Let’s cap off the week with some words from Black footballers.
Ramble of the Day
As I’ve said before, a practical way to begin building a more diverse world view is to give yourself the chance to read, watch, and listen to diverse voices. That does not necessarily make everything created by people of color or other diverse groups educational material — fiction, to name only example, is fiction and obviously serves other purposes, like entertainment. The point remains: regularly consuming content created by members of the perceived status quo should be matched by consuming content by those who are perceived not to be in the status quo in order to create that very nuanced and diverse world view.
Today, I will share a number of different things Black footballers have said since the killing of George Floyd. The writing should serve the previously stated purpose of widening your world view, but also the more specific purpose of listening to the experiences of others so we can recognize them as truths of our world and take away the necessary points. (This is an exercise I’d recommend for literally anything worth reading, watching, or listening to.)
A couple days after George Floyd’s death, my grandfather texted me and told me he’s glad that I am not living in the U.S. right now because he would fear for my life as a young black man. As days have passed, this text from my grandfather has not been able to leave my mind.— DeAndre Yedlin (@yedlinny) June 2, 2020
First, I’ll recommend Newcastle defender DeAndre Yedlin’s Twitter thread from earlier this week. Later in the thread, he makes this point that I found to be memorable: “I remember being in elementary school, and having to recite the Pledge of Allegiance which ends ‘... with liberty and justice for all.’ Every American needs to ask themselves, is there ‘liberty and justice for all’ and if their answer is yes, then they are part of the problem.”
Next, a statement from Minnesota United midfielder Jacori Hayes from last week. Like Yedlin, he touched on his particular experiences as a Black man in the United States:
While I’ve never had a physical altercation with an officer, there is still a mental and emotional hold that I experience around the police. I remember being asked to show my college ID to re-enter campus, while my white roommates were able to walk by unbothered. I remember eating pizza in Chicago with friends. I had to prove who I was to a police officer because I looked like someone he was allegedly looking for.
Hayes also addressed the issue that many continue to tell Black people how to protest, citing just one example of people gaslighting Black people:
no matter what form of protest African Americans have chosen, there’s an issue with how it’s done. The root cause of the protest is never addressed. For example, there was a problem with kneeling. Basketball players were told social injustice was not their job, to shut up and dribble, and the latest example, protestors were called “thugs” by the nation’s highest office.
Finally, I’ll share Portland Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse’s Medium post from this week. Titled “It’s not meant for your comfort,” he wrote about how hard he has found it hard to find true allyship and also addressed what it means to be anti-racist.
James Baldwin reminds us that ‘to be negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time,’ and yet through all this rage I hope that, one day, people will understand that making a change isn’t about using black bodies to feel a part of a social media movement after seeing an emotionally scarring video, but rather a constant journey of decolonizing your minds, listening to black voices, finding organizations to support and putting anti-racists in power.
Those are just a few reads — I know I have a lot more I’d like to get through, and not just items from the last couple of weeks. In the meantime, these players offered more than food for thought — they shared the feelings and truths that have unfairly been excluded too often, but will hopefully not be excluded again.
Links of the Day
OL Reign’s Megan Rapinoe will opt out of the NWSL’s upcoming Challenge Cup.
Spain fined Atléti’s Diego Costa more than €500k for committing tax fraud.
Brooklyn Nets player Kevin Durant reportedly bought a minority stake in MLS’ Philadelphia Union.
A longer read: Mauro Diaz on the landmark 1970 World Cup in Mexico for ESPN