Friday, May 13, 2011

Is He Black Enough?

My, my, my, there are so many things to talk about in the world of sports this week. 
The Mavericks are going to the Western Conference Finals with arguably their best team in history.  The Rangers are seemingly making strides to right their steadily sinking ship.  The lockout in the NFL still looms and Chad Ochocino is about to get killed riding a bull.
The NBA Playoffs has let fans witness the changing of the guard from the Lakers, Celtics and Spurs to the Bulls, Heat and Grizzlies.  Baseball has been as unpredictable as ever as more winning teams from last season find themselves fighting out of the cellars of their divisions and dogs are somehow on top. 
The NCAA has finally faced reality and realizes they have to get tough and discipline every institution and every coach the same and is looking to institute new rules and guidelines to do just that.  Some, according to NCAA President Mark Emmert, should be in place by late June.
Like I mentioned, plenty of things to talk about but it all takes a back seat to what I feel will be the impending national conversation that is looming on the horizon. And the subject is about blackness.  I don’t really feel like going into what he said, but you can find it here.   
The question was raised by boxer Bernard Hopkins a few days ago in disgusting fashion regarding his ongoing animosity against NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb and the questioning of his has elicited wide condemnation throughout  the sports world.
It became the topic du jour on Outside the Lines on ESPN and I’m sure will be the subject on the Sports Reporters and other outlets not limited to sports in the coming days. 
I have always been a fan of Hopkins: thought he was one of the best fighters of my generation because he spoke his mind and never backed down from anyone.  He fought whoever was placed in his way and always expressed dignity after a good fight or a tough loss.  He was one of the last fighters that I would shell out big bucks for pay-per-view to watch regardless of the opponent because I knew the Executioner would always give the people what they wanted.
But now I have to back out of his corner.  For once I am hoping for a fight so one-sided against him that his brain is rattled back into reality and the mindless dribble he has been spewing against McNabb disappears into the recesses of his mind, permanently.  I am hoping that the ignorance he has tossed across the airwaves for people to pick at like an old sore comes back to bite him in such a way that if he does not issue an apology, it makes him stop his ridiculous attacks altogether.
I hope that he is vilified to the point that his business partners, be they white or black, come to him and issue an ultimatum that this kind of senseless vitriol has got to stop. 
But it will never happen.  Hopkins has been on McNabb’s case since his early days with the Eagles.  He has equated McNabb to an Uncle Tom for reasons he has never fully explained. 
One can only surmise it is because while Hopkins was raised poor, McNabb was raised in a well to do family.  While Hopkins was looking for his next meal, McNabb was sitting down to eat at a dinner table flush with food.  When Hopkins was out committing crimes as a youth without guidance, young Donovan was surrounded by friends, family and mentors that ensured he would stay on the right track.  And while Hopkins was languishing in prison, Donovan was going to school and increasing his draft stock in order to be selected by Hopkins’ team, the Eagles.
And when you get to the crux of the argument, you really see why Hopkins has such a problem with McNabb.  Hopkins is envious of him.  He grew up alone and underprivileged while his “rival” had everything in place to succeed in life.  Where Hopkins made bad choices, McNabb made good ones.  Where McNabb tends to like to air his grievances in private, Hopkins likes to put his on public display.
McNabb is the gentleman to Hopkins thuggish, brooding behavior and I applaud him for not lowering himself to the level of an idiot because he would never win.  Donovan has been what every parent, I’m sure including Hopkins, aspires for their kid regardless of race-successful, trustworthy and clean-cut.  He doesn’t fight, he takes care of his family and he is loyal to a fault.
He doesn’t call out his teammates and put the focus on himself like Terrell Owens.  Nor does he jeopardize an entire franchise with stupid and selfish actions like Michael Vick.  He is the guy you can count on and the guy you want in your corner when times get rough.  He is dependable and most of all he is a leader.  The leader we should all aspire to be and the guy we should gladly accept a role model.  It’s just too bad B-Hop can’t and won’t see it.  And now he’s just executed mine and a bunch of others’ support for him. 
Stay classy Hopkins.    

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