Shut down all of sports for social justice

I am going to put a lot on LeBron James’ plate today. It might be unfair and it might be a burden too heavy for him to carry.

But he is the king of sports, the king of the hill. James is highly respected in every league and in every dressing room across sports. He should call up the power broker players in Major League Baseball, the NFL, NHL and NBA and shut down all of professional sports for at least the rest of the year.

The year 2020 has already been a wacky one. Why not one more shocker?

Tell the world you are really sick and tired of watching police mow down brothers and sisters in the streets, their bedrooms and back yards. Enough is enough. You’ve had it.

Shut it down.

Athletes were outraged at the George Floyd murder a few months ago. So was society who took to the streets in just about every major city in the country, including Detroit. You would think that would be the end of it. But the shootings continued, including the incident in Kenosha, Wisc where a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back in front of his children.

That caused the shut down of the NBA as fed up players from the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play a playoff game against the Orlando Magic. A number of opening round series were discontinued. Some games in baseball were shut down. I applaud the Detroit Lions for cancelling practice for a day.

Former NBA player and basketball analyst Kenny Smith walked off the set of TNT Wednesday night in disgust.

At the very least NBA players should not return to finish the playoffs. If they return what have they really accomplished? All the Game 5’s that were delayed will be played along with the rest of the playoffs.

“This is tough. I mean right now my head is ready to explode,” Smith said. “Like just in the thoughts of what’s going on. I don’t even know if I am even appropriate enough to say it, what the players are feeling and how they are feeling. I haven’t talked to any of the players. Coming in and even driving here, getting into the studio, hearing calls and people talking …

“And for me, I think the biggest thing now as a Black man, as a former player, I think it’s best for me to support the players and just not be here tonight.”

And he then walked off the set.

Athletes are sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’m fed up also. So are many in the black community.

Let me go through your litany of counter arguments. The men killed were resisting arrest. They had a criminal past. They are not good people. None of these excuses are excuses for execution.

You may not be upset. Black people are. Black athletes are. Shut it down.

“It’s amazing we keep loving this country,” Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers told the media. “And this country does not love us back.”

Why play for a fan base that does not care about you? It is a fan base that only applauds you when you are entertaining them and often tells athletes to shut up and dribble the basketball. Shut it down.

Kneeling does not work. T-shirts do not work. Black Lives Matter chants do not work. Maybe shutting down all leagues will.

It’s worth a try in order to finally wake America up.

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Published by terryfoster8

I am a 58 year old retired sports journalist, husband and father of two living outside of Detroit in search of his next big adventure in life.

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