Me and my friend Rob Alvarez have a short discussion on Race and Racial Intolerance in sports
Me and my friend Rob Alvarez have a short discussion on Race and Racial Intolerance in sports
‘ve decided to write my final based on recent events that have transpired in professional sports in regards to race. In the past two weeks, an owner of an NBA basketball team was caught on tape saying some inflammatory things about African-Americans, which is shocking considering that the NBA is made up over 75 percent African-Americans. Donald Sterling owner of the Los Angeles Clippers was fined a league maximum 2.5 Million dollars and banned for life by newly appointed commissioner Adam Silver, a clear show of force by Silver which was lauded by many to be an impressive act one few were expecting (forced sale of the team was expected, banishment for life was not).
Meanwhile in the NHL, Montreal Canadien PK Subban, had an incredible power play goal to push the Habs up 1-0 in a best of 7 series against the Boston Bruins. This goal while impressive, did not sit well with a certain sub section of Bruins fans who took to twitter to post Racially Charged tweets in the direction of Subban. These fans were denounced by Bruins great and current president of operations Cam Neely as saying that “The racist, classless views expressed by an ignorant group of individuals following Thursday’s game via digital media are in no way a reflection of anyone associated with the Bruins organization.” Subban was also on record about the incident saying that while the tweets were hurtful, they in no way represent the Bruins organization or their wonderful fans. PK’s brother Malcolm Subban is the Bruins top goalie in their minor league system down in Providence.
With these racially charged moments among others, it begs the question “why in the 21st century, with all of our athletes and people of different nationalities and descents, why is it necessary to still spew hatred towards those not for the content of their player or character, but simply for the color of their skin?”
On April 15, 1947 Jackie Robinson was the first player in MLB history to break the color barrier and play professionally with white men. Robinson would go on to build a hall of fame career not based on the color of his skin but of his hard nosed play on the field, in fact Robinson would be the first player to win the Rookie of The Year in Major League Baseball, the award later renamed in the late eighties in honor of Robinson, he would become the first player of African American descent to win League MVP in 1949 and the first all-star and hall of gamer of African American Descent. Robinson shouldered the heavy burden of being the first black athlete to integrate into Professional sports and was the target of constant racial epithets, death threats and the like but persevered. He paved the way for greats like Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, and others to thrive in a better setting than the one Robinson entered into. However as of 2012 the MLB is comprised of only 7.2% African Americans, with 63% white players and a huge 26.2% in regards to latin born players.
Over in the NBA, african-american players did not join the league until 1950 three years after Robinson broke the color barrier. With players like Chuck Cooper, Sweetwater Clifton, and arguably the most successful of the bunch, Celtics Great Bill Russell. Russell, who won 11 championships with the Boston Celtics, was under intense scrutiny as well, and while he played and coached his entire career in Boston, the constant racism and death threats soured him to the city, and only within the past twenty years has that sourness subsided even resulting in a long over due statue in Russell’s honor displaying his greatness as an athlete and his success as an advocate for Civil Rights. In fact Russell’s accomplishments are felt all through the NBA, with the NBA Finals MVP trophy even being named after him. At it’s current state the NBA is comprised primarily of African-Americans at 78% and most of their all time greats (including Russell, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Wilt Chamberlain, and many others) come from African American Backgrounds.
In the NHL, Willie O’ Ree became known as the “Jackie Robinson of Hockey”…in one of the most unlikely places. O’ Ree broke the NHL’s color barrier in the late 1950’s with the Boston Bruins, a city known for it’s racial intolerance..as seen above with Bill Russell. However unlike Robinson, O’Ree’s playing time was forgettable at best and he eventually played in the minor leagues until the age of 43. As of this writing there is only around 17-20 African-American players in the NHL, but they are the best of the best, in cases like Jarome Ignla (Bruins Forward) and PK Subban, as well as Wayne Simmonds of Philladelphia. This in particular further makes the racist vitriol spit out by some Bruins fans all the more surprising considering we ourselves brought in an African-American player first before any other team, and one of our best players is of African descent in Iginla, truly head scratching that some fans forget that this is simply a game, and when the lights go off the players go home and prepare for the next game, not worrying about the color of their skin.
