Herald Sports Writer
There comes a time when you just get fed up. Enough is enough. It didn’t happen in the 60’s during the Civil Rights Movement. Tensions of future decades between Blacks and the police happened, but nothing was done.
This past week the sports world finally said “enough is enough.” The Milwaukee Bucks will go down in history. They were the first team to step forward and say “We aren’t playing,’’ boycotting their playoff game against the Orlando Magics.
The boycotting had a domino effect in all sports. Soon baseball teams canceled their games (including the Reds and the Milwaukee Brewers), and football teams cancelled their practices.
The Cincinnati Bengals took a stand of their own. Bengal players, coaches, ownership and staff marched from Paul Brown stadium to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to deliver their message. Players A.J Green and Joe Burrow have publically spoken out against the brutality against Blacks. The Bengals released a statement that read, ”It is each of our responsibility to effect change in our communities, not only for us, but those yet to come. We cannot turn a blind eye to the racism still experienced in this country. If this nation is ever going to reach the goals that it has promised its citizens, we must be a catalysts for the change.”
The team followed its statement with a tour of the Freedom Center and an educational presentation by the president Woodrow Keown.
This past week was big time history. It’s one thing when Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association cancel games. But when the NFL gets involved, the story becomes bigger. The NFL is the grand daddy of them all. The NFL and NBA are majority Black. The NFL won’t start its season until Thursday. September 10. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and New York Giant running back Saquan Barkley are two bigtime NFL players who have talked about canceling NFL games in protest of the violence against Blacks.
It was only a few years ago that then San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem in protest against the treatment of Blacks. It cost the QB his job, and he was in essence blackballed from the NFL. That stand Kaepernick took is becoming larger and larger as race relations in the country have reached a boiling point with the publicity of the deaths of George Floyd and shooting of Jacob Blake. It was very good to see Cincinnati pro teams stepped up in the fight against the brutality. Cincinnati has long had the reputation of a racist city and has had many high profile violent police/Black clashes of it’s own such as Tim Thomas and Sam Dubose.