Take A Knee

The SEVEN
by Mack Williams
24 September 2017

I. Current Climate

Drop this in your browser if the link doesn’t come up. This type of sentiment has become too prevalent in the age of DJT.

https://www.facebook.com/6abcNydiaHan/

II. Jemele Hill

Why is it that these people like Sarah Huckabee Sanders – and, unfortunately, my favorite team sport athlete ever, Darryl Stawberry – are more upset about Jemele Hill calling Donald Trump a white supremacist or Steph Curry not wanting to visit the White House than his behavior and statements and tweets that led them – and others, for that matter – to feel this way?

III. Mnuchin and Christie

If the truth be told, I wasn’t in agreement with the concept of Governor Chris Christie using a state helicopter to get to his son’s baseball game – but as a father and a coach, I could totally understand his desire to be there for his son. But Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s alleged request to use a government plane for his honeymoon is just on another level altogether.

That said, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. If you’re in the Cabinet and you see the Trump family using the presidency as their personal fiefdom, you probably are thinking, “let me jump in too while the water is warm.”

IV. Use It Wisely

When Floyd Mayweather said that Donald Trump was a real man by virtue of his grab her by the p-word comments, I began to wonder if perhaps Conor McGregor had hit him harder than we had thought. Maybe Floyd can use some of the $200,000,000 for some sensitivity training, or some history courses.

He might just learn that for hundreds of years white males felt empowered to grab his ancestors by their genitalia, with no repercussions. I would hope he would acknowledge that that didn’t exactly make them “real men.” And he might also learn that some men have felt empowered to treat all women less than equally and pay them less than equally throughout the entire history of this country. It certainly couldn’t hurt.

V. Cleveland

Shout out to the Cleveland Indians, who clearly didn’t make too many mistakes by the lake during their 22-game winning streak. Should they return to the World Series and win this time, it might take some of the sting off of a LeBron James departure in 2018.

VI. Melo

It would be great, as a professional athlete, to return to the city of your birth and lead that team to a championship. In New York – where the Mecca of Basketball/World’s Most Famous Arena has housed but four championship teams in the last 77 years – that would have been huge for Carmelo Anthony. Unfortunately for him, that didn’t happen, and now will not since his trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder. (As an aside, I thought he wanted to play in a media-centered locale…no disrespect to OKC. I guess playing with Russell and PG13 is good enough.)

Carmelo was obviously frustrated by the futility of the Knicks during these last few years, but even had they been good enough to squeak into the playoffs in the previous four seasons, they would have likely met up with the Cleveland Cavaliers (or, in the case of four years ago, the Miami Heat), which would have undoubtedly ended their season. The team that LeBron James has played on has won the Eastern Conference seven straight years, in part because the East is nowhere near as strong as the West. For the foreseeable future, LeBron’s team would continue to be either the favorite or among the favorites in the East, whereas if he were to go to a team in his second home of LA, his new team would just be one of many tough Western Conference teams, with no guarantee to make it out of the second round. Perhaps Cleveland fans don’t have as much to worry about as some of the media seems to think.

VII. #TakeAKnee

The flag stands for the ideals of the country. If the country is seen to be falling short in some manner, then calling attention to that is in fact patriotic, not unpatriotic. I wonder how this will be viewed now that white players have participated. Will the President call them SOBs and call for their firing as well?

Whether it’s taking a walk in 1955 or taking a knee in 2017, there will often be discomfort with the way protests around racial injustice are conducted. But if said protests are peacefully and legally conducted, I think it wise to not focus solely on the means with which you disagree but to also examine the issues that have led to these protests.

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