A SMALL ACT OF KINDNESS

By Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: May 3, 2011

OAKLAND, CA—Let the American Sports world begin to implement small acts of kindness to end the American racial divide. Let the sports world lead the way in American race relations.

The citizens of the United States state that they want to live in racial harmony but African Americans and other minorities truly question these efforts.

Small Acts of Kindness

The Election of the first Black president in 2008 was thought to be a giant step toward racial unity but the United States sadly took two steps back with the events of the past two months. The President of the United States had to show the world his birth certificate.

Eccentric businessman Donald Trump forced President Obama and his administration to show his papers. The first time the leader of the free world had to prove that he was truly an American. This is not an act of kindness. This is not respect.

This could set back American race relations if these kind of scandalous politics continue.

Citizens of the United States need to start thinking about racial acts of kindness. The Civil Rights Bill passed in 1964 but now the issues are social conciseness not legal rights that need to be enforced in 2011.

The Washington Football Club could be called number one on this list of non social reform. The Washington Football Club should rethink their existence because of the pain their name evokes with First Nation-Native American Indians. In 1932 the Boston Brave Football Club became the Boston “R-word” (Redskins) Football Club because the owner George Preston Marshall did not want his team to be confused with the Boston Braves baseball team. The team moved to Washington in 1937 with their new name. This organization became the flagship football team of the old Dixie south and harbored some of the Rebel racial attitudes. It was the last team to hire an African American player wide receiver, Bobby Mitchell who was traded by the Cleveland Browns. This was prompted by President John F. Kennedy, the District of Columbia, and the NFL executive officers. All three threated to evict the team from Washington Stadium if the club continued this practice of being the only team permitting discrimination.

The Washington Football Club can keep the majestic Indian head logo and the burgundy and gold colors. These are not the issue; it’s the team name and what that name stands for.

For those who do not know during the days of the old American west cowboys, received rewards for bring back animal that they had killed. But many times they could not bring back home the whole animal. This was do to the lack of space. prevented this so they would bring back the fur pelts, skin pelts or the head.

This practice would lead to bringing back the scalp of Indians during the Indian Wars to prove the number of kills. Remember head wounds bleed more then any other body wounds thus…., the current name of the Washington Football Club.

As a small act of kindness

The Washington Football Club should drop this name.

Washington can no longer use the excuse that it would be too expensive to change the name. In our consumer concise oriented country the Washington Football Club could make more money with their new clothing apparel and new name.

The NBA Washington Bullets franchise renamed their franchise to the Washington Wizards. Not only that they also changed their uniform colors. In respect to young men being killed in the African American community, and the city’s hand gun problem.

Small Act of Kindness

Team number two on the list, the Cleveland Indians Baseball Club. This historic baseball franchise was the first in the American League to have an African American player Larry Doby, the 2nd Black player in the Major leagues. The issue is the disrespectful logo on the cap and the left sleeve of their jerseys. Chief Wahoo, the silly grinning warrior, don the jersey of the Cleveland Indians. All Star pitcher Louis Tiant stated many times that he did not understand why the team had to have the logo. Tiant was traded to the Boston Red Sox and became one of the greatest pitchers in baseball.

This is one of the easiest implementation of change. Either remove the logo completely or replace it with the logo of the Washington Football Club, the Florida State University, or the Chicago Blackhawk Hockey Club Indian head logo. These are majestic, bold, and honorable logos that respect the First Nation-Native American Indian unlike the current silly cartoon character in Cleveland, Ohio.

Wonder why? former Cleveland Cavalier basketball star LaBron James would not wear an Indian baseball cap at a Cleveland Browns football game. It was a silent protest of Chief Wahoo.

It seems like this team knows that Chief Wahoo is not a respectful mascot because when they moved from Cleveland Municipal Stadium in 1994 to Jacobs Field now Progressive Park they removed the logo on the cap with a script C that season. In 1996 Chief Wahoo returned. This year the Cleveland Indians organization have gotten smart. On road games the Indians wear the block C cap because fans are beginning to protest Chief Wahoo wherever they play.

In 2008 then Senator Barack Obama made a speech about this issue In his historic speech on race, Sen. Barack Obama raised two important truths: America is stuck in a racial stalemate based on profound misunderstanding, and we cannot ignore these wounds “if we are to continue on the path to a more perfect union.”

Charlene Teters makes it clear.

Cleveland is the home of the most offensive racial icon in the country,” Charlene Teters, an artist and founding board member of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media, said during a demonstration outside Progressive Field on Opening Day Monday. “Don’t insult my intelligence telling me this honors me. . . . It is ‘Little Red Sambo.’”

