NFL Owners Prove They Are Still Trump’s Racist Cronies
"These injustices are so widespread as to seem practically written into our nation's DNA," said Doug Baldwin, Anquan Boldin, Malcolm Jenkins and Benjamin Watson.
President Trump recently suggested that NFL players give him a list of people they believe were wronged by the justice system. If Trump agrees, he said earlier this month, he will "pardon them or at least let them out." How did NFL owners respond? They didn't.
That the league and its owners allowed this to happen without their comment is complicit racism.
Demographics are important here. According to a report from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES), the NFL's players are nearly 70 percent Black. In sharp contrast, quarterbacks are only 19 percent Black. Head coaches are only 21.9 percent Black. There is not a single Black owner of a team.
In an op-ed for the New York Times, Doug Baldwin, wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks; Anquan Boldin, a former NFL wide receiver; Malcolm Jenkins, safety for the Philadelphia Eagles; and Benjamin Watson, tight end for the New Orleans Saints, responded to Trump's ludicrous suggestion.
There are 82,000 people in federal prisons for drug charges, and 200,000 in state prisons, according to the Prison Policy Initiative. According to the NFL players' article, 13.5 percent of those in federal prison are sentenced to two decades or more behind bars. For Trump to suggest that the players start ticking off names of people who should be let out is not only absurd but an impossible task.
Not only that, the offer completely misses the mark. The men, also all members of the Players Coalition, write: "These are problems that our government has created, many of which occur at the local level. If President Trump thinks he can end these injustices if we deliver him a few names, he hasn't been listening to us."
White Billionaire NFL Owners Have Secret Insider Meeting to Discuss how Much Further They Can Jam it up Black Players’ Behinds
Apparently no discussion on how to improve the 70 percent Black player/20 percent Black coach/0 percent Black owner plantation problem.
The men cite police brutality against Black men, racism embedded deep in the criminal justice system, segregation and disparities in education as issues that need to be addressed:
"These injustices are so widespread as to seem practically written into our nation's DNA. We must challenge these norms, investigate the reasons for their pervasiveness and fight with all we have to change them. That is what we, as football players, are trying to do with our activism."
Taking a few specific wrongs and making them right does nothing to correct the root of these problems.
The players applaud the president for granting clemency to 63-year-old Alice Johnson, who was given a life sentence for a first-time nonviolent drug offense. But the problem is that she received such an unjust punishment in the first place.
"The president could stop that from happening by issuing a blanket pardon for people in that situation who have already served long sentences," the men note.
(Notably, the president only granted clemency to Johnson, a grandmother who spent more than two decades in prison, after a public plea from Kim Kardashian West — making the decision seem more like a photo op than the start of broader change.)
According to the Sentencing Project, 1 in 3 Black men born in 2001 will end up in prison at some point in their lives — compared to 1 in 17 white men. Black men are more likely to be arrested in the first place, convicted and serve longer prison terms. And of those in prison, 1 in 9 are serving a life sentence — with about a third not eligible for parole.
Overall, people of color make up 67 percent of the incarcerated population — but just 37 percent of the population overall.
The disparities are hard to ignore — but apparently not for Trump and the NFL owners.
However, the men stated they — unlike the NFL's leadership — will not be complicit in their ongoing fight for social justice.
"President Trump, please note: Our being professional athletes has nothing to do with our commitment to fighting injustice. We are citizens who embrace the values of empathy, integrity and justice, and we will fight for what we believe is right. We weren't elected to do this. We do it because we love this country, our communities and the people in them. This is our America, our right."
Two years after former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee, some people still don't get the point. One of those people currently resides in the White House, and others are in charge of Kaepernick's entire platform.
Louis Klemp pointed to the gap in his teeth as proof. Kansas governor wants him to resign.
Jemel Roberson family's attorney says the task force has a habit of not disciplining, firing, or criminally charging officers in police shootings.
The Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force released a preliminary report less than three days after the shooting of Jemel Roberson, Black security guard in Robbins, Ill, which contradicted what witnesses and Roberson's family attorney have said.
"This will affect my son forever," said Brennan Walker's mother.
After a jury convicted Jeffrey Ziegler last month of assault with intent to do bodily harm and a felony firearm count for shooting at a Black teen in Rochester Hills, Mich., he was sentenced to four to 10 years in prison.
On Tuesday, Ziegler appeared in front of a judge at the Oakland County court, who sentenced him to a minimum of two years for each charge. The original charge, assault with intent to murder, would've carried a life sentence. Now he'll be eligible for parole after four years.
Meanwhile, Lisa Wright, mother of Brennan Walker, the victim, said her son is in therapy indefinitely.
"This will affect my son forever," she said.
"He almost took the life of another human being," assistant prosecutor Kelly Collins said. "That will forever stay with Brennan — forever. His perception of strangers, his perception of other people, his perception of the world."
Jeffrey Zeigler apologized before he was sentenced Tuesday in Oakland County court, and apologized to Wright, saying, "I have full remorse and regret and I wish I could change something, but we can't go back in time."
She doesn't believe him. She told the judge she thinks Ziegler is sad because of the media attention.
As he was escorted out of the courtroom, Zeigler smiled and waved at his wife, and friends and relatives shouted, "We love you, Jeff."
Ziegler and his wife clearly reacted to the teen's race in the April 12 shooting. Ziegler referred to Walker in an interview with a sheriff's deputy after the shooting as "that colored kid" at his front door; and his wife's report to the police was, "A Black male was trying to break into her house and her husband chased after him into the yard."
Ziegler lied and said he tripped and that's what caused his gun to fire, when his own home security system video showed him pausing, taking aim and firing at the fleeing teen.
