UPDATE!! October 22
A woman performing the national anthem before an NBA preseason game between the 76ers and Heat on Friday night did so while kneeling at midcoast. Denasia Lawrence opened her jacket to show a shirt bearing the phrase “Black Lives Matter.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver intends to “enforce” the NBA “rule” that states that players must “stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the National Anthem”—a song with its own “foul line,” in its 3rd verse, which speaks of murdering BLACK slaves; a song written by a white racist and slave owner, Francis Scott Key; a song that speaks of war and destruction as a modern marvel (“rockets red glare, bombs bursting in air”).
Adam Silver snatched the 2017 NBA All-Star Game out of North Carolina when he believed that his issue needed addressing—that of toilet options for LGBT people. He simply waved his white hand and the $100 million event—cash generated entirely by BLACK TALENT—was removed from Charlotte, the only city with a Black-owned basketball team. But when that BLACK TALENT shows signs of following Colin Kaepernick’s powerful protest of the systematic murder of Blacks by white American police, these BLACK MEN are subject to Silver’s punishment. Grown-ass Black men!
We hope and pray that the NBA players will break out of the mental slavery in which the “commissioner” and the NBA team owners insist they remain. Remember the words of the great former NBA team owner and fount of slave-master wisdom Donald Tokowitz Sterling: “I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them?…Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners, that created the league?” No one—absolutely NO ONE—pays for a ticket to watch these white owners do a damn thing. BLACKS and their unique skills and prodigious talent keep these whites wealthy and entitled—not the other way around.
Adam Silver kicked Sterling out of the league—but apparently only to take the NBA plantation exploitation to a higher, more profitable level. Silver took decisive economic action against his anti-LGBT North Carolina foes, but look at his deceptive little bromide in his recent letter on the issue of managing potential NBA player protests of racist police violence:
“The league and the Players Association, working together, have begun developing substantive ways for us to come together and take meaningful action.”
Silver’s letter turns police murder into “senseless acts of violence impacting our communities.” No talk of boycotting or moving NBA games to force systemic changes in law enforcement. Silver’s puppy-like approach speaks of “engaging,” “supporting,” “convening,” “mentoring,” and the all-time favorite, “building bonds of trust.” In fact, on the same day Silver initiated his $100 million boycott of the “anti-gay” state of North Carolina, he fined three WNBA teams $5,000 and fined several players $500 for wearing T-shirts intended to raise awareness after police shootings.
Derrick Rose wore an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt during warm-ups last season, a reference to the words spoken by Eric Garner, who died after a Staten Island police officer choked him to death over a cigarette tax. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and other players around the league did the same. Silver leapt into action: “I respect [them] for voicing their personal views on important issues, but my preference would be for players to abide by our on-court attire rules.” Oklahoma City Thunder guard Victor Oladipo said he thinks some NBA players will protest when the national anthem is played this upcoming season. “Oh, no question. I truly believe it will….I think definitely, we’ll see a few guys in the NBA doing the same thing.” And then what will Adam Silver do—whip them, chain them up, and sell them down the river, as his forefathers did?
When will the “professional” Black athletes start playing THE EXACT SAME GAME THAT IS BEING PLAYED ON THEM? Last year, as quiet as it’s kept, the University of Missouri football players figured out that it was THEY who generated $30 million for that school, and that they could take a chunk out of the generations-long racism on that campus by simply threatening to refuse to play. Thirty-six hours later, the intransigent white president was quoting psalms at a press conference on his way out the door forever. That was a brilliant tactical use of those players’ economic power.
If Adam Silver can engage in political warfare using our Black talent and its economic power, imagine what could happen when Blacks apply the same principle for their own justice! On his very last day on earth Martin Luther King said to practice “economic withdrawal” as the best strategy to obtain justice and enforce our God-given freedoms. There is NO BETTER time than now—and NO BETTER place than in the NBA.
It’s time for us all to say, Justice Or Else!