The Black Buck Rebellion
"I'm not going to help nobody against something Negroes don't have. If I'm going to die. I'll die right here fighting you. If I'm going to die, you're my enemy. My enemy is the white people, not Viet Congs or Chinese or Japanese. You're my foes when I want freedom. You're my foes when I want equality. You're my foes when I want justice. You won't even stand up for me in America for my religious beliefs and you want me to go for me at here at home."
Muhammad Ali is a man that I have the utmost respect for. I admired his skills in the boxing ring but I will forever admire this man for standing for himself and his people. Muhammad Ali was not an apolitical celebrity. Although his friend close and mentor Malcolm X once argued that black people should not enlist athletes and celebrities as their leaders because it is foolish. Which is something I agree with but I admire and appreciate Muhammad Ali's outright defiance. He did play the role of the good buck, the good brute. Muhammad Ali was conscious of social and political issues. I referred to the term "buck" because American society created the caricature known as "The Black Buck." The Black Buck refers to a black man that refused to abide to the laws of white authority and are deemed to be rude and arrogant. The Black Buck is also known as the athletic black man with brute strength and exceptional physical abilities.
Last month the University of Missouri also known as Mizzou obtained much attention that emerged from controversy. Former University President Tim Wolfe did not provide retribution for racist sentiments that established a hostile environment for students especially African American students. The football team and its head coach Barry Odom participated in a campus wide protests. The campus protests included a hunger stroke by a graduate student to voice concerns about the leadership of Tim Wolfe. The football magnified the protests not refusing to participate in athletic activities that would provide the school with colossal revenue. Two Missouri politicians have voiced their opposition to student athletes participating in social and or political protests.
|Republican Missouri Representative Kurt Bahr
|Republican Missouri Representative Rick Brattin
"My bill was filed to generate discussion on what I believe is an extremely important topic and one that deserves deliberate consideration. While I am withdrawing the legislation, I hope the conversation will continue so that we can take steps to ensure the University of Missouri is providing a stable positive learning environment for our young people. I sincerely believe students should be able to express their viewpoints, but I also believe our flagship state university has to keep and maintain the order this is expected from such an esteemed educational institution."
At the end of this post I will share my thoughts on the statements made by Rep. Rick Brattin. But I want to share two more compelling comments he made. Rep. Rick Brattin asserted that this bill would make an impact even if it never was accepted a committee in the Missouri House of Representatives. He supported this assertion with another statement.
"The hope is that the university acts so we don't have to," said Brattin, who represents the state's 55th district. "We cannot have the student body, or in this case, the football team, going on strike and forcing out a school president. That cannot be allowed."
Here is the last comment he made to USA Today Sports.
"I think the students have created this situation where nobody wants to come here," Brattin said. "There have been several prospects who have chosen not to go to MU because it's in such disarray. We need to bring order back. The football team is a sports organization, not a political activist organization."
The bill Rep. Rick Brattin & Rep. Kurt Bahr are advocating is called HB 1743.
HB 1743 provides that any college athlete on scholarship who refuses to play for a reason unrelated to health shall have his or her scholarship revoked.
Section A. known as Section 173.1650 states the following.
1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any college athlete who calls, incites, supports, in any strike or concreted refusal to play a scheduled game shall have his or her scholarship revoked.
2. Any member of a coaching staff who encourages or enables a college athlete to engage in behavior prohibited under subsection 1 of this section shall be fined by his or her institution of employment.
Missouri House of Representatives
Missouri legislator withdraws bill to bar student0 athletes from protests
A.J. Perez, USA Today Sports
Toni's Thoughts: As a former athlete myself I understand the daily challenges of attempting please everyone. Many people assume being a student athlete is a glamorous job, however this is not accurate. Student athletes are similar to soldiers they must be prepared to perform and compete at all times. Student athletes must ensure they are engaged in academic enrichment and they must excel in their sport to maintain their scholarship. Student athletes are often isolated from their family and friends because they must adhere to rigorous schedule. Student athletes exhaust both their bodies and their sanity as their coaches and schools receive the glory and monetary profits from their hard work. In the context of the African American student athlete the challenges and expectations are more intense. The experiences of African American athletes parallels to American slavery. The bodies and names of African American athletes are owned by white men and sometimes women. These individuals are expected to remain apolitical and loyal to their white master. Anytime a black athlete intentionally refuses to abide by this code of athletic political ethics they are confronted with hostility and mechanisms used to prevent them from enjoying the fruits of their labor. The statements made Rep. Rick Brattin resemble a plantation owner or overseer that wants maintain dominance over the minds of bodies of his slaves. Rep. Rick Brattin is more concerned about the reputation and monetary value of the University of Missouri instead of holding accountability for the racist culture being supported at the school. Although I am not naïve enough to believe that these Republican representatives would engage in dialogue that places emphasis on accountability. They are endorsing systematic racism. I made reference to boxing legend Muhammad Ali because he was attacked by the American government for refusing to participate in the Vietnam War based on his religious beliefs and allegiance to Black Liberation. Muhammad Ali was stripped of his boxing title and was not able to box in America for five years as well as abroad. Almost 50 years later we white men in power attempting maintain dominion of the minds and bodies of black men and women rooted in racism and capitalism.