Walker, then age 14, had missed his bus to school that morning and came to the Zeigler's door for help. After his wife screamed, Zeigler fired a shotgun at the teen, but missed him.
"I was scared," Walker had testified in October. "I was trying to tell them that I was trying to get to high school, but they weren't listening."
Walker had literally run for his life. "I turned back and I saw him aiming at me... I was trying to run away faster and I heard a gunshot," he said on the stand.
Zeigler's attorney Robert Morad, who said his client suffers from PTSD and injuries from being a Detroit firefighter for 23 years, said outside the courtroom,"We will be discussing a possible appeal."
Meanwhile, Walker and his family don't leave the house much anymore. "We moved to Rochester Hills to live in a better place, a safe place," Wright said. "But, when a safer place doesn't want you there, I don't know how to process that."
A white man stabbed Ann Marie Washington in a subway station and "started punching her in her face because she was Black," a witness said.
A 57-year-old Black woman is recovering from surgery to repair a collapsed lung because while exiting a subway in Brooklyn, N.Y., she was punched in the mouth and stabbed by a white man who called her a "Black b--ch" The NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the attack as a hate crime.
The white editorial team claim judgement on a Black woman's body.
For the second year in a row, GQ Magazine has selected a woman for its annual Man of the Year issue. Last year's cover featured Israeli-actress, Gal Gadot. The cover was light and cute. It could've been an advertisement for "The Women's March." This year, tennis-legend Serena Williams, won the "honor." Only her cover isn't a celebration of her athletic prowess and excellence. It's outright racist.
Not only was he clearly identifiable, but officers on the scene knew Jemel Roberson. A civil rights lawsuit has been filed against "Officer John Doe" and Midloathian Village.
Jemel Roberson, age 26, shot and killed on Sunday by a white cop in a Chicago suburb, was wearing a hat that said "SECURITY" on it, clearly identifying himself as an ally to the police.
Officers circled his body in video footage, after telling the unnamed officer, who is a four-year veteran of the force, that Roberson was "one of us."
A Midlothian officer used excessive force when he killed an on-duty armed guard while responding to a shots fired call at a bar in Robbins, IL, a lawsuit was filed against the cop and village. “Other officers knew him and screamed out he's one of us," says witness.#JemelRoberson pic.twitter.com/RySvFK7kYw
— Tia A. Ewing (@TIA_EWING) November 13, 2018
The medical examiner in Cook County ruled Roberson's death a homicide by multiple gunshot wounds.
Beatrice Roberson, Jemel's mother, retained attorney Gregory Kulis who filed a civil rights lawsuit against "Officer John Doe" and the Village of Midloathian on Monday claiming the officer's actions were "intentional, willful and wanton" and that the shooting was "unprovoked," "unjustified" and "unreasonable."
"Jemel was trying to save people's lives," said Kulis. "He was working security. A shooting had just taken place inside the establishment. So he was doing his job and holding onto somebody until somebody arrived. And a police officer, it's our feeling didn't make the proper assessment and fired and killed Jemel."
Midloathian police expressed "heartfelt condolences" in a statement to the family.
Sherriff's office spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said the man shot by police, "turned out to be a guy working security for the bar."
Roberson was the father of a nine-month-old son with Avontea Boose, and was planning on getting an apartment for his family with his earnings from the job, according to Rev. Marvin Hunter, who also said Roberson was a promising keyboard player at several churches including his, and "an upstanding man."
Hunter is the great uncle of Laquan McDonald who was also killed by police in Chicago in 2014.
A vigil held outside Manny's on Monday was wrought with expressions of frustration, grief, and demands for action:
"Why? Why did you kill him?" Roberson's cousin, Candace Ousley asked. "It doesn't make sense. The police officer just saw a black man. I believe if he was indeed white, he'd be alive."
Another man at the vigil said, "This was not reckless policing, this was homicidal policing. They saw a black man with a gun. If he did not have a gun, his black skin made him a weapon.
"As a community, we demand respectful engagement. We want the police to treat our people with just a certain amount of dignity and respect. They patrol the Black community like some . . . Gestapo being judge, jury and executioner."
Another vigil attendee, Harvey Alderman Keith Price, called on State's Attorney Kim Foxx to open an investigation into the shooting.
"This could have been my son. This could have been any one of our sons," Price said. "So Kim Foxx, do the right thing, open up a full out investigation. That's what you got elected for."
Lane Tech College Prep, where Roberson graduated from, tweeted a remembrance of Roberson:
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the tragic passing of 2010 Lane Tech graduate and Lane Tech Basketball alumn, Jemel Roberson. We pass along our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Jemel. Jemel had a big smile and a bigger heart. You will be missed. pic.twitter.com/gpdrI6qQtc
— Lane Tech Basketball (@LaneTechHoops) November 12, 2018
Jemel Roberson Remembered By Friends www.youtube.com
Bigotry continues to thrive in a state that has no diversity.
A high school in Baraboo, Wisc., is currently under investigation after a picture of dozens white male students throwing up the Nazi salute at their junior prom was recently shared on Twitter.
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Police officers saw, Jemel Roberson, "a Black man with a gun, and basically killed him," said a witness.
Jemel Roberson, age 26, was working as a security guard at Manny's Blue Room bar in Robbins, Ill., when a drunken patron who he had been asked to leave earlier, returned with a gun. The patron shot four people.
Roberson, who was armed at the time, returned fire, grabbed one of the men, held him down and waited for police to arrive, according to witnesses.
"He had somebody on the ground with his knee in back, with his gun in his back like, 'Don't move,'" Adam Harris told WGN-TV.
An unnamed Midloathian police officer, according to other officers in that department who were called to assist Robbins' police, opened fire on Roberson, killing him.