A Bad Sign Of The Times

By Desi Cortez
Updated: December 3, 2007
DENVER — Whenever I pound-out my thoughts, hammer and chisel them into a column, I tight-rope that fine-line dividing sports — from the so-called “real” world.

I battle to focus on the sports angle of the story, while including, what I deem essential elements pulled from the political and economical issues which share the national headlines.

What would make a wordsmith’s day? A deuce-ace; TO, LT and Randy Moss on a stage supporting Obama or Hillary. Or maybe try at the forefront of a protest against the occupation of Iraq, or, speaking out about Mississippi Neck-ties popping-up everywhere.

Imagine Reggie Bush in-front of congress testifying to how the Big Easy has been ignored and abandoned by a White House which does not like Black people.

Envision Michael Strahan or Chad Johnson testifying in front of Senators about the devastating foreclosure crisis impacting their families and friends back on the urban reservations they’ve escaped.

This wet dream of mine, requires a wide assortment of Afro-American athletes develop the typical Tuskegee Institutes’s freshman level of “intellectual curiosity” in the bigger and broader world outside of sports. You know, the boiling ball of confusion blowing up all-around them.
Nobody’s serious, and it makes me furious.

Today’s young-bloods, who’re so into retro –1960 this, 1970 that — ought to go put on the Temptations 1968 hit, Ball of Confusion… 2008 is starting to look and sound a lot like yesteryear.

Well, the only person talking about love thy brother is the preacher And it seems nobodies interested in learning but the teacher Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration Aggravation, humiliation, obligation to our nation

Still, for athletes to decipher, recognize this world is on-fire, they’d have to read a newspaper, go to a News website — catch a little CNN at the very least. And any attempt at enlightenment would have to be propelled by an interest in national or global affairs, politics, history, economics.

//<![CDATA[ nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>This edification and sophistication is possible, hell expected – considering these ex-scholar/athletes spent how many years in high school and college classrooms? u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>One would think, hell, hope – more than a few might have had to of developed interest beyond the evolution of the 1964 Chevy Impala or the early history of East Coast Rap?u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>I'd better not hold my breath uh? u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>You do know, current players have came forward, showed up at Republican fund-raises for Big George W. and little Dick Cheney; allowing their stature, visibility and influence to be pimped, to woo fat-cat sponsors willing to drop a few grand – to have hamburgers and hot dogs with John Elway…… nu003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>"Who", "what" is  responsible for creating players who're indifferent or ignorant of the volatile times we live in? Of course, racism, sexism  and classism play a significant role, but my generation of Black men, we've failed, so very obviously – to raise up more enlighten, knowledgeable offspring.nu003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>We've created a generation composed of far to-many rudderless, under-educated lost Black man-cubs. Professional sports merely serve as a graphic, traumatic, dramatic highly defined techni-color illustration of our failure to prepare them to prosper in life… nu003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>Far too many rumble, stumble, tumble and fumble thur life, and millions of dollars…. without a clue as to what their responsibilities and obligations are to Marion Montley and Dick "Night-Train" Lane for doing the heavy lifting, nu003ci>never-mind u003c/i>what they owe Malcolm, Martin, Garvey, DuBois, Huey P and Fredrick Douglass. u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>So waiting for the Black sportsmen's awakening, is akin to waiting for the RMS Titanic to dock…it ain't gonna happen. u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>Only god knows when we're going to see Donovan McNabb or Frank Gore sharing a national stage with Al Gore, lending their name, the game, the glitter and gleam….to something more then the product endorsements that fatten some already ridiculously deep pockets.n”,1] ); //–> //]]>

This edification and sophistication is possible, hell expected — considering these ex-scholar/athletes spent how many years in high school and college classrooms?

One would think, hell, hope — more than a few might have had to of developed interest beyond the evolution of the 1964 Chevy Impala or the early history of East Coast Rap?

I’d better not hold my breath uh?

You do know, current players have came forward, showed up at Republican fund-raises for Big George W. and little Dick Cheney; allowing their stature, visibility and influence to be pimped, to woo fat-cat sponsors willing to drop a few grand – to have hamburgers and hot dogs with John Elway……

“Who”, “what” is responsible for creating players who’re indifferent or ignorant of the volatile times we live in? Of course, racism, sexism and classism play a significant role, but my generation of Black men, we’ve failed, so very obviously — to raise up more enlighten, knowledgeable offspring.
We’ve created a generation composed of far to-many rudderless, under-educated lost Black man-cubs. Professional sports merely serve as a graphic, traumatic, dramatic highly defined techni-color illustration of our failure to prepare them to prosper in life…

Far too many rumble, stumble, tumble and fumble thur life, and millions of dollars…. without a clue as to what their responsibilities and obligations are to Marion Motley and Dick “Night-Train” Lane for doing the heavy lifting, never-mind what they owe Malcolm, Martin, Garvey, DuBois, Huey P. and Fredrick Douglass.

