Henri Frederic Amiel, the 19th century Swiss philosopher, once said, “There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self.” Jackie Robinson gave it to us like this, “I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.” Then the big homie, Albert Einstein, spit that fire when he said, “Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized.”
Well playas…here’s the problem! Boyz out here not only respect Michael Jordan but they idolize him for all of the wrong reasons. Ole boy is the most powerful and influential person in the history of sports because of his resume and the Jordan Brand which should be respected because he’s earned it. However, he’s never used that power to do anything but play basketball and sell shoes. If life were only played on the court I wouldn’t have a problem with him bein’ a national hero. Unfortunately, life goes well beyond the game of basketball.
Over the past month boyz have been up in arms about Colin Kaepernick not standin’ for the National Anthem and he’s gives a legitimate reason for his not standin’ bruh! But everybody and their baby’s momma’s momma, Ms. Jackson, is fired up about. Like I wrote in the Hot Joint entitled “Shameful” that many prominent black athletes went as far as to diss Kaep for his protest. Duns like ole dull Jerry Rice, Shaq, Rodney Harrison and Ray Lewis at the very least had an opinion on it. However, as usual, Michael Jeffery Jordan has his head stuck off in the sand somewhere. Not a peep bruh!!
Let’s keep it real or all the way 100, whichever comes 1st! Jordan came into the league in 1984 and you’ve NEVER seen him take a stance on any issue whether civil or social because all that he has ever been concerned about is his freakin’ brand and robbin’ boyz in the ghetto for sneakers. Now granted he did pull a sucka move a last month when the Dallas police officers were killed he made a statement through a publicist and said, “As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.” He goes on to say, “We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers – who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all – are respected and supported.”
He then tells goes on to donate $1 million each to The Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Done!! He’s got nothin’ else to say. Now I’m not askin’ a boy to pick sides because you’d be ignorant to even try. The lives of the police officers are just as important as the people that some of these duns are out here killin’. However, by donatin’ bread to both causes was like cuttin’ the baby in half. And he showed up 32 years too late.
As a African-American he has an obligation to be a leader for change both on and off of the court because of his influence. Why? Because he’s standin’ on the shoulders of those that came before him. It’s not often that black athletes possess the economic power that he did as a player and now as an owner. He’s worth over a billion dollars bruh and with that comes power and influence not just in the black community but all over the world.
Boyz like Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Muhammad Ali put their careers on the line daily by supportin’ the civil rights movement and other social issues in this country. People hated Ali until he was unable to speak and he just died a national hero. This dun stood up to the government in protest of the draft and the Vietnam war etc. Brown founded the Amer-I-can program in 1988 to help young African-American males transition out of the gang life and prisons in L.A. and Cleveland. Kareem was very active in the civil rights movement in the late 1960’s. All of which made them hated people in America. So what Colin Kaepernick is doin’ to runnin’ with the torch handed to him by the old heads that have run as far as they can with it.
The problem is, when Ali, Jabbar and Jim Brown ran their leg of the race the duns in the 1980’s, ’90’s and early 2000’s didn’t take the baton. They left it on the track and it wasn’t until boyz like LeBron, Melo, D. Wade and cats like Kaepernick decided to finish runnin’ the race.
Jordan was given the opportunity to make the impact that he has on popular culture, hip hop and the shoe game as a result of the efforts of the cats that came before him. So he’s obligated to pull the next generation of not only black athletes up but all athletes because the American sports landscape is so diverse now.
These young thunder cats in today’s game are steppin’ up and at least speakin’ out on the injustice in America. We’ve seen cats like D. Rose, LeBron, D. Wade, the five wide receivers from the St. Louis Rams with their hands up etc. wearin’ hoodies and t-shirts “I Can’t Breathe” in support of those that have died in these streets at the hands of the police or “so-called” police. We even saw Cardale Jones, a freakin’ college quarterback at the time, use his power of influence to at least make a statement about the injustice surroundin’ that Sandra Bland foolishness. But for more than 32 years all we’ve EVER gotten from Jordan was a jumper, a slam dunk, a tongue wag, some darn shoes and a letter from a publicist! And that’s the edited version. And over the past 5 or 6 years he hasn’t given a boy a new pair of shoes. He’s got these cats so twisted that he keeps sellin’ you the same joints and tellin’ you it’s a Retro IV, V or MXIII or whatever he thinks you’ll stand in line for.
It’s not just about playin’ your particular sport and makin’ money. It’s about bein’ an influence for change and helpin’ our youth progress. On some real talk, our kids are sufferin’ the most. I put Jordan in the same category as Michael Jackson when it comes to our community. Yeah, he was a huge philanthropist around the world but he never gave two dead flies smashed about the “G” (Gary, In.).
I grew up just four blocks from 2300 Jackson Street playa. Mike traveled all over the world spreadin’ hope and joy and never once spoke to kids from his own neighborhood or donated a dime to the schools or music departments at the crib. Mike was the biggest enterainer in the world and we NEVER layed eyes on that dun back in the hood. That’s Jordan bruh!
Jim Brown has called both Jordan and Tiger out on several occasions because they continue to stick their heads in the sand on social issues. For those that don’t understand why he needs to step his game up let me put it where the goats can get it. God doesn’t bless you just for you. He gives you an abundance so that your overflow will spill over to help those that are standin’ underneath you. All Jordan wanted to do is make money, play ball and sell shoes. So anything that jeopardizes that is taboo to him. I’m not askin’ for him to donate a million dollars. I’m askin’ him to be seen and use his influence to encourage kids that look like him. Open his darn mouth and say something when he sees this racial injustice takin’ place. Be a human being for a change. Have an opinion one way or another bruh. Use your influence for more than just sellin’ shoes for once in your life.
I did a Hot Joint some years ago entitled “The Jordan Effect” on how Mike completely changed the sports marketin’ game and how that has allowed other players to prosper off of the court. However, that doesn’t do anything for the kids in the hood dreamin’ of gettin’ out. As products of the black community we all have an obligation to reach back and help or encourage others to become great and in my opinion Mike hasn’t done that. And yes playboy, I’m in the hood at some school all of the time speakin’ to the young homies and I’m nobody but a dun from the “G” that cares about kids that look like me. Mike’s got all of the power and influence and all he’s gonna do is sell them some freakin’ shoes!
I’ve got the utmost respect for Colin Kaepernick because he’s put his reputation on the line for a cause bigger than himself. Where ‘s Mike? I’ll tell you where he was, playin’ ostrich with his head in the sand next to Tiger Woods. Why? Because in his mind bad cops buys shoes too. Stop me when I start lyin’!
1) Spit: verb – to say
2) Fire: noun – important information
3) Dun: noun – the person in question, dude, guy, girl, etc. It’s whoever I’m talkin’ about.
The caption under the photo isn’t real but its REAL talk!