In the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting, the NBA postponed all of their games on Wednesday night. Four MLB games were postponed. Several NFL teams called off practice.
On the homepage of all of these major professional sports leagues, there are stories. nba.com has an article that with the headline “Reports: players decide to resume playoffs.”
I’ve seen lots of posts on social media.
And while I think it’s a tragedy whenever someone is involved in a violent altercation, I think it’s absurd that we want to put this event on par with George Floyd or Breonna Taylor. It’s not the same situation at all.
Athletes can refuse to play if they want, by the way. Teams can cancel practice. But it’s little more than virtue signaling from the privileged of the privileged. Fantastically wealthy athletes who have the luxury of just not doing their jobs as a form of protest.
We had several nights of rioting and destruction in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting. Is lawlessness and violence going to be the new normal? We want to assume it’s because of racism and because he was black. In USA Today, democratic political strategist Donna Brazile had a piece titled “After Jacob Blake and Kenosha, what good is The Talk? Do words even matter?“
The article begins with Brazile saying “Every Black parent sits their child down at some point in their adolescence for “The Talk,” about how to behave when you are pulled over by the police. Even if they pull you over for no good reason, or stop you on a corner for a random body search, you must be polite and deferential. No back talk, no attitude and no reaching in your pocket to get something without giving them plenty of warning so that you don’t end up lying dead on the street.”
I think of how the shooting of Jacob Blake does not at all fit with “the Talk.” He walked away from the police, ignored their lawful orders, and then reached into a car as if to grab something. Police fired.
I’ve heard people talk about privilege in this case. I think any person, regardless of skin color, runs the risk of a similar outcome for disregarding the police and making movements as if they’re going to grab for something.
We teach a dangerous lesson to our society where we want to empower criminals to disregard the police. It puts law enforcement officers at risk and it puts more citizens at risk when we treat a person who threatened police as an innocent victim.
And yet there are still those who call to defund police as if it’ll lead to a greater good. These protests are not leading to positive change. And they never will. They’re leading to more violence and destruction. Cities all across the country have seen increased murder rates.
And that’s always been my concern with this movement. The change that’s being created is life being made worse.
Thanks for reading!