Black athletes in 1980s, 90s not outspoken, but not silent

first_imgPhivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano MOST READ UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer Black Nazarene back in Quiapo Church in record time PLAY LIST 00:55Black Nazarene back in Quiapo Church in record time02:54Praise, festivities at Quiapo Church ahead of Black Nazarene’s return02:08‘Andas wall’ prevents blocking of Black Nazarene image02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award “But that’s fine, because that has always been there,” he said. “That was there during slavery. Nat Turner comes and says, ‘Hey, let’s run away. Let’s get some guns. Let’s get some machetes, and let’s fight for our freedom.’ And you always have someone say, ‘You kidding me?’”Dominique Wilkins, an NBA Hall of Famer known as the “Human Highlight Film” for his thunderous, acrobatic dunks during the 1980s and ‘90s, believes social media have amplified athletes’ voices — and the Twitter-less past did not offer sports stars the soap boxes they have now.“We didn’t have a platform because it wasn’t that type of media around,” Wilkins said. “You had the normal, everyday media, but you didn’t have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, you didn’t have any of that.”Wilkins, 58, said people are completely off base when they say his generation didn’t do anything or care about what was happening in their communities and in the world.“We grew up in a different era. We were born in the civil rights era. I remember when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated,” said Wilkins, an NBA analyst for Atlanta Hawks games for Fox SportsSouth. “People who say we didn’t care don’t know what they’re talking about. … We cared. We were a part of it, so we cared.“Our parents lived it. Our grandparents lived it. How can we not care?”The activism of the time was different, said sports historian Victoria Jackson, who works in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University.Behind the scenes, superstar athletes worked in their communities and with schools — without making their activities known or asking for publicity for their time. Millions of dollars went to schools like historically black colleges and universities — as well as other deserving charities including social justice charities — without public acknowledgment, Jackson said.“While we might have seen a decline in athletes voicing strong opinions publicly about systemic racism, police brutality, criminal justice and education and residential and workplace reform, and perhaps the growth of endorsements contributed to this, I would suspect — if we did a little digging — we’d find countless stories of athletes doing work in the space of social justice and that this is the constant theme in the long historical arc,” she said.There were some who spoke loudly. A dashiki-wearing point guard Craig Hodges, Jordan’s teammate on the Chicago Bulls, presented then-President George H. W. Bush with a letter in 1991, urging more concern for African-Americans during one of the Bulls’ championship trips to the White House. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Nash, Kidd among finalists for basketball Hall of Fame Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew FILE – In this March 15, 1996, file photo, Denver Nuggets guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf stands with his teammates and prays during the national anthem before the game with the Chicago Bulls in Chicago. During the 1995-96 season, Abdul-Rauf began stretching or staying in the locker room during the national anthem. He was suspended for one game. But at season’s end, despite averaging 19.2 points and 6.8 assists, he was traded from the Nuggets to the Sacramento Kings. And when his contract expired two years later, he couldn’t get a tryout and was out of the league at age 29. (AP Photo/Michael S. Green, File)By the 1980s, America finally publicly embraced the black athlete, looking past skin color to see athleticism and skill, rewarding stars with multimillion-dollar athletic contracts, movie deals, lucrative shoe endorsements and mansions in all-white enclaves.Who didn’t want to be like Mike?ADVERTISEMENT GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours View comments But those fortunate black athletes like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods did not, for the most part, use their celebrity to speak out. Most were silent on issues like the crack epidemic, apartheid in South Africa, the racial tensions exposed by the O.J. Simpson trial and the police brutality that set off the Rodney King riots.Of course, there were exceptions — more, perhaps, than are generally remembered. And the times and the media of those times did not necessarily lend themselves to protest. But while Jack Johnson and Muhammad Ali once stood up— and more recently, Colin Kaepernick , Lebron James, Serena Williams and others would not back down — black athletes of the ’80s and ’90s were known mostly for playing games.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“It seems to me that we need to rethink how we define ‘activism’ since black athletes certainly were involved in various social causes during that era. Anecdotally, I think about them donating to various scholarship funds and participating in ’say no to drugs” campaigns,’” said Johnny Smith, who is the Julius C. “Bud” Shaw Professor of Sports, Society, and Technology at Georgia Tech. “That’s certainly a form of activism. However, on the whole, the most prominent black male athletes were not confrontational or outspoken.”When Harvey Gantt took on conservative Republican Sen. Jesse Helms in 1990, Jordan — the undisputed superstar athlete of his time — refused to support the black Democrat in his native North Carolina, reportedly saying Republicans buy shoes, too. It took until 2016 for Jordan to finally speak out strongly on a social issue by condemning the killing of black men at the hands of police, writing in a column published by The Undefeated website.Woods said this week that throughout America’s history, blacks have struggled.“A lot of different races have had struggles, and obviously the African Americans here in this country have had their share of struggles,” Woods said. “Obviously has it gotten better, yes, but I still think there’s room for more improvement.”The mold of the public activist — the person who is willing to lead but also willing to lose everything for a cause — doesn’t fit everyone, said Harry Edwards, a scholar of race and sports who has worked as a consultant for several U.S. pro teams.Some guys are fine “picking up a paycheck” because they don’t want to be bothered, Edwards said.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES During the 1995-96 season, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf began stretching or staying in the locker room during the national anthem. Abdul-Rauf was suspended for one game. But at season’s end, despite averaging 19.2 points and 6.8 assists, he was traded from the Denver Nuggets to the Sacramento Kings. And when his contract expired two years later, he couldn’t get a tryout and was out of the league at age 29.Those protests, some say, may not represent the most radical actions of black athletes of the time, which were in the boardrooms, not on the streets.Jordan built a brand that turned him into a Nike powerhouse, where he brought African-American businessmen and women up the ladder with him, before becoming the first black sports billionaire with his NBA team ownership of the Charlotte Hornets.Magic Johnson, in addition to building a business empire, spoke out passionately about the HIV/AIDS crisis after contracting the disease. The NFL’s Man of the Year award was long named for Walter Payton, who pushed organ donation into the public limelight in his native Chicago and around the country through his foundation while advocating for minority ownership in professional football.Mike Glenn, a 10-year NBA veteran who played from 1977-87 and member of the National Basketball Retired Players Association board of directors, believes how those first black millionaires went about their business helped build the foundation that allows athletes to speak out today.“I think all of them were aware of backlash,” said Glenn, a collector of documents on African American history and culture . “They were aware that if you say certain things it may hurt your brand, or may hurt your ability to do things or that maybe even the league would take a different look at you. I think it was an insecurity of their position regardless of how much success they had.”Jordan and other iconic athletes of that period established the power of individual sports brands, a transitional platform Glenn believes athletes benefit from today.“LeBron has took what Michael had,” Glenn said, “and taken it a step further.”last_img read more

