“Sports-Society–Where Do We Go From Here?”
It should have been a weekend to watch Padres baseball. Watch the Lakers-Clippers in NBA playoff games. View the NHL-Stanley Cup for the Gulls in the AHL-Calder Cup.
None of that on the American sports scene.
What we saw however might have been vitally more important.
Peaceful protests against racial inequality continued in every major city in the US. And they moved to every major city in Europe.
It was not just Washington, DC, where the mayor had a 2-block message painted onto city streets leading to the White House, “Black Lives Matter”, a most enduring way to leave a message forever.
It was people walking across the Bay Bridge in San Francisco to signal peace. The same in Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia. It was at Bunker Hill in Boston, in Dallas and Atlanta, Miami to Denver.
The world wide turnout was stunning in Amsterdam, London, Calcutta, Berlin, Paris and so many other places.
I watched and was moved.
Army troops knelt with protesters.
Police chiefs locked arms with those protesting.
Firemen, first responders were part of this.
Hospital workers came off their frontline shifts treating Covid-ill people, to join this first line to lend support to the fight against racism.
I also saw as many whites join hands with African Americans, who manned these lines as far back as 12-days ago.
It touched our society in sports too.
NFL players led by Von Miller in Denver and JJ Watt is Houston joined in. So did NBA players…NHL players.
The firestorm involving Drew Brees, the flag, Colin Kaeperneck, the Saints, Roger Goodell’s video, the NFL Players “What If” video and the President tweets, brought statements, responses, then a call to action.
The most important outcome of this past week of hate-crisis-prayers-riots-fires, was that ‘conversation’ was taking place.
The prices paid in the horrid moments in Minnesota, the assualt in Buffalo, shootings in Brooklyn and Dallas, has now brought front and center the need for change. White America has to stand infront of the mirror and make changes, culturally and peacefully.
These are bad days we have been thru, but now we need more than just words of caring people, we will need actions.
I’d love to see a Federal Commission led by former President Obama, chaired by the great African-American leader John Lewis, anchored by great minority leaders like Corey Booker, Kamala Harris and so many others, go to the front of the line with ideas and solutions. There are so many retired people with experience, military, police commissioners, politicians, whose heart would be in the right place.
Sports can do so much, not just with financial donations, but also with contributions. Have great minorities of each sport, led by Tony Dungy of the NFL, and retired activists from the NBA-MLB-NHL-PGA become part of the hierarchy to present proposals of change, that need to be acted on.
Whether it is a mandate to fix a broken education system, that so many minorities don’t get much out of….to federal works programs that hire minorities for pay-for-work to fix the American infrastucture- a WPA type program…to hiring-training-teaching a new breed of law enforcement… these are all things that can change society.
I had a disturbing thought on the weekend, as I thought about D-Day and what changes it brought to our society.
In the waning day of Hitler, he was buried in his bunker, shouluting out imaginary orders that could not be carried out, as Berlin was bombed and the enemy stood at the gates, the US-Russian soldiers doing what was right to end the war. .
I thought of what we saw in Washington, DC, troops, military, fences, almost a War Zone. And President Trump trapped in the White House, tweeting 200-times a day, ordering things that appeared unconsituational, and an enemy at the gates too. Protestors with the right to be there, about to change our country forever..
I saw lots of things this past week, a lot of things said. Time now to look for action next.