day 004 – Black Athletes in America

This won’t be an exhaustive post because i couldn’t watch all of the show, and i don’t want to take up my significant other time blogging. Lol. But, here it goes.

I serendipitiously found a spot in Penn Station earlier today that miraculously was showing the ESPN special covering Black Athletes in America (probably not the full or correct name, but i cannot verify as I am writing this from my phone, and you know how slow AT+T is).

All over Twitter I saw my @following talking about it. I had not idea it was coming on until @WhitlockJason fumed over the assembled hosts being misrepresentative of Black athletes: neither was Black.

photo taken by macario.james using Bold 9700 (oh, yeah!)

The panel discussing the current athletic-academic state in recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream and influence on America was a motely crew: Michael Wilbon, sports journalist, Pardon The Interruption co-host; Spike Lee, no explanation needed; Jalen Rose, former college and NBA star, currently an NBA analyst; Richard Shannon, former college athlete and coach; Marion Jones, the ex-star Olympian, steroids doper, well, one that got caught, at least; and John Calipari, college basketball coach.

From the 15 minutes I was able to catch while scarfing down my cheeseburger and fries before jetting to catch my Bolt Bus to Philly (my typical weekend jaunt destination), I came away with three memorable or insightful tidbits.

One, Black folks are the only bloc that have mutated education into being an impediment to success. Wilbon said this. I agree with him, and understand his angst. Athletes and entertainers are looked at as our bread and butter role models, with a disproportionate amount of them not being graduates of college. My overall views on the college education thing can be discussed on another post.

Another tidbit was Spike Lee saying, with no corners cut, that athletes need to be paid. Period. And, i agree. They need to be compensated, accordingly.

Jalen Rose chimed in with a gem of his own: he calls the men and women in colleges who play sports, not “student athletes,” but “semi-pros.” I co-sign.

My phone is going to die now while I stand in the cold (shudder), but I will continue this post tomorrow.

I needed to fulfill my daily 365 quota. 🙂