Inside Conditions…Skin Game

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I have come to respect mostly every sport, even the ones that I don’t like and have little or no interest in.

As I viewed the 2014 Winter Olympics in Socchi, Russia I felt a sense of pride seeing the smiles and competitive spirit of the “little ones” (many are still adolescents) displayed right before me.  The young athletes hailing from “these” United States of America, just like all of their colleagues from across the globe sacrifice time, money, blood, sweat and tears just for a chance to stand on the podium listening to their national anthems being played while watching with tear stained eyes as their flags are raised in triumph. However there is a monumental difference as to the social and economic treatment of most of the athletes once the competition has concluded and they have returned to their native lands.

Once they return home, the athletes from Switzerland, Norway, Austria, Finland, Russia, or any other European nation more than likely don’t have to fear losing their lives, if they play their music a bit loud, or if they reach into their pocket or fret about being followed and murdered if they put on a “hoodie” before they embark on a journey to the store to buy a bag of Skittles and a soda.

No the European “soldiers of sport” will return home worshipped as heroes with their exploits forever etched in the collective, history and memory of the country.

Now folks get this.  There was once a rock group that was popular, very popular.  The name of the group was Twisted Sister. A few days ago I was going over a few “web based” sports news reports and stories in the wake of the thrashing that the Seattle Seahawks put on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.  I ran across an article that featured the rant of a real life twisted sister.

The article featured a photo of Seattle cornerback Richard “Sherman tank” Sherman proudly posing with the Lombardi Trophy.  I instantly thought, “oh no Rich, no more boasting and telling the truth;  haven’t you learned anything yet?” However, as I read the article that accompanied the picture I realized that the photo was Sherman’s response to a nasty and insidious tweet that he had received.

In this day and age tweets might as well be sheets because anonymous tweets are nothing more than electronic smoke screens and cross burnings for the cowardly carriers of racist communiqués.

The tweet that I am referring to is a quote taken from an article written by Connor Hutyler from a supposedly yardbarker.com “humor” based article. Mr. Hutyler writes, “Seattle Seahawks All-Pro Cornerback Richard Sherman is one of the most polarizing figures in professional sports. People either love him or hate him, and the people who fall into the latter category are probably pretty upset now that Sherman can add ‘World Champion’ to his résumé.”

I’m sure many people are constantly tweeting awful things at Richard Sherman, but one hate tweet in particular caught Sherman’s eye.  Rather than stooping to the level of a user known as @SnBEternall on Twitter who tweeted, “Seattle beat Denver, but you contributed nothing and got carted off with an injury and even worst that I can’t print. Sherman simply replied with a nice picture of him holding the Lombardi Trophy. The ultimate “Scoreboard!” move from the Stanford grad. You’ve got to love it.

People love him or hate him, wonder who the haters are? If someone had authored such a caustic and personal attack against Peyton Manning, Wes Welker, Tom Brady or any other of the NFL’s marquee players it probably would have never been published. There was nothing even remotely funny about the tweet.

Why do insecure, non talented, apple pie loving, Ford truck driving, tea party card carrying, red blooded American males think because of their genealogy that they have a right to use every available breath and platform to attack and devour Black men in life in general but particularly in sports.

How many times has the “work ethic” of Black Athletes been questioned?

Don’t get me wrong, boys and girls. I will almost certainly despise anyone who dispenses information wherever, regardless of color, gender or age that they may be based on the “race card” just to endear a particular segment of the population to them, their poisonous rhetoric and limited thinking.

(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 412-583-6741.)

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