Marcus Smart: Black Athletic Revolt

Updated: February 16, 2014

Racism is not ended by being nice. Nice is an attitude. You could be nice to your slave. Racism is not an attitude; racism is about power. 

NORTH CAROLINA-(BASN)-In the midst of Jordan Davis murder case, where a 47 year old white male named Michael Dunn fired shots into a car killing a Black teenager allegedly over loud music in Jacksonville, Florida in broad daylight at a gas station in November 2012., I find it quite odd, especially with the anniversary OF Trayvon Martin’s death approaching, which his murderer George Zimmerman walked away a free man and was scheduled to fight in a celebrity boxing match with DMX, which was cancelled, that we could even debate  why Oklahoma State’s Michael Smart  would shove a Texas Tech fan after he allegedly being called a “Nigger,or a “piece of crap,” which he was suspended for three games.


jonsWhile many observing this incident may view it as simply being a juvenile act by Smart, we, however, must look at it as being part of the history of Black athletic revolts in sports.

It may not be on the same scale of what Tommy Smith and John Carlos did during the Olympics of 1968 or what Muhammad Ali did in refusing to fight in Vietnam but, it is still a form of resistance and a form of revolt never the less to white racism just like former Golden state Warriors Latrel Sprewell’s 1997 choking of head coach P. J. Carlesimo during practice, which resulted in a 68 games suspension.

Why? Because, on the plantation, while there were your Nat Turners, Denmark Vessels, there were also other non-celebrated names like Margaret “Mag” Palm, a conductor on the Underground Railroad, who was so notorious for helping slaves escape that on several occasions slave-owners from Maryland attempted to kidnap her and sell her into slavery to put an end to her practices. In their attempts to kidnap her, however, even with her hands tied, she would resist her oppressors by biting their thumbs off.

With that said, while looking at the incident from different angles and vantage points, metaphysically as well as spiritually, we have to consider the cultural landscape in which it occurred, especially from the framework of a new generation of young Black athletes, who may have seen three powerful films this year, which could have potentially shaped their consciousness like DJANGO, Fruitvale Station and 12 years a slave as well as the recent death of Nelson Mandela, who fought against the wicked apartheid system of South Africa, which is a policy of segregation based on the discrimination of someone’s race.

We must also include the racist stop and frisk PROGRAM, where Black and brown youth are randomly searched without cause for weapons and CONTRABAND as being an “unconscious” reason why Black youth are rebelling unapologetically to a system, which continues to disrespect them openly in the public.


This criminalized view of Smart, is not surprising, especially in a college coliseum full of Caucasians, who arrogantly go to games in order to SHOUT, YELL, CURSE, INSULT, and throw food and drinks at a court full of mostly BLACK athletes as if they were some form of “SUB-human “animals at the ZOO, who are supposed to be void of human emotions and feelings in their attempt to entertain them, which we saw erupt at the Palace of Auburn Hill which is known as the Malice in Palace, when a fan tossed a cup of soda that splashed on Ron Artest, now known as Metta World Peace, which resulted in an all out brawl where players fought fans.

charlesThe confrontation between Smart and Texas Tech fanatic Jeff Orr is no different.

Why? Because, there is a large portion of white society, who still have a racist view that Blacks are sub-human.

This racist view of BLACK ATHLETES being sub-human is well documented in the portrayal of Lebron James as KING-KONG on the April 2008 cover of Vogue Magazine as well as in the Sports Illustrated March 11 2002 cover issue of Charles Barkley pictured as a slave.

Recently, we saw this view point resurface again during Seattle Seahawks’ CB Richard Sherman’s and FOX’S Erin Andrew’s post game interview after the NFC Championship game against the 49ers, where people referred to Sherman as a thug, a nigger and a gorilla due to his emotional rant.

