Let’s start with an image of Real Madrid’s Marcelo after he scored a goal this weekend against Eibar.
Marcelo took a knee after scoring ✊ @brfootball pic.twitter.com/TRbVjrds2y— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 14, 2020
Ramble of the Day
Like I said I would Friday, I watched Spike Lee’s latest film Da 5 Bloods, a new release on Netflix, this weekend. I found it an enjoyable watch, stylistically interesting and accomplishing the feat of addressing a lot of themes without overwhelming the viewer. (That may be down to its two and a half hour run time, but it also doesn’t feel like a particularly long film.) The film also features a stellar performance from its lead, Delroy Lindo.
Like I mentioned, it is a worthwhile exploration of a few things. You could think of it as an examination on the Vietnam War itself, the experience of war veterans in the United States, and I’d even argue it is just one example of how the war movie has changed. All of it is through the lens of Black American veterans of the Vietnam War, and this film is apparently the highest profile one about them. (Two films in 1995, Albert and Allan Hughes’ Dead Presidents and Preston A. Whitmore II’s The Walking Dead are are the other notable titles in the category, but it seems that’s really about it.)
I read a couple of pieces after watching the film, one about the making of Da 5 Bloods from Vulture and one about the 1985 bestseller Bloods: Black Veterans of the Vietnam War: An Oral History and its author, journalist Wallace Terry from The Ringer. Both mentioned that Hollywood has had its own obsession with the Vietnam War, but that Black veterans were excluded from those retellings. It is from reading the Vulture piece that I discovered Lee relied on Bloods while researching his film, and made it required reading for his cast before production began — and that I found The Ringer piece about Terry.
As you can imagine, it is not just Hollywood that seemed uninterested in the stories of Black Vietnam veterans. Terry said he was rejected 120 times as he attempted to turn his reporting in Vietnam and in the United States into a book, and his employers at Time were of no help, as Terry’s son David described it:
Systemic racism’ wasn’t even a term back then, so you couldn’t even necessarily talk about [the fact] that the Black soldiers had been killed in extremely disproportionate numbers because of the way staff sergeants were sending them to go out on point and sending them into the most dangerous areas. It’s basically extermination. They’re not gonna touch that back then, no way.
In the end, this grouping of resources is a study in a couple of things: scrubbing out the stories of Black people in both film and journalism, and the stories of those people that got scrubbed out. The Ringer piece explores both of those things, and hopefully for you as it did for me, provides a good introduction for those who did not know a lot about the topic.
Links of the Day
Edinson Cavani and Thiago Silva will leave PSG at the end of the Champions League season.
La Liga said it will take legal action against a pitch invader at Real Mallorca-Barcelona.
Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi will face no further action in relation his arrest last month on suspicion of rape.
A longer read: Jacob Steinberg interviews Chris Hughton on the few coaches of color in England and experiencing racism in football for The Guardian