Oookay, I have been trying to avoid this opinion that has been brewing in my mind the last few days, and I've been struggling. I have so much pent up anger right now, the only way I can release it is to write, which is the reason writing is my favorite thing to do, because it's my savior!
Because I am not privy to all the facts, I am only going to give my opinion, (and I repeat, this is MY opinion), on recent athletic woes that have been reported. We have been so oversaturated with athletes and their personal problems, you just have to comment on it!
Anyone who truly knows me will tell you that I've never been the type of African-American woman to wear my color on my sleeve. But, as of late, if the outfit calls for an accessory, well, I've got to put it on! I am a HUGE Steelers fan--in fact, I've been a fan for as long as I can remember. I have supported this team over the years, i.e, I have cheered, yelled, cursed, stomped, laughed, cried and preached the Pittsburgh Steelers. I have team members' shirts that I will still sport, regardless if that athlete no longer plays for us, because I bleed the BLACK and GOLD!
But, and that's a big BUT, this whole Big Ben, Santonio Holmes and Jeff Reed mess has me so angry, I am outraged! The Rooneys recently sent a message to their team by "trading" Santonio to the New York Jets, however, we ALL know that in this case, trade means "fired!" When I woke up and heard that news, I literally fell out of my bed--seriously!
The trend that I've noticed by the NFL is that black athletes get harsh punishments, whereas, their white counterparts, seem to get mere 'slaps on the wrist.' I tried so hard to spin this situation every which way, but in the end, the only way this can be spun, is the way it is--blatent racism. I tried listening to some of the local talk radio stations and what some of these fans are saying very loudly is Ben should get a pass because he wasn't charged with a crime!
Hmmmm, well, the last time I heard, Santonio wasn't charged with any crimes, but yet, he's no longer employed by the Steelers organization. Okay, humor me, let's examine the facts. You have a quarterback with two Superbowl rings that has been accused, not once, but twice, or as of yesterday, possibly three times with alleged rape, and Santonio had some weed on him a few years back, and had a domestic violence situation with his baby's mother some time ago, but "trading" Santonio made more sense than getting rid of someone who was accused of sexually assaulting a few women! Really? And what about Jeff Reed, our kicker, has problems with alcohol, which is a substance, and his 'punishment' for disorderly conduct was, 'performing community service,' and how does he get rewarded for his good efforts, he's been granted another one-year contract to live to kick another day for the Steelers. Oh, and before I forget, according to news reports, Ben supplied alcohol to minors, which the last time I checked, that was considered a crime, but he once again managed to evade prosecution for that! Ben used a substance and Jeff used a substance, but yet, they are still employed by the Steelers? Hmmmm!
The NFL threw poor Michael Vick to the dogs, (no pun intended), for dog fighting back in 2007, in which led to his doing prison time, and yet, a white quarterback who plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers has been accused of sexual assault 2 times that we know of, appears to have gotten away with this scott free! And what really kills me is, Ben got the opportunity to speak directly with Commissioner Goodell of the NFL to find out what his 'fate,' which I use that term loosely, will be. But Santonio wasn't given an opportunity to say anything, other than to say he was "shocked" by the news. Trust me, he wasn't the only one shocked! My jaw is still hanging low.
I truly believe in my heart of hearts that Ben is a loose cannon who has brought shame on his family name, our team, our City, to his teammates and to the NFL as a whole! If the NFL doesn't punish him severely, and what I mean by severely is to not suspend him, but trade him too! Why should he be given chance after chance, and opportunity after opportunity, only to, somewhere down the road again, have more alleged accusations raised against him, because I truly believe we haven't heard the last of this. There are probably other women out there that decided to do like the third one we heard about, that just dropped it.
All I keep hearing over and over by news reporters is that, "keep in mind, Ben has not been charged with any crimes!" Oh, so that should give him a pass? And I keep repeating back to the TV, Santonio wasn't charged with any crime, but he's no longer a wide receiver for the Steelers! But, after giving that much thought, Santonio did commit one crime--one in which he had obviously forgotten is that he was PFWB and that stands for Playing Football While Black! That's the crime that Santonio forgot about. I don't care that he was the deciding factor in why we got six championship wins, (which after all this bullshit, is a mere joke), I don't care that he was MVP, at the end of the day, you Twitter an offensive comment to a fan that pissed you off, based on that fan's opinion, you get "traded!" You get accused of throwing your drink in a woman's face, you get "traded!" But, he was not charged with a crime, and he's no longer employed with the Steelers.
So as the media continually spins the "Rooneys Message," i.e., what did 'it' mean, who was 'it' for, what was behind 'it'? I'd like to say that yes, as a fan, I GOT the message! If you're a black athlete that steps out of line too many times, you get "traded!" WHEW, that message just bitch slaps the hell out of you! After all, the Rooneys have an image to uphold and they are a "family oriented" team owner, and there is absolutely no way they will keep any player who is less than the standards in which they have built their enterprise upon--hence, Ben and Jeff will still be playing for us. What a legacy to behold! BRAVO, Rooneys--I have so much respect for your business decisions! (Clapping of Hands)!!
So, as much as I would like to not accessorize my outfit with the "color" on my sleeve, I'm afraid that scarf is draping quite loudly. I did everything I could to place that 'race' card back in the deck, but it is demanding its position on the game table.
WARNING: To all my African-American Football Athletes--NEVER FORGET WHAT COLOR YOU ARE, because trust and believe, the White man will always remind you and take his rightful place!
If the truth hurts, stop inflicting injustice!!!!!!