing. Molitor was never charged with anything. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Pause.

But she ASSAULTED him FIRST.

But it is 2016 and in this case 2014 so I should not be surprised.

Molitor is just as guilty as Mixon is. And in my opinion, she is the guiltiest of the two. Listen, in a perfect world, men would never hit women no matter what. And men would still be taught to never hit a woman no matter what. And women would not hit men or try to bait them into hitting them.

But this world is not perfect and in the present time, men are not raised with the respect for women that the men of the 60s, 70s and 80s were. There are a lot of young men across all races whom are being raised in single parent homes. And these young men operate under a different code.

None of this changes the fact that Molitor was the aggressor. And even though I was raised to believe a man should never hit a woman, I also believe that any woman that is bold enough to hit a man should not cry foul if he hits her retaliates.

The double standards in this case disgusts me. Molitor should have been charged. Mixon should have been dismissed from the team, permanently. And head coach Bob Stoops…please do not get me started on him.

 

The University of Missouri Wake-Up Call

I can admit. Before yesterday, I was clueless as to the racial tension that had arisen at the University of Missouri.

Normally, I am on top of injustices that are important to the Twitterverse(that place where you find out what is REALLY going on in the world before mainstream starts reporting, if they do, on it). My timeline is filled with people who I consider to be movers, shakers and activists.

As I was preparing to watch yesterday’s game between my beloved Carolina Panthers and the Green Bay Packers, Twitter alerted me that multiple accounts had retweeted a picture that was tweeted by University of Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel. I immediately opened my feed to see one of the most powerful images I have seen in recent years; the Missouri football team and coaches linked up, arm in arm, in solidarity. The tweet: “The Mizzou Family stands as one. We are united. We are behind our players. GP.”

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Continue reading “The University of Missouri Wake-Up Call”

About this lack of institutional control at UNC-CH….

This post is probably not a surprise to most. It is probably more of a surprise that I am just now writing about it.

Yesterday, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill released the Notice of Allegations that was sent to them on May 22. The report was a redacted version but what was released was damaging. We found out what many, including myself, have been saying for years-there is some shady business happening in that athletic department.

Now before you get your t-shirts all in a bunch, please do not come at me with this whole I am only saying this because it is UNC-CH mess. The rivalry between my alma mater and this school has absolutely nothing to do with my stance regarding this situation. Contrary to what you may believe, I have a great deal of respect for this university as a whole. To some extent. Let me rephrase. I have a great deal of respect for those who work at the university and are not a part of this scandal. The ones who do their job the right way on a daily basis. I have a great deal of respect for my family, friends and colleagues who are graduates of this university; the ones who did things the right way. However, the allegations that keep spilling out of the hallowed walls of the buildings in Chapel Hill are disturbing, damaging and sickening.

Continue reading “About this lack of institutional control at UNC-CH….”

I am not feeling it…

{Source: Google Images}
{Source: Google Images}

 

I have a confession. 

I have not been feeling very “sportsy” lately. 

What does that mean exactly? Well, my life often revolves around sports. I have been known rearrange activities or even skip them because “the game” is coming on. I watch SportsCenter daily. I read ESPN.com daily to stay abreast on the latest happenings. And I answer at least one question a day from someone regarding something sports related.

Continue reading “I am not feeling it…”

Let the youngins live!

Being a teenager and young adult these days can be tough. Just ask Jameis Winston. Or Johnny Manziel. Or Justin Beiber.

Every day it seems like my Twitter timeline is filled with people talking about the latest slip up from this young celebrity or that young celebrity. Sometimes all I can do it just roll my eyes as I log off to avoid social media for a few hours or days. Some people love nothing more than to chastise those that are not living up to their moral code.

Yes, what Winston did the other day was down right foolish. Not because of what he has been accused of in the past. Simply because it is a stupid thing to say no matter how popular the phrase is on social media. It was even more foolish to stand up on a table at the Florida State Student Union and yell it out.

I hear all the time that some of these celebrities and athletes need to make better decisions which is true. At the same time, we need to realize that a lot of these celebrities and athletes we are raking over the coals are young. Not to mention they are human. Oh and they are growing up right in front of our eyes. The other day I tweeted that while what Winston did was foolish, we all need to remember that he is TWENTY years old. If we went back and looked down your personal timeline at the age of TWENTY, I am sure we would find quite a few things that you would never want blasted all over social media.

While celebrity status is guaranteed to some based on their success, these young celebrities and athletes are facing a world that their predecessors did not. The world of social media and instant news. Back in the day, it may take two to three hours, longer than that if it happens overnight, for breaking news to spread. Now it more instant than grits.

I am not going to sit here and pretend like I do not shake my head over and over because of some of these celebrities choices. At the same time, I am reminded that none of us are perfect. I cannot imagine the pressure that some of these youngins are under as they try to navigate the waters of doing nothing to rock the media boat to living, growing and making mistakes like any other young adult.

I am sure some will roll their eyes at my mini rant and that is ok. It is my Korner and I can say what I want :-).

 

Until next time…TOODELLS.