The NFL is the one league that has made vast improvements to race. Kenny Washington was the first African-American player to be integrated into the NFL with the Los Angeles Rams (Now St Louis). According to recent studies anywhere from 57-61% of players in the NFL are non- white. in fact one position, Cornerback has not seen a white player since Jason Sehorn retired in 2003. The NFL also has in place the “Rooney Rule” named after Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney, an advocate for civil rights…the rule states that when attempting to fill a coaching vacancy teams must interview at least one African-American candidate for the job.
Now with all that being known, why is it that we as a people and on a lesser scale as fans of our respective sports, why do some off us ruin it for the lot calling those a different color than us the N-Word, or other racial epithets. Haven’t we advanced enough as a society to work past these petty differences and be judged as people rather than colors. I condemn Donald Sterling who spoke ill of African-Americans and said he doesn’t want them at his game, and then further stated that he should have paid V.Stiviano off in order to avoid being banned. And those specific Bruins fans who thought it would be okay in the moment to spew racist vitriol toward PK Subban a man the should be hated simply for his work on the ice and not the color of his skin.
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!”- Martin Luther King
Thank You! Below is a info graphic on race and sports and the next post will feature my video for the project.
For your entertainment I’ll share a fun fact…..I’ve told my girlfriend on multiple occasions that we can’t get married until I own these shoes specifically in the black and white colorway….it works perfectly with my style and the patent leather makes it perfect for any occasion dressing up or down. It is in my opinion the first Jordan to perfectly blend lifestyle and performance while not sacrificing quality of design for either one. My next holy grail
The Air Jordan 11 “Concord” was the first colorway of the Air Jordan 11 released in 1995 and was Michael Jordan’s go to shoe for the historic 72-10 season in 1995-96. These Jordans were also featured in the Nike commercial featuring MJ doing the 100 foot dunk.
Ok ok ok, I admit this post is a little different then the other Art forms.. But hé we have to stay open minded to what art actually is. Therefore I give you: The Jeremy Scott Adidas Gold Foil Wing edition.
I can only say wow… I like I love I want. These are some real dunks and something more original then the Nike air Max which everyone is wearing now a days (and yes I admit I also have the air max). But still these shoes are one of a kind with the wing flaps on the side and the foiled golden dynamic color blend. Even the rubber is decorated with glitters. A must have for the unique buyers… But… question is:
Image 2: http://sneakersmadame.com/adidas-js-wings-x-jeremy-scott-foil-spring-2014/
The Jordan 6 is this year’s featured Air Jordan sneaker and a Limited Edition Brazil ‘World Cup” version will be released. The shoe features a Nu-Buck toe box with tumbled leather wrapped around the upper with speckles in the mid-sole with Gold and Light Green accents throughout.There’s no official release date for these.
A Fun little infographic stating the going price difference on the right and left different colorways used to make the What The Lebron from 2012 (A compilation of different color ways thrown together to make one Lebron)…these are the prices for each shoe separately and not for the shoe in it’s entirety***
In 2007, the Nike SB “What The Dunk” sparked a debate for the ages: Right vs. Left. Which has the better colorways? The debate only intensified when Nike moved the concept over to their basketball line in 2012. Today, the rivalry has reached fever pitch, with rumors that our nation’s political parties will cease using terms “right” and “left”, lest they draw the ire of voters on the wrong side of the sneakerhead aisle. The only debate which even dares to continue to exist is, of course, the Left Twix vs. Right Twix saga. Thankfully, we don’t have to choose sides because we only eat mini-ice cream Twix which come one to a pack . . . but we’ve digressed.
Upon reading a recent Sneaker News post listing the many colorways on the What The LeBron 11, we decided to throw our hat, er, feet, in the ring and try to…
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It’s spring! The weather is getting…ahem..better *knocks on wood* but really that’s not what any hot blooded sports fan gives a damn about. It’s Playoff time for both the NBA and the NHL and while the Celtics aren’t in the playoffs in the NBA (Slightly happy considering we’re rebuilding) the Bruins are currently the one seed in the NHL and arguably the BEST team in the NHL winning the ‘Presidents Trophy’ for best record. They recently got past a tough task in the Detroit Red Wings, a team which they went 1-3 against in the regular season, disposing of the Red Wings in 5 games to the shock of many.
A tougher opponent awaits in the second round against a tough and scrappy Canadiens team. The Bruins are 1-2-1 against the Canadiens in the regular season and a series between the two teams is sure to be highly entertaining and intense. The rivalry between Boston and Montreal runs deep, and with a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals on the line both teams will surely go all out in their quest for the cup.