So waiting for the Black sportsmen’s awakening, is akin to waiting for the RMS Titanic to dock…it ain’t gonna happen.

Only god knows when we’re going to see Donovan McNabb or Frank Gore sharing a national stage with Al Gore, lending their name, the game, the glitter and gleam….to something more then the product endorsements that fatten some already ridiculously deep pockets.

//<![CDATA[ nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>To add insult to injury; what ignites a flame under my ass? I don't believe the marquee stars have restraints drawn into their contracts forbidding them from supporting political and social causes. u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>Certainly they can't hold fund-raises in their uniforms, but they can function as private, off-the-field private individuals. u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>So if I understand this perplexing situation – the silence, apathy, unconcern we see in NFL locker-rooms was not brought about by the conservative Caucasian owner demanding a club full of mindless pawns. u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>Tragically, the Black player is simply uninterested in using their visibility, pull, clout…power – in the political and social manner in-which Jackie Robinson did, or Jim Brown, Rill Russell, Ali or Sir Arthur Ash….. nu003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>Where-o-where has Arthur Ash gone? u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>u003ci>nu003cdiv>Evolution, revolution, gun control, sound of soulu003cbr>Shooting rockets to the moon, kids growing up too soonu003cbr>Politicians say more taxes, will solve everything!u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>u003c/i>nu003cdiv>Today's Ebony Mandingo gladiator sees few ills nor woes in this world – he's willing to risk his platinum dipped, titanium tipped tattooed ass for.u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>He has overcome….overcame even, and overdoing it trying to get rich, or die trying….u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>These brothers won't even employ their collective power to send a message to Goodell and the NFL'S aristocratic owners round-table concerning the lack of Afro-American head coaches. Naw, these dudes aren't going to do that, they refuse to acknowledge, screw address or deal with conflicts within the sport they play.nu003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>Pigs will fly first, before players consider a Boycott of a single pre-season game – a labor stoppage, until the league takes down the "No Niggers" sign off the head coaches office. u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>Fo' real! Doesn't today's Black Player visibly see the owners are constantly struggling to tone- down all the ethnic celebrations and expressions on the field. They fear the "color" which might overtake the game if they didn't impose Bart Star or Ol' Hightops' Johnny U standards of individual expression.n”,1] ); //–> //]]>

To add insult to injury; what ignites a flame under my ass? I don’t believe the marquee stars have restraints drawn into their contracts forbidding them from supporting political and social causes.

Certainly they can’t hold fund-raises in their uniforms, but they can function as private, off-the-field private individuals.

So if I understand this perplexing situation — the silence, apathy, unconcern we see in NFL locker-rooms was not brought about by the conservative Caucasian owner demanding a club full of mindless pawns.
Tragically, the Black player is simply uninterested in using their visibility, pull, clout…power – in the political and social manner in-which Jackie Robinson did, or Jim Brown, Rill Russell, Ali or Sir Arthur Ash…..
Where, oh where has Arthur Ashe gone?

Evolution, revolution, gun control, sound of soul Shooting rockets to the moon, kids growing up too soon Politicians say more taxes, will solve everything!

Today’s Ebony Mandingo gladiator sees few ills nor woes in this world – he’s willing to risk his platinum dipped, titanium tipped tattooed ass for.
He has overcome….overcame even, and overdoing it trying to get rich, or die trying….

These brothers won’t even employ their collective power to send a message to Goodell and the NFL’s aristocratic owners round-table concerning the lack of Afro-American head coaches. Naw, these dudes aren’t going to do that, they refuse to acknowledge, screw address or deal with conflicts within the sport they play.

Pigs will fly first, before players consider a Boycott of a single pre-season game — a labor stoppage, until the league takes down the “No Niggers” sign off the head coaches office.

Fo’ real! Doesn’t today’s Black Player visibly see the owners are constantly struggling to tone- down all the ethnic celebrations and expressions on the field. They fear the “color” which might overtake the game if they didn’t impose Bart Starr or Ol’ Hightops’ Johnny U standards of individual expression.

