Thursday, September 18, 2008

Band together, men!

And I feel OK saying "men" because I have done no research on how the above-the-elbow fashion statement by female athletes.

NYTimes reports, athletes in the NBA, NCAA and NFL are not using wristbands to collect sweat. They are used to make a fashion statement.

At first read, I thought: "This is non-news, and when these multi-million dollar men want to sponsor the advancement of my education and enhance the quality of my life, I will try to care about their need for creative expression through fashion." Then I thought some more about it.

These athletes like the ones named, usually Black around my age and often only celebrated when they win or called out when they do something wrong (like we all haven't had our moments of drunkness when we think that transvestite underrage hooker is our aunt Pat needing a ride home and we really didn't know that our backseat passenger had killed 4 people in 2 states and had a purse full of narcotics. c'mon. and did we really know that our neighbors were cockfighting in our basements? we've ALL been there!)

And I thought of how much I love to celebrate and how stifled celebration is. We're allowed to critique our every misstep, but these athletes get punished for too much dancing, for too much self-acclaim. If they are the fastest, they have to be humble about it. If they hit the hardest, they have to reach out and help their opponent up. No time or space for a genuine and authentic ME moment. It's about the team, never the player. And I'm not against this mentality, but too much of it is just what leads to the negative behavior that makes Black athletes a walking target for trouble and danger.

How often do we think of athlete as artist? Hardly ever unless we're in the midst of a heated debate about who had the prettiest jump shot of all time.

So a guy wants to make a statement. He wants to stand out. He has something that makes him feel special. He doesn't put a wristband on his wrist. In the midst of Wall St. crashing, it may not really matter, but to that guy... it does, and to that guy, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU'RE A HUMAN! You want to matter and you should even if it's to no one else but yourself. You deserve that much. (And I really do think marrying me would be a good look for your career and the further development of civilized society. Help me help you.)

No comments: