The NBA season starts today, and I can’t wait! With all the big moves this offseason, there are tons of matchups I’m anxious for, and even more individual and team journeys I’m excited to watch (especially the Timberwolves). The NBA offseason wasn’t just about moves within the league, however, as it also contained responses to unnecessary moves and words by President Trump and verbal support for Kaepernick and other’s who’ve chosen to take a knee during the national anthem. Yet the verbal and non-verbal political statements made by athletes of all sports throughout America this year, let alone those throughout the world, are far from unprecedented. In fact, if it weren’t for such racial, political, and cultural statements made by some of the world’s greatest athlete’s, America, and therefore the world, could and would be a very different place. That’s why I believe sports history should be a required high school class.
This past weekend, something happened on American soil that (rightfully) caused an uproar throughout the nation: hundreds of white supremacists descended on the University of Virginia, hoisting torches and yelling slogans such as “white lives matter.”
Because of this, many Americans – from celebrities to young kids – took to social media to condemn the act. Now, I’m not here to tell you who said what, or even give you more details as to what happened in Charlottesville. If you watched any of the news, or scrolled through any social media in the last few days (which is essentially all of us), you should already know more or less of what happened. Instead, I’m here to challenge you. In this national crisis as well as smaller, and even your personal crises, I’m challenging you to do the following:
Zebras. Are they black with white stripes, or white with black stripes? That’s the timeless question. But why do we want to know this? Sure, there’s a certain level of mystique surrounding the stripes, but, more than that, we want to know the answer because we want to know how to label and describe them.
Our American society is the same way.