//<![CDATA[ nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>History tells us, White America likes it Negroes docile, politically illiterate, ala – Joe Louis/ Floyd Patterson/OJ/ Flag-waving George Foreman, Tim Duncan, David Robertson, Jordan, Tiger u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>This generation of Black players, they drink from the well, but did not a damn thing to help dig it…..u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>If Black players aren't willing to speak-out about the deaf ear and blind eye the NFL brain trust u003c/div>nu003cdiv>turns on Blacks seeking the helm. If they refuse to comment on the lack of Blacks in team's front offices, and black journalist and broadcasters involvement in the radio, Internet and print side of reporting the game, then it must be absurd to expect them to speak out about the grim, pressing issues being discussed around the Big-Table during this holiday season. nu003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>u003ci>nu003cdiv>Eve of destruction, tax deduction, city inspectors, bill collectorsu003cbr>Mod clothes in demand, population out of hand, suicide, too many billsu003cbr>Hippies moving to the hillsu003cbr>People all over the world are shouting, "End the war" nu003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>u003c/i>nu003cdiv>Right now, for the average NFL player, apparently, apparently, life ain't nothing but bitches and money…. When will these cats stand up and be counted…?. u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>When? When that Ivy-league cheerleader in the White House bombs Iran, then a military draft becomes mandatory. Then my friend, it will be on, like popcorn. u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>When VP Dick Cheney pulls draft-card #81, and TO and Moss are forced to switch uniforms – we're going to see a coming-to Tommy Smith and John Carlos. NFL stadiums – instantly will start to look like the Mexico City Olympics of 68'. nu003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>All of a sudden, like Ronnie Lott blind-siding you – baaamm, many of these lost, confused, mislead and lead-a-stray young Black men are going to see Angela Davis in the black light. And, on a Sunday night – beneath the lights, they'll done Black gloves, raise their fist high to the sky, when Uncle Sam pulls their draft-card number. n”,1] ); //–> //]]>

History tells us, White America likes it Negroes docile, politically illiterate, ala — Joe Louis/ Floyd Patterson/O.J./ Flag-waving George Foreman, Tim Duncan, David Robertson, Jordan, Tiger
This generation of Black players, they drink from the well, but did not a damn thing to help dig it…..

If Black players aren’t willing to speak-out about the deaf ear and blind eye the NFL brain trust turns on Blacks seeking the helm. If they refuse to comment on the lack of Blacks in team’s front offices, and black journalist and broadcasters involvement in the radio, Internet and print side of reporting the game, then it must be absurd to expect them to speak out about the grim, pressing issues being discussed around the Big-Table during this holiday season.

Eve of destruction, tax deduction, city inspectors, bill collectors Mod clothes in demand, population out of hand, suicide, too many bills Hippies moving to the hills People all over the world are shouting, “End the war”

Right now, for the average NFL player, apparently, apparently, life ain’t nothing but bitches and money…. When will these cats stand up and be counted…?.

When? When that Ivy-league cheerleader in the White House bombs Iran, then a military draft becomes mandatory. Then my friend, it will be on, like popcorn.

When VP Dick Cheney pulls draft-card No. 81, and TO and Moss are forced to switch uniforms — we’re going to see a coming-to Tommy Smith and John Carlos. NFL stadiums — instantly will start to look like the Mexico City Olympics of 68′.

All of a sudden, like Ronnie Lott blind-siding you – baaamm, many of these lost, confused, mislead and lead-a-stray young Black men are going to see Angela Davis in the black light. And, on a Sunday night – beneath the lights, they’ll done Black gloves, raise their fist high to the sky, when Uncle Sam pulls their draft-card number.

//<![CDATA[ nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>When Jason Campbell or Clinton Portis are summoned to the Arabian Desert, they'll understand Muhammad Ali's position in 1967 – then they too – will become defiant.u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>Why must it come to that? If Adrian Peterson is being shipped off to Tehran then, my boy, and perhaps your son, is going right along with him.u003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>nu003cdiv>No, my son will be going to Montreal or Vancouver, The men in my family, they've risk their lives for America already, a few times, and we're left with a question my father, his father nor his father, nor myself can answer; "How does my country feel about me, and, how do I feel about my country…."nu003c/div>nu003cdiv> u003c/div>u003ci>nu003cdiv>And the band played on.u003c/div>u003c/i>n”,0] ); D(["ce"]); //–> //]]>

When Jason Campbell or Clinton Portis are summoned to the Arabian Desert, they’ll understand Muhammad Ali’s position in 1967 — then they too — will become defiant.

Why must it come to that? If Adrian Peterson is being shipped off to Tehran then, my boy, and perhaps your son, is going right along with him.
No, my son will be going to Montreal or Vancouver, The men in my family, they’ve risk their lives for America already, a few times, and we’re left with a question my father, his father nor his father, nor myself can answer; “How does my country feel about me, and, how do I feel about my country….”

And the band played on.