This harsh harassment of Black athletes, in fact, is no different than the racist chants that occur during European soccer matches, which recently brought Mario Balotelli, the star striker for the Italian soccer club AC Milan to tears during an away game at Napoli.663

Shockingly, however, when the same Black athletes get to close to this so-called racist crowd, who possess the same Mobb-violece of old, that resulted in lynching, now ends with the turning over of cars, riots and burnt down buildings in celebration of a team’s victory, they clam up in fear and terror like the cowards they really are.

We saw evidence of this being highlighted in John Singleton’s classic film Higher Learning featuring Ice CUBE AND BUSTA RHYMES.


Seriously, who is the real human in this case and throughout time, especially when you consider the so-called “white man’s” violent history, in which he slaughtered the Native Americas, enslaved Africans, exploited poor whites, placed “so-called Jews” into ovens, dropped Atomic bombs on the Vietnamese, and murdered innocent children in the “SO-CALLED” MIDDLE EAST for oil.ku-xlarge-1

As one ponders all of that death, devastation, and destruction coming out of the mind of such a beast in “human form,” how could one come to such a conclusion to think that Smart was wrong for retaliating without fear or hesitation after being disrespected in the general public?

Honestly, in a generation of warriors, which unfortunately have been misguided into gang-activity,espceially in Chicago, most of them refuse to take the crap Jackie Robinson allegedly tolerated in order to play a game of baseball and integrate Major League Baseball in 1947.

In essence, they are standing their ground to a system that has continually treated them unfairly. We, in fact, have seen this also in their recent attempts to debate the issue whether college athletes should be paid for performing. Thanks to the scandal involving Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M.


jackssIs the master-slave relationship a part of this ugly incident between an older white male and a young black teenager, which historically and mentally tells the “so-called” slave that he must take the physical and verbal abuse from his perceived superior without fighting and striking back but turn the other cheek instead?

In reflection, is this a possible reason why the “so-called knockout game” has caused such terror in the hearts of white America?

Plus, why does everyone seem to be pointing their fingers at Smart’s REACTION instead of Jeff Orr , the TEXAS TECH FAN, who sparked this confrontation by allegedly spitting the ugliness of racism from his mouth.

Orr, in my personal opinion, was only displaying a level of white male arrogance, or posturing or flexing his white male privilege, which in his mind renders him untouchable.

We saw evidence of this  last year, when Riley Cooper was captured on camera in a hate-filled rant as well as Richie Incognito’s locker room bullyinMARTINg of Jonathan Martin.

Why? Because, in both of these cases, they both felt in their HEART of heart that they could get away with their blatant disrespectful actions without any backlash.

Why? Because, this behavior, historically, is the norm within the so-called dominant culture, where they blame the victim and give symphony for the victimizer.

Case in point, notice how quickly yet nonchalantly everyone began to discuss how this incident was going to hurt Smart’s draft status or stock in the NBA DRAFT,  which I have boldly compared to a modern day version of the slave auction, which mostly BLACK athletes’ bodies are traded, branded, probed and prodded for financial gain on some plantation or team.

Therefore, if this analogy is correct, Smart’s shoving incident, in historical content, would probably be viewed by the elite slave owners, which are now the corporate CEO’s of America as an example of a “Bad field nigger” who failed to respect his master’s authority.

crackAs a result, he must be broken from his bad behavior or made an example in front of other so-called slaves, which during those times, would come in the form of a justified public beating, or whipping, usually by the hands of another Black person or a public lynching for all the world to see. Hence, here comes the cracker-man, which was a term given the Caucasian or the slave master, who made a cracking sound by whirling his whip when he came to punish the rebellious “so-called” slave.

However, the new form of discipline, especially for Black athletes, comes in the form of lost endorsements, a public lashing, usually verbally from some Black sports commentator or reporter, less playing time due to suspension, a shamefully public apology at a nationally held press conference or a first round guarantee contract ending in a 3RD ROUND selection.

slavesLet’s not forget, unbelievably, in poor taste, former Indiana Hoosiers Bob Knight, who also coached at Texas Tech, actually pulled out a bullwhip “jokingly” and pretended to whip Calbert Chaney, while calling it a “motivational device” in March of 1992.