The Cleveland Indians can keep their history but retire Chief Wahoo forever.

A Small Act of Kindness

The Atlanta Braves have taken this small step by removing most of their First Nation-Native America Indian references in 2009 and few Americans notice. So the Braves have sent a message to other professional sports teams that it can be done without fanfare or fuss.

There is another issue, the Atlanta Braves organization has to investigate or address the now famous Tomahawk Chop and misused the Indian War chant with drum beat during Atlanta Braves rallies. This is also the same hand motion and chants the Kansas City Chiefs, Florida State University Seminoles, and the University Of Illinois @ Champagne-Urbana Fighting Illini. used at their games.

The Northwest Missouri State Bearcats have been the catalyst for the music behind the chop in the 1980′s.

The University of Illinois retired Chief Illini their mascot after a long protracted battle and many tears four years ago.

The tomahawk chop is a white man’s idea of an Indian chant, complete with the hatchet-like object us white folk call a tomahawk, brandished in a way us white folk feel an Indian would do such a thing when going to war. or doing whatever us white folk think an Indian might be doing. Whether the Indians ever did anything approximating this is open to debate, but, as we shall see, who the hell cares anyway?

There is something about the chop and chant that is particularly powerful. If the Indians actually did something similar to what is now heard in Atlanta, it was undoubtedly used as some kind of communal motivation device, just as the honky baseball fans now use it. Its sound has a narcotic-like effect, like a song you can’t stand but can’t stop humming. The whole thing, spurred on by the success of the club, caught on, and a mantra-like addiction took hold of the masses.”

The Atlanta Braves, Florida State University, University of Ill. and the football Kansas City Chiefs need to retire the chop and the chant for racial harmony.

A Small Act of Kindness

Major League Baseball should retire the number 21 just as they have retired the number 42 for Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson’s entrance into the league breaking the color barrier.

Roberto Clemente, the great left fielder for the World Champion Pittsburg Pirates was a shinning symbol to most Latino baseball players and a hero. MLB should do the right thing.

A Small Act of Kindness

Even in hockey there is a racial backlash. There were 27 Black players in the NHL this year the highest number in the 85 year league history. Some fans were not happy and not respectful to these players of color.

According to tradition every player gets to raise the cup over his head on the ice after the series victory and before the awards are given out. The Chicago Blackhawks won Lord Stanley’s Cup last year in Philadelphia. Black star Dustin Byfuglien received The Cup then a chorus of boos cascaded down on the Philadelphia Comcast hockey rink. Remember the Philadelphia crowd had been polite until then.

This year the Boston Bruins played the Montreal Canadiens in game 6 of the NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Every time defensive star P.K. Subban touched the puck loud boos could be heard. No other Canadian player received this rude behavior. It is o.k to root for your home team, even boo the opponent when he makes a great play but to boo him throughout the entire game is immature. Subban who happens to be Black got the last laugh and silenced the Boston crowd as he scored the tying goal sending the game into overtime. It was very interesting the Boston crowd did not boo Subban in the overtime as he made the Bruin faithful wait another period for a series victory.

These two great hockey players had too suffer indignities only because of the color of their skin not because of poor hockey skills.

Both Byfuglien and Subban will make the NHL All Star team again. Both should be respected as highly skilled players but all of that gets lost because some fans still see color.

Small Act of Kindness

Hockey fans should enjoy the improvement of the game with the infusion of many talented Black and minority players. The game will change just as basketball, baseball, and football changed.

It has to start somewhere this small act of kindness.

Thanks for the quotes from the articles of David Briggs and

Jarome Grapel – Baseball and the Tomahawk Chop

Post Script:-

If these teams do not make an assertive effort to change

then it is time for the American Public to economically

boycott or picket the product on the field through their advertisers.

This Means not buying team apparel and advertisers products.

Writing to these advertisers please state the reasons.

When you write to the Washington team please

address it in this manner to make a

point that you do not appreciate the name:

The Washington Football Club

Washington Redskins 21300 Redskin Park Drive Ashburn, VA., 20147

The Cleveland Indians Baseball Club

Progressive Field 2401 Ontario Street Cleveland, OH. 44115

Comcast Corporation 1500 Market Street Philadelphia, PA., 19102

Versus Television Network

One Comcast Center

Philadelphia, Penna, 19103

©

Copyrighted 2011@ Gary Norris Gray- Gray Leopard Prod.