A Positive Character in Culture

first_imgClassical Liberian artwork was again over the weekend seen in a unique display at the 10th Biannual US Embassy Art and Craft Fair in Monrovia.The occasion was an amazing one for participants to see how beautiful the Liberian Culture can be when explored through Art.To some of the art dealers, like Mr. Thomas, it was just the beginning of another market opportunity created by the US Embassy for artistic Liberians to get involved in marketing their work. The fair brought together more than 100 Arts and Crafts vendors from across Monrovia, with different religions, political and socio-economic backgrounds into total unity.The fair was a well-organized event with the sale of hand made cups made from coconut shell, garments, toy bamboo houses and cars. There was also hipster and shoulder bags made from African fabric, cow bone jewelry; carved wooden chests, chairs and the traditional devil masks.In addition, there were woven baskets made from fabric, beaded jewelry made from recycled glass and flowerpots. Hand-made quilts and paintings that detail life in Liberia were also added.Shelia Paskam, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy said,“We believe that in order for the Liberian economy to grow, we have to promote Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). This is a business and culture fair for Liberian artists,” she added. She stated further that the art at the fair is the creative expression of men and women who spent a lot of time in perfecting their artwork.“The US Embassy in Monrovia remains grateful to be part of the process of helping to maintain the culture tradition of Liberia,” she added.Though many onlookers thought the cost of some art items appeared too costly, foreigners largely purchased most of the artwork.James Budu Prowd, a physically challenged artist who specializes in the making of Liberian slippers and baboon house thought,”The fair helped us to express our creativity as artists and market our artifacts to generate revenue for our businesses,” he said.Jenney Fayia, a 17-year-old who also showcased her artistic works agreed with James.“We get connection as artists from such an event and learn from each other’s talent in improving our own creativity. I hope our government could host many fair like this one in the near future,” she added.Also present was Wytchen Barrolle, the marketing supervisor at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism. She said that the US Embassy annual fair is a reminder to the Liberian Government to hold such events.“Its our duty to promote these fairs for our own culture and not leaving it with other people to take on our responsibility. Ordinary Liberians are ignorant to these exhibitions and therefore, they don’t turnout to support their own art fairs,” she added.Also at the fair was Mr. Fato Wheremonger, a vendor representative.“We as Liberian artists need our own cultural village and when this is done, it will increase opportunity for tourism in Liberia,” he added.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more