HOUSTON – So if I am to understand Houston Texan owner, Robert “Bob” McNair correctly – it is ok for a Black man to run a piece of “pigskin”, up and down a field, in some instances, resulting in long-term and serious injuries to himself; as long as ratings are up and ticket sales are booming? I’m gathering that, it is ok for a Black man to run home to his family and loved ones, after he has fulfilled your (McNair) assignment of running across the nation sporting skills that your (McNair) pocketbooks have capitalized off of? But, the moment that those same Black men that have ran hundreds of miles to secure your (McNair) financial liberty, decide to take a knee or a stand of protest, to a concept engineered by a nation filled with racial injustice, discrimination and inequality, resulting in countless of Black lives being slain unjustly – then those same Black men are metaphorically defined as, “inmates running the prison”? Without fear or favor, I say, ‘Hell NO – Time-Out!’
It has been recently reported that players of the Houston Texans considered walking out in response to insulting comments made by owner, Robert “Bob” McNair. In the wake of the national controversy induced by Donald Trump, ESPN reported on a meeting conducted by the NFL’s owners’, to address protests that players have demonstrated during “The Star Spangled Banner”. Amidst the gathering, McNair remained true to his Southern heritage by concluding that, “we can’t have the inmates running the prison.” This statement was made, in response to players’ unifying and acting on their right to freedom of speech, as it relates to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Texans Coach O’Brien took a stance of, getting in front of the comments with players the morning that the story was to surface amongst media outlets. Afterwards, some of the players weighed heavily on the motion of performing a walkout. Reportedly O’Brien then held a 90-minute meeting, allowing players the opportunity to speak out their emotions. The coaching staff was able to prevent the intended walkout by talking with players, though some players agree that the issue is far from being resolved.
Following his accidental truthful hiccups, McNair offered a public apology stating, “I regret that I used that expression.” He said, “I never meant to offend anyone and I was not referring to our players. I used a figure of speech that was never intended to be taken literally. I would never characterize our players or our league that way and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it.”
To: Our Leaders on the Field
Please understand as strong productive Black men, that you possess a platform which magnets the minds of, scores of young Black boys, across these United States. Hence yielding you, your minds, unity, ability and success, an enlarged territory in continuously drawing attention to the perils that have longed plagued this country. We feel that you are justified in, “Kneeling Your Ground”, in solidarity with the protest movement initiated by Colin Kaepernick.
I have remained an avid supporter of holding our Black leaders accountable, whether it’s in elected office, a pulpit or on a man-made field. So my tone will not change when it comes to encouraging our Black athletic leaders on the field to do the same. I urge you to continue utilizing your gifts to draw attention to the factors that so heavily impact our communities. Always remember that there is power in unity and no matter how others may attempt to minimize or insult your worth; know that it is off of the maximization of your talents that truly determine their worth. Not the other way around!
Numerically, you possess more of a financial asset to them, opposed to the benefit that they try to promote to you. According to VICE SPORTS’ Antonio Moore, “70 percent of NFL players are Black men.” That tells the world, that there are more of you, than there are of them. You don’t have to be a Mathematical wizard to know that 70 percent is the overwhelming majority. The “inmate” reference is parallel to the view, that you are just another n$$$a. Some of them feel like, they have bought and paid for you; therefore, they own you. So you have to understand that ain’t nobody going to ever respect you, if you don’t first stand up for yourselves and who you are. It is, “Time-Out” for “considering” and “Time-In”, for actively demonstrating the power that you have as Black leaders in our community.
Lastly, if owners and your superiors are unconcerned about the issues you raise, and refuse to view them as national priority; you should consider a few questions. Just what do you think they would do if you were involved in a case of mistaken identity? Since we all look sooo much alike; what if you were: Dontre Hamilton (Milwaukee), or Trayvon Martin, or Eric Garner (New York), John Crawford, III (Dayton), Michael Brown (Ferguson), Ezell Ford (Florence), Dante Parker (Victorville), Tanisha Anderson (Cleveland), Akai, Gurley (Brooklyn), Tamir Rice (Cleveland), Rumain Brisbon (Phoenix), Jerame Reid (Bridgeton), Tony Robinson (Madison), Phillip White (Vineland), Eric Harris (Tulsa), Walter Scott (North Charleston) or Freddie Gray (Baltimore), to state the most? What if you were executed by an official who took it upon himself to be judge and jury of your life? Do you think that the multi-millionaires, who have accomplished their fortunes off of your talents, would really give a damn? I’ll let you be the judge of that one…
To: Texans’ owner, Bob McNair
Let me first state, that your mentality is nothing new to our people. Although unacceptable, we are used to being used to make you money and then being totally disregarded, overlooked and unappreciated. In fact, you should know that this very nation was built off of the backs of our ancestors and many of us, picked up where they left off.
