by Pat Freeman
Immediately following the not guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin Murder case many athletes quickly tweeted their frustrations but by the next day almost all of them were apologizing for allowing their emotions to get the best of them. Unlike Bill Russell, Jim Brown, Kareem Jabbar, Muhammad Ali and many other of the great athletes of the sixties who got together as a group to decide how to use their star power to help advanced the civil rights movement. The modern athlete is controlled by their sponsors, and the policies of their respective leagues. Most of them frown on progressive involvement of their high paid servants. Each athlete in the modern era tries to make as much economically as they can during their athletic tenure. Truly I do not blame them for reaping the benefits of their talent but there has been a major price that has been paid because you have been afforded the right of these luxuries. You can no longer use your God given Star power to express your self freely on behalf of your own people. Yes I concur with New York Times journalist William Rhoden that the modern Black athlete is nothing more than a 40 million dollar group of slaves controlled by big industry that has to protect their brand at all cost.
The tragedy of Trayvon Martin’s murder case against vigilante George Zimmerman was a perfect opportunity for the Dwayne Wade’s, Lebron James, and etc. who have made millions of dollars off the young Trayvon’s who wear their jerseys ,and play their video games to make a joint statement against the impartial treatment of Black Males by the criminal justice system. It would have been the perfect time for them to say that until the stand your ground laws in all states are repealed.
I will not play one game in any state that has stand your ground laws on their books including the state of Florida . Tell me how many of the Billionaire owners would start making calls to elected officials about their immediate repeal because I’m about to lose a lot of money? How many of the top shoe companies would begin to panic? What about the video game companies that synchronize their release dates based on the beginning of a particular sports season?
In closing the modern athlete may have more financial opportunities but few are allowed to exercise their moral responsibility to fight for justice here in America .
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