Basketball, Controversy, Life, NBA, North Carolina State University, Sports

#TheLastDance

Seven years ago, ESPN debuted a documentary that was met by a level of excitement within me that hadn’t been witnessed before.

It was based on a story in which I had a lot of familiarity. It was based on a story that I’d had the privilege of discussing with many who played intricate roles in the outcome. It was a story that found itself at the forefront every March. And it is a story that always tugged at the heartstrings of graduates of my alma mater.

It was the story of the North Carolina State University 1983 Men’s Basketball Team. And their destiny that culminated with them doing what others thought was impossible to capture a national championship that is still talked about decades later.

Before then, my level of excitement about a documentary hadn’t been matched. Since then, it hadn’t been matched.

Until last year.

Continue reading “#TheLastDance”

Controversy

Raw emotions: #RIPJemelRoberson

I am not even sure if I am mad.

I am not even sure if I am disgusted.

I honestly am not sure what my feelings are at the moment.

Maybe it is a combination. Or a culmination.

Whatever it is, I am tired of feeling it.

Jemel. Roberson.

Say his name.

Out. Loud.

Jemel. Roberson.

Now all I need to do is eliminate the space and period between his first and last name and add a #. After that, I am sure you will have already drafted the scenario.

Black man. White cop. Dead black body. Cop on leave. The end.

Continue reading “Raw emotions: #RIPJemelRoberson”

Controversy, Heroes, Life, Sports, Tennis, Women, Women in Sports

Why black women across the world understood Serena’s soliloquy

*originally posted on Women AdvaNCe’s website*

As I sat and watched Serena fight back, tears formed in my eyes.

Her words were sharp.

Her eyes were piercing.

Her body language was stern.

She was fed up.

She’d had enough.

She was exhausted.

I’ve only played tennis maybe three times in my life yet I knew exactly what she was going through.

I felt her pain.

I understood her pain.

I knew her pain.

Simply because, I, too, am a black woman.

Continue reading “Why black women across the world understood Serena’s soliloquy”

49ers, Controversy, Football, Giving back, Heroes, Life, NFL

#BoycottNike? Nah.

I said I was not going to write about it because I have discussed this topic more times than I can count. And I arrived at the point long ago where I am convinced that people are going to either accept the truth or they are going to spend the majority of their time redirecting it to fit their “cozy” narrative.

When Nike debuted their new face of their 30th Anniversary, “Just Do It” campaign this week, the internet nearly exploded. Half rejoicing. And the other half in a full blown tizzy.

It was comical.

Continue reading “#BoycottNike? Nah.”

Controversy, Football, NFL

And the NFL keeps fanning the flames..

Just when I thought things could not get more foolish, they do.

And I am over it.

OVER. IT.

You might think I am kidding but I am not.

I. AM. DONE.

I. AM. DONE. WITH. THEM.

The them being the National Football League.

Continue reading “And the NFL keeps fanning the flames..”

Controversy, Life

Let me tell you how I feel…

Yall, I am tired.

I am tired of so many things.

I am tired of hate. I am tired of prejudice. I am tired of oppression. I am tired of profiling. I am tired of privilege. I am tired of scare tactics. I am tired of racism.

I am tired of conversations about why Colin Kaepernick chose kneeling during the National Anthem as a form of peaceful protest. I am tired of debates about why Kap is not on an NFL team. We all know why. I am tired of discussions about the flag. I am tired of telling people that are so pro-flag that they should scale a flag pole the next time they see one flying while it is raining. Flag code violation. I am tired of dialogue saturated with demands. I am tired of of people “wagging the dog” every time the narrative takes a turn back to its original intent.

Listen.

Continue reading “Let me tell you how I feel…”

College football, Controversy, Football

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.