Now perhaps, you meant you, “regret you used that expression” – OUT-LOUD! Either way, the way I see it, you can keep your apology. We know you meant what you said, and said what you meant. There is no other way around it. Always remember, we are an understanding group, of race of people. Therefore, we understand that you have used, some of the millions that these Black men have afforded you, to support the election of your POTUS. By the way, this is the same POTUS who incited this issue to begin with; while masking the true underlying tragedies that exist, in the name of American patriotism.
We understand that according to the 510-page report released by the Federal Election Commission; that you were amongst a committee that, “raised $106.7 million to pay for Trump’s inauguration events”. Quite naturally, we know that you feel a sense of dedication to him, despite your initial, exaggerated spontaneous utterance, in response to his criticism of players taking the knee to the anthem. Furthermore, we understand that while you are busy comparing our Black leaders to “convicts”, you refuse to shed light on the issues that they deem top priority.
Much like your POTUS, you have dodged the underlying factors that all of the fuss is truly about. So you can apologize away, all you want. However for future references, understand this about us – an apology to us, means nothing when you meant what you said. You should further understand, that if you can use your millions to support your POTUS administration, in some capacity you should have some influence on raising awareness to the things that affects your own money-makers! Let me state it in a language, maybe you can understand better. Protect your investments! Because, while you say you didn’t mean what you said, “LITERALLY”; Black players’ lives’, LITERALLY depend on the issues they are expressing their views on. Again, we mean that, LITERALLY!
To: Our Mayor and Elected Officials
Our message on this regard is simple and clear. We ask that you strongly oppose any efforts proposed to your offices in aid of supporting the requests of racist affiliates, personalities or institutions. It should be, Time-Out for any more of our tax dollars being contributed to fund the likes of those who welcome racial discrimination and disparity. Commissioner Rodney Ellis was right to interject about the statue erection of McNair on NRG Stadium premises. With an intended location stationed on public land, it doesn’t matter what kind of private donors or committees, are proposing to front the funds for the statue. The fact remains that a symbol of McNair’s presence on public grounds is just as offensive as the latest controversial arguments of Confederate statues and symbols being exhibited around these United States.
It is one thing that African-Americans have to contend with a constant reminder, that we will often confront those who believe we were created unequal, because we do not look like them. But, it takes it to another level when we have to look at the faces of these types of characters, on properties that our money pays to finance. Therefore, if the statue discussion has any place in your jurisdiction, we are asking our elected officials to call a, Time-Out.
To: The Faithful Audience of African-American News & Issues
There is an epidemic prevalent within these United States that has existed since its inception. To this day, we continue to see, its’ vices remain intact. When things go wrong, find the nearest Black man and you will find the root to the problem. That is the mindset that has ruled this nation. Not because the Black man is inferior, but because American society has portrayed it as such. Black participation and contribution is expected and anticipated, but Black appreciation is never reciprocated. We cannot leave our leaders on the field hanging. Every time, you see them taking a hit for uniting in the Black Lives Matter cause, they are taking one for the team. That team is comprised of every African-American member of our society.
Thus, I have learned that the best way to get high-minded folks’ attention is to hit them where it hurts. Since some of the NFL owners are insistent on remaining silent about the racial injustices that continue to plague Black lives’, Black NFL supporters should stop paying to go to these games. Stop purchasing their sports memorabilia and patronizing their services. Do so, until they get the message that Black Lives Matter! Stop supporting those, who refuse to support you!
In closing, “your money” and “your vote”, are two of the most powerful tools you have; be careful who you give them to. You may not have authority to vote owners of major league teams, in or out, but you definitely have control over the money you freely give to support their racist a$$e$. It is a simple formula to me, just call a “Time-Out”. I am Roy Douglas Malonson and I approved this message.