Re: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Athletes Aren’t Dumb Jocks—We’re the Face of Change
I saw this tweet, read the article, and felt disappointed that someone as old and wise as KAJ didn't get it.
The athletes being dumb jocks mindset is a thing of the past. As connected as we are to athlete's lives, we see the deals and plays they make that go beyond the small town, TV movie and show stereotype. Dumb athletes are a thing of the past. Mentally conditioned athletes are the new wave of the future.
Note: I am not a sports junkie. I just observe, enjoy, and see what the end result is leading to.
Tim Duncan retiring signals the changing of the guard in the NBA. After the Spurs were eliminated by the younger OKC squad in the 15-16 Conference Semifinals, a trumpet blew around the sports world—basketball was a young man's sport now.
Consider the increase of players who are drafted within their early 20's. What have you really done in your mid 20's? What do you know about life decisions? What do you know about sacrifice? No matter what you've gone through by the age of 20, your life is still limited in experience. Critical development changes during your early to mid 20's, and jumping into a lifelong career jades what your future perspective will be.
These players have limited life experience, worship the value of a $, and have countless of sponsors to please. Consider the new NBA TV deal. There's money to be made. More money than ever imaginable.
Combine young impressionable talent, being molded by corporations, team owners, and billionaires who want to maximize their profit with an amassed earning potential. What do you get? People who will be controlled by the almighty $.
A 22-year old who gets millions from an NBA contract, on top of sponsorships will be conditioned to keep his mouth shut about anything that might hurt his brand, which then will hurt the team brand and sponsorships. He might say something one day, but the minute that happens, a few phone calls will be made and he'll keep his mouth shut thereafter.
Name five athletes outside of Muhammad Ali who stood up for social injustice—not by wearing socks, t-shirts or writing a name on a sneaker, or speaking up during an award show. Five people who actually protested in some capacity outside of their comfort zone.
Few people have the integrity to stand for what they believe in. Why would we expect athletes to be special?
In 2014, the five St. Louis Rams players who ran out onto the field gesturing "don't shoot" took an amazing risk. But if any of those players get a sack, break a record, score a touchdown, etc, that gesture goes overlooked. No one remembers the beginning. But start with a gesture, play amazing, and end with a gesture and a comment, and that may reinforce the matter. Dedicate the game to the issue?
Running onto the court with t-shirts on, lasts for about three games, then they're off that. Has injustice ended?
Name three players.
"Capitalism has no moral basis." And as we step into the future of further financial separation between the haves and have nots, the $ will continue to reign supreme over the conscious of individuals who have little to gain and endless things to lose through truly supporting social injustice.
Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are old news. Once the older players are swept away into retirement, the young players who were conditioned to play the game will become the older players. Staying mute to protect yourself and family is important. Who wants to give up money for people they don't personally know?
The cycle continues, and nothing gets said regarding social injustice. We're already at that point, we're just being sold on the idea that these athletes have the integrity they try to showcase to us.