Why is it that...
How long has it been since we’ve seen racial issues brought into sports, whether it be by discrimination, black on black crime or athletes using their platforms to speak on such issues? Maybe there hasn’t been a fuss since September when former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick owned the spotlight during his presidential and Black Lives Matter protests, or maybe not since the shooting of former Jets running back Joe McKnight back in December. Either way, we’ve seen plenty of athletes speak through their platforms to address such matters but how often have we seen or heard athletes use their platforms or post game media to ignite racial tension?
Well it happened this past Friday, and my question is why is it that no one nor the media is talking about this nor blowing it up, but instead, blowing it over as if it’s not a big deal?
Friday night following the nail-biter game between the Warriors and Timberwolves in which the Warriors lost, Warriors sixth man Andre Iguodala had some mind boggling choice words for the media in regards to the teams loss, as well as headline players sitting out against the Spurs Saturday night.
“We gotta score more points than the other team.” When asked about the consecutive loss, Iguodala responded “What would a dumb n---a say? Just play harder. Figure it out. Change gonna come. You know what we use to say, change gonna come. Yep, they want dumb n----as, so I’m going to give yall a dumb n---a.”
As far as key players like Curry, Klay, Green and himself sitting out, which inevitably led to a Spurs blowout win, Iguodala said, “I do what master says.”
Yes I’m black, no I did not grow up in that racially charged time period, however I still found his remarks to be very insensitive and in poor taste. I’m all for coaches having their players back, but there has to be a line where you as a coach step in and say hey, that’s uncalled for and you’re going to face the penalties for saying such things. Rather than penalizing Iguodala or voicing his frustrations in regards to his comments, Kerr sided with him and stated he wasn’t “fazed” by his remarks.
“You guys got Andre’d. Andre is one of those guys who like to stir the pot and has a lot of cryptic messaging at times. He jokes around a lot, I didn’t take anything from it. It’s just Andre being Andre”
Yea…sounds good, but to me it sounded like Coach Kerr was caught off guard and didn’t know what to say so instead of correcting his player publicly, he made a cop out, took his players side as if he was his teammate (still would’ve been the wrong action) and bought himself some more time to really digest the whole situation…or lack of from the looks of reports.
Now I’m not going to sit here and try to convince myself that the “N” word doesn’t get tossed around the professional locker room (mostly NBA & NFL) like a ragdoll, but I am saying there’s a time and place for it, and in front of the media aiint it.
I’m also not saying that I condone it, but I do accept it because it’s just one of those issues that aren’t making any progress in terms of being removed whether from lock rooms, personal groups in a professional setting or even behind closed doors. I do think the issue is a lot bigger than it seems, but for Coach Kerr, the league, or even the story hungry media to not address it as an issue speaks for itself.
Whether you’re a pro athlete or just a professional in the career you pursue, people seem to want to abolish the “N” word from being used in the professional culture, but then there are those who turn a blind eye, use it regardless, and define it as the culture.
So I ask, why is it that the content of this issue alone continues to get ignored, placed on the back burner, becoming more of a perplexed issue with perpetual questions and not enough answers?