By BARBARA HOWARD
This Sunday’s sermon was about gratitude; a fitting one for the Thanksgiving season. But I learned to be grateful for all things on all days. My favorite gospel group, Lee Williams and the Spiritual QCs, sing about being grateful and thanking the Lord for being good to them. And that’s the way I live my life these days.
So imagine how stunned I was to see the father of one of the three UCLA basketball players caught shoplifting sunglasses in China come out on TV blasting President Trump for getting his son out of jail. I have seen plenty of idiots in my life, but never like this one. These boys embarrassed their families, their school and their country.
But LaVar Ball gave one of the most ungrateful displays I have ever seen. He refused to thank POTUS because he didn’t think Trump had done enough for his son because he didn’t fly him back to America in Air Force One. What?????
Then eyes bulging and with this big stupid grin on his face, Ball gave a shameless plug for his $500 Big Baller tennis shoes. He promised to send Trump a pair so he could “calm down.” Trump said he should have left the boys in jail. I agree.
In his sermon Pastor Jackson talked about people who walk around with airs of entitlement. After seeing Mr. “Big Baller” on TV, one can easily see why his son thought he could go to a foreign country and steal some stupid sunglasses from several stores. Seems he and his friends thought they were entitled to help themselves to somebody else’s stuff.
That profile fits most of our Black athletes these days. Especially those who refuse to stand for the National Anthem in the NFL.
These overpaid ball players sign these multi-million dollar contracts and then complain about how hard it is being black in America. Just recently, NBA great LeBron James, otherwise known as “King James,” lamented about being black after his Los Angeles home was spray painted with a racial epithet.
But I’m astounded at how people like Colin Kaepernick can refuse to stand for the National Anthem under the guise of racism and remain eerily quiet about black-on-black crime which is so pervasive in America.
Instead of celebrating the opportunities afforded so many of them here in America, they are so ungrateful. Seems like “Black Lives Matter” only if they are black lives cut short by white cops, usually when they are in the process of committing crimes, usually against black victims.
But the NFL is only concerned about black victims of police shootings or racism and they display their distaste by kneeling or sitting down during the National Anthem, which is totally disrespectful to America.
Even worse, they will disrespect their own flag while showing respect for other countries. NFL player Marshawn Lynch sat down for his own National Anthem but stood in respect for the Mexican National Anthem and then commented on how he thought he would be treated better in Mexico than he was treated in America.
Seriously??? Can he get a multi-million dollar contract in Mexico as a black man? How ungrateful can you be?
It’s like a couple of my grandchildren who are as ungrateful as these ball players. They live the good life without the responsibilities. They are adults who live with their mother and father but don’t contribute to the mortgage or buy their food. But to add insult to injury, they are disrespectful to their parents.
These ball players get millions of dollars to entertain us by playing football or basketball, but then complain that they are being mistreated solely because they are black.
Yes, there will always be racists, but these people don’t define what it means to live in America, which is seen as one of the best, if not the very best, country in the world to live in. Otherwise people from other countries would not be risking their lives to come here to live.
But for those who are born here and don’t see the beauty of living in a free society, but instead want to view America by the slavery of over 200 years ago, are ungrateful for what they have now.
For those, I have a poem I wrote back in 2002, entitled “Reality Check,” which reads, “If I hear ‘It’s hard to be a Black man’ one more time from another brother with a Rolex on, I will freaking scream.”