View Full Version : Anyone see Quite Frankly tonight?

08-03-2006, 12:24 AM
I usually don't watch it but it was interesting tonight.

They were talking about the role of the black athlete in the community or I think so but I missed some of it in the beginning.

The one guy (whos book just came out on this subject I think) on there was saying that the black athletes need to come together as a "team" and help the black community.

What do you guys think on this? Persoanlly I think that if they want their community to prosper they need to focus on education and getting businesses that will help the economy grow. Athletes can help out a lot in this by starting a business of their own, providing scholarships, etc but IMO it is ridiculous to call out athletes and expect them to do all the work.

The guy who wrote the book, i've been wondering what he has done to help with this problem. I don't know but I hope he is doing his part if he is calling out athletes.

I thought it was interesting and it has been slow on here so it's something to discuss.

08-03-2006, 01:08 AM
I believe that a person has a right to do what he/she wants. If they want to help people, fine, if not... fine as well. It would be nice if they all helped others, but they don't have to.

08-03-2006, 01:16 AM
With great power... Cue Spiderman.

08-03-2006, 02:35 AM
Note - Jack did start a school in Port Arthur.
Yeah, he's a cancer alright. :rolleyes:

But I do agree that putting an obligation on it is wrong. However, if a guy is throwing gang signs and trying to "keep it real" then the best way to do that is to take that money back to his hood and give it a productive boost with positive investments (a business, school, charity, etc). That's why I was so happy to see Jack take action after his gang colors in the locker comment.

However until the Exxon exec starts putting his wealth back into the poor communities that struggled to pay his gas prices so he could have that wealth I won't feel bothered when athletes and stars don't do it either. Its a choice, not obligation.

08-03-2006, 02:36 AM
Yeah, he's a cancer alright. :rolleyes:
Nobody says he is.

08-03-2006, 03:11 AM
I think the rich should help the poor regardless of color.

08-03-2006, 07:58 AM
I saw a tiny bit of it. For those of you not familiar, the discussion came largely from this book (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/scorecard/07/27/book.review/index.html).

I've started to respond to this thread a bunch of times, re-wrote what I said, then reconsidered again. I have so many thoughts on the subject I don't know where to begin.

I'll just give a sliver of my thinking and I'll start with one guy, cause I totally agree with the author about Michael Jordan.

" The "apolitical black athlete" Rhoden singles out is Michael Jordan, for whom the system has worked -- financially, anyway. "Jordan could have single-handedly consolidated Black Power in sports and transformed the entire industry," Rhoden says. "Instead, Jordan said, 'Be like Mike.'"

I have never been a Jordan fan. Ever.

Mike was more concerned with making millions than really having an impact for black athletes. He could have truly weilded his power for some real change, but he didn't. He was more concerned with being a corporate shill and having everyone like him. I won't digress and hijack this thread to go off about his gambling, multiple women he had on the side and the debacle of tarnishing his Dad's memory upon his death. I'll just say I was a bit disappointed with Jordan on many levels.

My mom and grandma have a saying I grew up with: Black folks are our own worse enemy. We put down those who speak well or are educated as trying to "be white" and shun them. When someone does well, the attitude is "why don't you give me some?" As a culture, there has been a frightening lack of community cohesion in the black community.

I think part of this mindset carries over to the black athlete. For every outspoken guy like Jim Borwn, there's a counter like Terrell Owens. I think there's a general divisiveness that is magnified by big bucks and adulation.

My wife one time asked me why in a sport that appears to be dominated by Blacks, there are so few black coaches or owners. I didn't know what to tell her.

Okay, I don't mean to tread on dangerous ground, but aside from religious reasons, I think there's another reason for Anti-semitism. People are envious of the cohesion in the Jewish community. I lost track of how many times my friend's families started a business venture, partially backed by others in the Jewish community. There's a sense of community that tends to run strong. I've alway wondered why there is such a divergence is community mindset with the Blck and Jewish community when there is so much common ground.

