The sports world was put on notice last month when African-American football players at the University of Missouri joined protests that successfully forced the school’s president and chancellor to step down because of their dereliction in addressing the racism that black students were enduring on campus.
These young men, some of them barely out of high school, summoned enough courage to risk their college scholarships for a cause that transcends the multi-billion dollar industry that is the NCAA. Their action should inspire those in the professional ranks to conduct themselves with a similar sense of social activism.
When Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins wore a “Justice For Tamir Rice” T-shirt last December during pre-game warm-ups, he called attention to the reality that his young son could be a victim of senseless police brutality.
(Photo credit: Fox 8 News)
“That little boy is my world,” Hawkins said to reporters when asked why he wore the shirt. “My number one reason for wearing the T-shirt was the thought of what happened to Tamir Rice happening to my little Austin. And that scares the living hell out of me.”
Hawkins’ fears are warranted. As of June 1st, black Americans are more than twice as likely to be unarmed when killed by police, according to The Guardian. And while black school-age children are just 16 percent of student enrollment, they represent 27 percent of students referred to law enforcement.
So often, we tend to look at athletes as super-humans. But being black in America can ground any superstar. In the middle of being in awe of Stephen Curry’s scoring spree in the NBA, we never imagine that he could end up like Thabo Sefolosha whose run-in with the NYPD left him with a broken leg. Ironically, Sefalosha was charged with assaulting NYPD cops and stood trial. Sefolosha won that case and is now suing the force for racial discrimination.
As a sign of corporate solidarity with its mostly black players, it would make sense for the NFL to sponsor a #BlackLivesMatter month. For those who will suggest that such a move is too radical for the league, consider that it has already taken a number of social stands.
It sponsors “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and the #NoMore campaign, which features current and former players speaking out against domestic violence. The league’s focus on women’s issues is more business than moral; 45 percent of the league’s fan base is female.
The NFL did not want to alienate that crucial base by giving the impression that it doesn’t care about violence against women in light of a few players’ well-publicized cases of abusing women.
A similar consideration could be made for addressing racism. Given that the league is 68 percent black, would such a move seem that out of step?
At the very least, it would signal to its mostly white, male, conservative base that it values the lives of the players beyond the football field.
Will such a move be met with resistance? Of course it will. Backing a radical ideal like #BlackLivesMatter month will have white fans wondering how they can engage such a contentious issue, but I think many black players would welcome those difficult conversations–especially if they band together and demand it.
Sports have been one of the most powerful unifying forces our nation has known. Though Jackie Robinson endured racial abuse that was nearly unbearable when he integrated baseball in 1946, he was the ideal person to take on the travails of being the first black player to swing a bat in the Big Leagues since 1884.
Think about the black players at of the University of Texas–El Paso’s basketball team (formerly Texas Western) who formed the NCAA’s first all-black starting five that went on to win a national championship in 1966. Those players endured near-intolerable racial environments as they paved the way for black athletes to form starting line-ups at other major basketball programs. The professional and college sports worlds have plenty of examples of pushing the envelope when it comes to race.
The Davidson College Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Just Released This Video About Trump’s DACA Repeal
The brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha at Davidson College are speaking out against President Donald Trump’s DACA repeal.
The brothers of the Tau Omicron Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. recently released a video publicly standing against the actions to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program – which provides a level of amnesty to certain undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children – with a six-month delay for current recipients.
On Tuesday, President Trump urged lawmakers to “do your job” with DACA.
Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2017
In the statement that the chapter released, they stated that their chapter, “stands with the Dreamers and against the proposed DACA repeal.
This is about more than statistics or policy decisions. About 800,000 human beings currently hold DACA status in the U.S. These are our friends, our peers, our neighbors, our family and we have to stand against bigotry & xenophobia and fight with them now.”
Watch their full statement below.
Today, we want to make a public statement. The Tau Omicron Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. stands with the Dreamers and against the proposed DACA repeal. This is about more than statistics or policy decisions. About 800,000 human beings currently hold DACA status in the U.S. These are our friends, our peers, our neighbors, our family and we have to stand against bigotry & xenophobia and fight with them now. We ask that you fight with us in our aim to #DefendDACA by donating to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), United We Dream, The Immigrant Defence Project, etc., attending a protest, using social media as a platform to spread awareness regarding this human rights issue, working with the campus community and administration at your institutions to protect your peers, and calling your Congressional representatives. The numbers for the NC Senators and websites for donations are listed below. Sen. Tom Thillis: (919) 856-4630 Sen. Richard Burr: (800) 685-8916 https://action.aclu.org/donate-aclu?ms=web_horiz_nav_hp https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/unitedwedreamaction?refcode=homepagebutton https://www.immigrantdefenseproject.org/donate/ #AΦΑ #ΤΟ #DefendDACA
The brothers urged the people watching to defend DACA and pointed them in the direction of organizations that are fighting for the rights of immigrants in the United States.
