Albert Einstein once said, “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” Tony Robbins broke it down like this, “To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” Then of all people, LaToya Jackson, put it where the goats could get it when she spit, “I’ll never stop dreaming that one day we can be a real family, together, all of us laughing and talking, loving and understanding, not looking at the past but only to the future.”
Well playas…you hear so many coaches hollerin’ about how much they love their teams and how much of a family unit they really are. However, it’s only when real life happens that the true character of a man comes out. How much does a man understand his players and how much does he really respect them as human beings?
Like I always say, the truth is in the details! Ever since Colin Kaepernick took a seat or a knee durin’ the national anthem boyz have been showin’ their true colors and those colors, more often than not, don’t look good for some of these cats. Both Dabo Swinney, the head coach at Clemson and Hall of Famer Mike Ditka literally spit in the face of black folks when they said that if you don’t like America you should leave the country. Ditka went as far as to say “Get the hell out!” Jim Harbaugh jumped out initially and said that he respected Kaepernick but didn’t respect the way he was protestin’ until his own players threw up the black power fist. Then that dun did an about face because it got real and ran up in his crib. Greg Popovich was the only person that really proved that he understands and loves his players because he had no problems expressin’ how he felt about this situation out the gate.
When asked what he thought of the foolishness goin’ on in America right now at the Spurs’ Media Day on Monday ole boy didn’t hesitate to say, “The social situation that we’ve all experienced is absolutely disgusting in a lot of ways. What’s really interesting is the people that jump right away to say, one is attacking the police, or the people that jump on the other side. It’s a question where understanding and empathy has to trump, no pun intended, has to trump any quick reactions of an ideological or demagogical nature. It’s a topic that can’t just be swung at, people have to be very accurate and direct in what they say and do.”
He goes on to say, “It’s easier for white people because we haven’t lived that experience. It’s difficult for many white people to understand the day-to-day feeling that many black people have to deal with.”
Then he spits a jewel with, “At this point, when somebody like Kaepernick brings attention to this, and others who have, it makes people have to face the issue because it’s too easy to let it go because it’s not their daily experience. If it’s not your daily experience, you don’t understand it. I didn’t talk to my kids about how to act in front of a policeman when you get stopped. I didn’t have to do that. All of my black friends have done that. There’s something that’s wrong about that, and we all know that.”
Let’s keep it real or all the way 100, whichever comes 1st! How is it humanly possible to coach a team that is 70 to 80 percent black and not understand what those players and their family’s are experiencin’ daily? Popovich is the only one of those cats that truly cares about his players. Why? Because he understands their plight out here. He said the key words, “My black friends!” In order to understand what people are goin’ through you’ve got to have a connection to them. For Dabo, Ditka and Harbaugh to talk crazy about a boy standin’ up against racial injustice and police brutality tells you that they simply tolerate the black players they played with and now coach or have coached.
Those players are simply pawns in the game for them. “How can I use them to get to where I’m tryin’ to go? I need to win as many games as possible and these brothers will help me do that.” It’s impossible to say that “We are family” when someone in your family is bein’ abused and violated, you see it, turn around and tell them that if they don’t like it to get the hell out or go find another family. C’mon bruh!! Talk to me!! You can’t love them if that’s your first response! Just because you haven’t been abused or violated doesn’t mean that they should be as happy about bein’ in the family as your are.
I’ve got crazy respect for Pop because he gets it! But he get’s it because he grew up around black folks bruh! He’s from Northwest Indiana, East Chicago specifically! Ever been there playa? It’s nothin’ but black folks and Latinos there. Guess what city sits right next to it? Well Chicago is on one side and The G is on the other!! Oh, you don’t know what the G is? It’s Gary, Indiana where it’s 99.99999 percent black and Pop played Biddy Basketball there as a child. So he understands that we experience this world differently than white folks. I just wish people would stop bein’ ignorant, coaches included, and really try to love their fellow man and their players simply tryin’ to understand what they go through in America. Stop me when I start lyin’!
1) Spit: verb – to say
2) Dun: noun – the person in question, dude, guy, etc. It’s whoever I’m talkin’ about and its non-gender specific.
3) Put it where the goats can get it: verb phrase – to make it as elementary as possible. To put it at ground level so everyone can understand it.