Far as I'm concerned, I think Millionaire athletes have a moral obligation to try and make professional and societal change fro the better. As I do the big corporations like Exxon, as Seth alluded to. Thing is, the major corporations have such an institutionalized mindset of greed, I don't hold out for much hope there. With the athlete, there is a much better chance for making a change and having an impact.

I don't mean to sound like I'm painting everyone with one broad stroke and I'm admittedly making generalities to make a point. I know some may find my opinions a bit provocative, but that's what my 4 decades on this planet as a Black man have shown me.

I think William Rhoden has some good points, but I think he gets a bit extreme. Hopefully I can catch the rebroadcast fo the show. I'd like to see what was said.

08-03-2006, 08:52 AM
Even the wealthiest athlete has not more than a few tens of millions of dollars to work with -- $100 million at most. That is a lot for an individual, but it is not much when you start to think about changing society.

I think what is expected from athletes, and perhaps black athletes most, is token activism. We all saw the "The NBA Cares" commercials during the playoffs, and we've all seen the pictures of the Pacers handing out Thanksgiving meals and reading books aloud to children. Well, all of those were good gestures and make us think favorably of the players. But does reading one book aloud to some third-graders affect their academic achievement? Does dishing out one meal in November to homeless people mean they won't be hungry in December? No. The gestures that are expected of athletes are usually just token gestures.

The main motivation for many of these gestures is tax law that allows you to start a foundation and not pay taxes on the money you gave away, so many of the most admirable gestures actually cost the donor nothing, anyway.

The burden of social reform is on government and church -- the only two institutions with a large enough base of members to make a sustained, substantial difference across a whole city or nation.

The Christian church is right to expect and demand its adherents to give money and time (and lots of it, week after week) to benefit the needy people around them, because that is what Christ taught and that is at the very heart of true religion. Civil society puts a similar burden on its citizens, but not a firm one. A democratic society can be compassionate one day and then say "To hell with the homeless" the next. But church and government are the only two institutions with sufficient means and a moral duty to care about society.

But it is neither fair nor reasonable to expect the rich (black or white) in general to fix society just because they are rich. I don't think the question should be argued especially about black people, and if it doesn't make sense for everyone then it's not right to say "black people should..."

Occasionally you get an Andrew Carnegie or a Bill Gates who decides it would be fun to throw some millions back at the world, but the rich are seldom going to be the fount of social reform.

I'd very much like for more people to be charitable and socially active. But "because you are rich" is never going to be reason enough to demand it from anyone. And neither is "because you are rich and black."

08-03-2006, 09:08 AM
I think you're misinterpreting the message. I think what was being said is that the Black Athlete doesn't do enough for the Black community or for inproving is own work conditions in the NBA, not society as a whole.

Black athletes dominate the NBA, yet what have they done collectively to improve their lot. What have they done collectively to improve the Black community. I think there's a partial perception of "I got out and I'm not looking back."

I think the focus was on Black community and defining the Black man's role and power in the NBA. I got a bit of a problem with the plantation/slave analogy, though. :rolleyes:

08-03-2006, 09:38 AM
Note - Jack did start a school in Port Arthur.
Yeah, he's a cancer alright. :rolleyes:

What you do off the court, has zero bearing what you do on it.

I mean Michael Jackson raises/donates money to "Heal the Kids" quite often, but that doesn't mean he should be trusted with actual kids, now does it?

08-03-2006, 09:44 AM
Skaut, what exactly does the NBA player need to do to improve his
working condtion? To be an initiator of business or promoting family
unity would be a good place to start. Seed money for these areas
would be good also. Beyond that I believe the culture has to change
as you already noted.


08-03-2006, 09:58 AM
I believe that every person (regardless of wealth or poverty) has an obligation to work at improving his/her community (whether that community is well off or in shambles). Every single person, every single community.