The story of the 2020 sports-strike-wave-against-racism is already one of both inspiration and cooptation. To have any sense of where this story might go, we need to understand why it detonated in the first place.
The wave of strikes by athletes against racist police violence is not ebbing. On Thursday night, the New York Mets and Miami Marlins took the field, held a 42-second moment of silence (in honor of Jackie Robinson), and then walked off. They left behind a shirt that read “Black Lives Matter” on home plate.
When political resistance erupted throughout the country after Trump’s election, professional athletes were hardly expected to be catalysts for social change, or even on the front lines of protest. Back in the 1960s individual athletes expressed dissent – U.S. sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith gave the All Power to the People salute from the 1968 Olympic podium in Mexico City. Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali rejected the draft because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. They paid a heavy price.
Little doubt remains that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed by the National Football League for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police violence against Black people and other people of color. Many quarterbacks with less impressive records have been signed, but Kaepernick still doesn’t have a job. KPFA’s Ann Garrison filed this report.
On the weekend that marked the one year anniversary of the police killing of Michael Brown, there was another disturbingly similar case making the social media rounds: another unarmed young black man shot dead, another police officer on administrative leave holding the smoking gun, another rush to convict the dead. But there was one difference.
When Andre Ward stood on the ropes and raised his arms in victory after demolishing Chad Dawson, I was reminded of a similar scene when a young Cassius Clay stood next to the ropes with a raised fist after demolishing “Big Bear” Sonny Liston, and said: “I shook up the world. I’m the greatest.” Both tend to beat their opponents psychologically before they get into the ring.
Long before Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield held a professional boxing title, he was considered a beast in the streets of San Francisco – because of his hands. Eight years after retiring as a street fighter, this professional boxer has risen to superstardom.
As pro- and anti-government forces battle for supremacy in the cities and deserts of Libya in North Africa, the tenor and tone of U.S./Western reporting puts the lie to the often heard claim of journalistic objectivity.
If the "unprofessional" behavior by Jets players had happened to anyone other than Ines Sainz, who markets herself on her looks and sexuality, perhaps aspects of this story would be worth investigating. But because it is Ines Sainz we’re talking about, consider the possibility Sainz is nothing more than an agent provocateur, a bomb thrower if you will.