Throughout my NBA career, I watched too many teammates pay dearly for playing through pain at the urging of doctors who put the interests of the team before the welfare of the athlete
In a democracy, every one has the right to support whoever they want to support as President Of The United States. They also have the right to speak out on whatever cause they choose to speak out on or objection they have to the current administration. I would be a hypocrite if didn’t advocate for all athletes even the ones with positions that I disagree with while I am going around to multiple universities and colleges touring and lecturing and having panel discussions and round tables for my book We Matter, “Athletes And Activism” which is dedicated to promoting and encouraging athletes to use their voices and platforms. I interviewed athletes activists such as Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Russell, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Eric Reid, Torrey Smith, Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal, Swin Cash, Tameka Catchings, Anquan Boldin, John Carlos, Dr Harry Edwards, Mahmoud Abdul Rauf, Craig Hodges, and many more in an attempt to promote and encourage other athletes to continue in the great tradition of athletes utilizing their platforms and illustrating the power of their voices.
Enter Nick Bosa
The number 2 draft pick of the 49ers who is an avid Conservative right wing Donald Trump Maga supporter (which he has every right to be) and who apparently went scrambling through his twitter accounts to delete his numerous tweets in which he made disparaging remarks about Colin Kaepernick, Beyoncé, The Movie Black Panther, and evidently his displayed infatuation and support of white-nationalist twitter accounts.
Again, I would be a complete hypocrite if I didn’t defend someone like Nick Bosa’s right to use his platform to stand up for what he believes, even though I disagree with his stance, who he is supporting, and the positions he took in his recently deleted tweets. And I’m no hypocrite. Nick Bosa has every right to support whoever he chooses to support. I wouldn’t dare tell him or any other athlete to shut up and dribble or stay in their lane ie Laura Ingram simply because they expressed an opinion that I don’t agree with. They have every right to speak, tweet, post, or shout from the mountain tops whatever their opinion is.
Nonetheless, it is interesting to see the hypocrisy on full display from the right when an athlete speaks out who aligns with their politics and beliefs ie Bosa vs when an athlete who takes a position they vehemently disagree with ie Colin Kaepernick.
There has been an outpour of support for Nick Bosa from the right for his “courage” to stand up for what he believes in and to stand “unashamed” and “unbothered” of any outside forces who may attempt to silence his first amendment right of freedom of speech.
Trump praised and congratulated Nick Bosa not solely on social media but at an actual rally while failing to mention the actual #1 pick Kyler Murray. Why do you ask ? Was it simply because Bosa is white and Murray is black ? No, it’s deeper than that. Trump celebrated Nick Bosa for the same reason that he publicly praises Tiger Woods, Jim Brown, Ray Lewis, Tom Brady and Kanye West. Because they pledged their allegiance to him and publicly supported him. They also spoke to the politics that align with his.
Mind you this is the same president who called Colin Kaepernick and all of the NFL players who took a knee “SOB’s” and said to get him off the field, encouraged fans to leave if they saw NFL players kneeling, encouraged teams to cut players if they kneel. The same conservative right winged sites who took turns condemning, attacking, ridiculing, mocking, and disparaging Colin Kaepernick for using his platform are now cheering, praising, and celebrating Nick Bosa.
This week, my co host and I Dave Zirin had the opportunity to explore this topic extensively on our weekly show The Collision “Where Sports And Politics Collide” and Dave said,
“The evidence shows that a Black player who expresses anti-racist ideals will find themselves blackballed from the league, like Colin Kaepernick, or harassed and drug tested repeatedly, like Eric Reid. But being not only pro-Trump but also expressing affection for the ugliest parts of Trump’s white nationalist base is a non-issue”
Here in lies the problem and the hypocrisy.
For the conservative right, Nick Bosa is a patriot who loves his country while Kaepernick is castigated as an anti American when in reality Kaepernick expressed his heartbreak and anguish after repeatedly seeing case after case of Black men and women being killed by the police with no accountability. So on one hand Trump tweets that the NFL should “Fire Kaepernick” but on the other he tweets to Nick Bosa to “Always stay true to yourself” The hypocrisy is overwhelming.
Now, in an interesting pivot, Nick Bosa conducted another press conference attempting to back peddle on his condemnation and disparagement of Colin Kaepernick https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/4073944-49ers-draft-selection-nick-bosa-apologizes-for-tweets/
This pivot was met with the displeasure of many from the right as Tomi Lahren had a segment expressing how unfair it was that Nick Bosa felt that he needed to delete his tweets http://video.foxnews.com/v/6025615106001/
I actually agree with Tomi Lahren. Nick Bosa has every right to support whoever he wants to support and yes that is his right. But Ms Lahren’s hypocrisy comes shining through as she would never be as animated and passionate when an athlete speaks out on a topic that doesn’t align with her politics but rather resorts to juvenile name calling like “Crybaby Kaepernick” and denigration of athletes or anyone else for that matter who she disagrees with.
And my final word to Nick Bosa, don’t go on an apology tour saying you didn’t mean what you tweeted. If you think Kaepernick is a clown be a man and stand by it. If you think Beyoncé’s music is trash again be a man and stand by your words. If you think Black Panther was the worst movie ever, don’t be a simp and go back on what you said or what you tweeted and say I wasn’t in my right mind, or I reacted to something that happened in my childhood, or I was an impulsive tweeter, or whatever other foolishness you said, if you said it stand by it and own it.
If you’re going to be a racist be an honest racist. If you’re going to be a white supremacist, be a proud white suppremacist unlike the cowards of the past who would hide behind sheets so nobody would know their identity while they terrorized Black communities by night. If you’re going to be a trump supporter, be a trump supporter who is out of the closet. You don’t have to lie and you don’t have to hide. To quote Malcolm X,
“I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he’s wrong. Than one who comes up lie an angle, and is nothing but a devil.
Tiger Wood’s alliance with Trump makes this victory a little bitter sweet for me personally because I have seen this before. I remember how OJ Simpson wanted nothing to do with the Black Community even to the point of telling Dr Harry Reid “I’m not Black, I’m OJ”, which I was reminded of when Tiger proclaimed, “I’m not Black, I’m Cablasian”
Tiffany’s been in the news recently because she’s the twin sister of Terence Crutcher, who, last week, before becoming another sad Twitter hashtag, was shot and killed by officer Betty Shelby of the Tulsa Police Department. Terence was unarmed and standing beside his stalled SUV with his arms raised prior to the killing. In the aftermath of this tragedy, Tiffany has served as a spokesperson for the family.
Let me say first that you are among the basketball greats. I remember rooting for you in the ’93 Championship Series against the Bulls along with one of my hometown heroes Richard Dumas. You have achieved a level of success on the court that will be cemented in the basketball history books permanently.
I Have the utmost respect for you. I and my son Malcolm actually started rooting for you and Seattle after watching you in the NFC Championship in 2014 against the San Francisco 49ers. Everything that transpired as far as the “thug” accusations and uproar from mainstream America that you sparked was an eye-opening lesson for Malcolm on how he will be perceived by society.