Hating Black Athletes: Part One

By Gary Norris Gray, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: October 12, 2010

CALIFORNIA (BASN) — Once again, another vain attempt has been made on prominent African American athletes.

The ultimate goal is to silence their political and social voices, to put a muzzle on the athlete that speaks out on causes and on those that strive for justice and racial equality.

The only purpose to release this list is to keep the fires burning, to keep throwing rocks, to keep the racial tensions high. This list is another ugly statement on how far we have to go in American society.

Racism has slowly raised its ugly head in the once sacred world of sports.

This continuous attack on African American male athletes. The recent parade of misinformation is being led by The Four Letter Network.

Unfortunately other sports networks and magazines are following the pied piper of Bristol, Conn. with this silly and non-informational list. This attack has spanned the test of time and love hate relationship between fans and players in the sports world.

At the turn of the century (1908-1915), heavyweight champion of the world Jack Johnson was one of the first African American boxing champions. The “Galveston Giant”, a big, dark Black man, flaunted his abilities to deck (knockdown) any man — Black or white.

Johnson had to leave the country to have a match with a white boxer; he beat Canadian Tommy Burns in Australia. Then in 1910 he fought older ex-champion Jim Jefferies who wanted to win the title back for the people of the United States. What? Johnson was not an American?

The “Fight of the Century” sparked race riots all over the country. Police in 25 cities beat up and arrested Black boxing fans who were just celebrating Johnson’s victory over Jeffries.

This was the first historical documentation of white rage over a black athlete.

Johnson was put in jail after he was arrested for having sex with his legally married wife when he crossed state lines. Under the Mann Act “Transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes”.

At that time this act was a felony. Johnson would have been the first man to stand on top of this list as the most hated athlete in America.

Sports dissidents kept their distance from the Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown of the Cleveland Browns in the early 1960’s.

Americans have always loved the strong silent type except when it is a man of color. That is a man America fears most because they do not know what he is thinking, or what he will do.

Jim Brown is the strong silent type. However, Brown has continued to uplift troubled African American men and Black men in inner city gangs with his Amer-I-Can Foundation. Brown does not give up or give in to anybody.

He should be praised for his work with young African American males. Not so, but in fact Brown is continually ignored by the American mainstream media. Any good story about an African American man helping others is no good news to the mainstream;it won’t sell on American Television and it won’t get ratings.

You’re not going to see this story on “The Mouse” (ESPN). He would have been the second man standing on top of the list of the most hated athlete in America.

Remember Muhammad Ali in the 1960’s who was another heavyweight champion of the world when he drew the ire of from the American public. Ali (aka Cassius Clay) refused to go into the Army after being drafted by the United States government.

He stated he “had no quarrels with the Viet Cong”, and “No Vietnamese ever called me Nigger.” Ali became the most hated man in America in 1967. Ali kept insisting that America should stand for racial equality – and freedom of religion.

Now his voice is silent because of his disability and America has turned 360 degrees falling in love with his ideals because Ali is no longer a political threat.The “Greatest” would have been the third Black male on top of this now famous list.

In the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico, two men wanted to tell the world about the plight of African Americans in the U.S.. Sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos won silver and gold in the 200 meter race.

As they stood on the podium wearing black socks without shoes, this symbol stood for all poor African Americans. They each had a black glove. As the National Anthem was being played, Carlos and Smith raised their fist into the Mexican air in a Black Power salute.

They were sent home by the American Olympic Committee the next day. Carlos and Smith would share the top spot for the fourth Black males on top of this list.

America would have put Venus and Serena Williams on this list but they have committed only one transgression and Serena was fined heavily for it.

The American anger was absent and not as severe so they gave the Williams sisters a pass, THIS TIME.

It also seems that the American society does not play mind games with African American women as much as Black men. The goal seems to be to undermine the African American family unit by dividing and criticizing men.

Speaking about gender and racial equity under the law, let’s talk about Diana Taurasi, point guard of the Phoenix Mercury. Last summer she was pulled over by the Arizona State police for driving under the influence of alcohol.

She was not arrested, her car was not taken away from her, she was not even given a ticket. Taurasi was given a warning and sent on her way. Let one of the Williams sisters be involved in a stunt like this and it would be national news and they would be under arrest for drunk driving.

The famous Black leader Malcolm X stated many times, “Seek the truth and it will set you free”. Many African-American Athletes are lost because they are trying to fit into a system that does not want them.

If the Black athlete have their own ideas, or style of practice, or if they are an independent thinker, the player immediately will be categorized as trouble maker and not innovator. This is a very quick way of getting on the top ten most hated athletes list.

With this recent release of this list, the droning drum beat of trying to dismantle and discredit African American male athletes continues.

Just as in politics the racial overtones with new Tea Party in America a.k.a. The new Ku Klux Klan and the GOP — President Obama’s battle in Washington D.C.

Think about this, the longer and louder you speak about a subject the more individuals will listen and believe. Keep stating the sky is green, repeatedly and one would believe the sky is truly green. The information disseminated could be totally false, misleading or just a diversion.

And yet, it continues with the top ten most hated athletes list.

NEXT: Hatred and jealousy in a dangerous mix.