“We ask that you fight with us in our aim to #DefendDACA by donating to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), United We Dream, The Immigrant Defence Project, etc., attending a protest, using social media as a platform to spread awareness regarding this human rights issue, working with the campus community and administration at your institutions to protect your peers, and calling your Congressional representatives.
The numbers for the NC Senators and websites for donations are listed below.
Sen. Tom Thillis: (919) 856-4630
Sen. Richard Burr: (800) 685-8916″
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend these young brothers for speaking out and using their platform to help others. This is what it is all about.
Share if you think these young Alphas deserve to go VIRAL.
Kaepernick Just Donated $25,000 to Help Immigrant Youth Affected By Trump’s Repeal of DACA
San Fransisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick has decided to use his own money and the money he has made from his jersey sales to help the people of the Chicago area by supportingthe largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation to deal with Trump’s removal of DACA.
The 28-year -old member of Kappa Alpha Psi, who refused to stand during the national anthem during NFL games last year said he would donate the first $1 million he made from last season to organizations assisting communities affected by racial injustice and police brutality.
“I’ve been very blessed to be in this position and be able to make the kind of money I do,” Kaepernick said. “I have to help these communities. It’s not right that they’re not put in the position to succeed or given those opportunities to succeed,” he said last year.
“I will donate one million dollars plus all the proceeds of my jersey sales from the 2016 season to organizations working in oppressed communities, 100k a month for 10 months,” he said on his website.
One of these communities just so happens to be immigrant children who are currently being threatened by the repeal of DACA.
For his recent pledge, which was announced yesterday, Colin donated $25,000 to United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation.
“We organize and advocate for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status,” the about section on United We Dream‘s website states.
According to Kaepernick’s website, the $25,000 will go toward the following:
- Addressing the inequities and obstacles faced by immigrant youth. Over 100,000 members. Current focus: Organize and work for immigrant children to keep DACA in force.
- 10k for upcoming travel. Air, hotel, lodging, and ground transportation. United We Dream recently held event in Washington DC and sent 300 dreamers to lobby to keep DACA. This budget will pay for 75-100 attendees for a similar rally upcoming.
- 10k for series of upcoming local gatherings in NY, CT, TX, FL, NM. Facilities rent and security, transportation, food, technology
- 5k for text service for the network of over 100,000 members.
Along with this $25,000 donation, Kaepernick has donated to DREAM (Formerly RBI Harlem) a baseball program in Harlem, Coalition For The Homeless, and War on Children.
These Young Afro Latinas Reciting Victoria Santa Cruz’s “Me Gritaron Negra” Will Give You LIFE!
Victoria Eugenia Santa Cruz Gamarra was an Afro-Peruvian choreographer, composer, and activist who is widely regarded as “the mother of Afro Peruvian dance and theatre.”
She lived from 1922 to 2004 and was one of the major players in the revival of Afro-Peruvian culture and Afrocentrism in Peru that took place during the 1960s and 1970s. In tribute of her impactful work, her poems, specifically “Me Gritaron NEGRA” (They Called Me Black) recited by young Afro-Peruvian and Afro-Ecuadorian girls have started to spread across the internet.
“Me Gritaron NEGRA” is a poem which follows Santa Cruz’s journey to accept and embrace her blackness, starts out with her telling the story of how at the a very young age started to shout “Negra” (the spanish word for Black) at her on the street everywhere she went. This shamed her into straightening her hair and wanting to lighten her skin but eventually she realized the beauty of her blackness and that the truth of this beauty was being hidden from her.
The original version of the poem recited by Santa Cruz is EXTREMELY powerful and might even give you chills.
What is even more powerful than the poem itself is that young Afro Latinas who are the age of Santa Cruz at the beginning of the story that she tells in the poem are now reciting the poem and the message is going viral. By reciting this poem at this young age, these girls, who are Black just like Santa Cruz, are able to take this woman’s story and find pride in it. They are able to put words to their struggles of living in a society with eurocentric beauty ideals and recite this peom as a reminder to themselves about how beautiful and strong they truly are.
Check out this video from Ecuador of a little girl reciting the poem.
Share this on Facebook if you think this deserves to go Viral!
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