After hearing all of this tom-foolery, most of this ill-behavior or should I say evil behavior, shockingly, was, and still is, justified by The Holy Bible in this so-called Christian land, by the Bible verse Ephesians6:9 which states:

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh with fear and trembling……

In today’s world, many people still believe this scripture to be true, especially in the deep dirty south.


Obviously, this political philosophy is an updated version of the Willie Lynch letter, which is still being practiced throughout the world on a global scale in order to keep us all in check, which is equivalent of saying Black suffering is fine as long as white domination rules.willie lynch

Or, that white denial is acceptable as far as Blacks remain silent about the injustice and ABUSE afflicted against them, while being forced to apologize when other Blacks bravely revolt even in the slightly way against the system which is oppressing them.

This is  clearly a part of the white supremacist-Black inferiority paradigm currently ruling the WORLD.


This form of plantation politics, however, is quite traumatic and creates what psychologist calls Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome, which is a theory developed by DR. Jay De-Gruy-Leary, an assistant professor of Portland State University, which often leaves a person to relive past experiences through nightmares and flashbacks, which in effect results in the person having DIFFICULTIES sleeping, irritabilities, outbursts of ANGER, exaggerated startle responses, and feelings of estrangement from others, difficulties functioning in society, which include difficulties holding jobs, marital problems and trouble parenting.

This, in effect, causes most Black people including Michael Smart to cautiously maneuver in life, in this Matrix, or the white world with a Double-Consciousness, which sadly forces most Black people to bite their tongues, KEEP THE PEACE, scratch when they don’t itch, laugh when nothing is funny, and dance when there is no music being played, while taking the physical and verbal abuse from the “so-called” white power structure in order to get a piece of this American Pie in the form of political, social, and economic gain.

As I said before in several articles, it is the game within the game, which most players lose, despite all the dunks, High-fives, and three-pointers.


With all of these scenarios , many sports commentators still see this incident as a career-killer for Smart, due to his perceived dumb response to an arrogant and some say racist fan. Others like Jalen Rose, however, in a recent episode of Grantland, felt this OUT OF BOUNDS SHOVING MATCH was only a learning OPPORTUNITY for the future NBA Star, who had been dealing with the frustration of his team losing five of its last six games, falling in The Big 12 standing due to team mates being injured, and returning to school in order to improve his jump shot instead of entering THE NBA last season, where he could have been a lottery PICK.

All of this, plus the constant criticism coming from keyboard bullies on twitter, according to Tom Izzo, potentially, could have caused any young 19 old kid to explode after being allegedly called a racial slur  after falling out of bounds in his attempt to BLOCK an opponent’s shot from behind.

“You can push a fan, but it wasn’t the right thing to do.” ROSE ADMITTED.

Rose went on to said that we have to applaud other athletes like Tom Brady, Derek Jeter and Lebron James, who have the discipline to rise above their emotions to handle situations like Smart oddly found himself in. Because discipline is what distinguished a player like Michael Jordan from being cut from the 14 guys who weresmn better than Him.

While Rose said if he was Smart At 19 years old, he would have punched the overzealous fan.

But, at 41 years old, he views the situation differently.

Plus, he feels Smart’s NBA STOCK won’t to be hurt by this melee’, because the NBA is a business of winning and making money. But, if his stock does mysteriously drop, several teams like the Indiana Pacers (Larry Bird), the Miami Heat (Pat Riley), San Antonio Spurs (Gregg Popovich) , who have great leaders in the front office and on the bench,  will happily embrace this young talent, making him into a man and a winner in the league.   

Eric D.Graham, a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, where he received a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Radio and Television and a minor in History, with an emphasis in African-American Studies,  is currently the Managing Editor  of  Black Athlete Sports Network, where his articles  appear daily along with his controversial  cartoon character Bobbee Bee “The Hater.” Graham can be reached at