Posts Tagged ‘Slavery’

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Don’t tell Damian Lillard to stick to sports.

The Portland Trail Blazers star has been vocal about his thoughts on politics and current affairs, and doesn’t plan on holding back just because some people think athletes aren’t qualified to speak on such matters.

The 27-year-old point guard called the notion “very saddening” and compared it to slavery.

“Looking at it now, how they just want us to go out and play basketball and you know, ‘put that jersey on and be proud’ and ‘don’t represent anything,’ ‘don’t stand for anything,’ ‘don’t have an opinion, just be respectful,’ and ‘go out there and play for me’ – it makes me think about kind of the way it was with slavery, when it was, they want the young, strong and you know, ‘His arms are long and he’s got big calves.’ It reminds me of that,” Lillard told Oregon Public Broadcasting, as transcribed by Willamette Week’s Sophia June.

“They want us to go out and do what we’re built to do. We’re good athletes; we’re physically strong; we’re very capable … They don’t want to know what we think; they don’t care how we feel about something. It’s just ‘Go out there and do what your job is.'”

Lillard has spoken out about many issues, including police brutality after an officer shot and killed Philando Castile last year. More recently, he called out President Donald Trump for his profane attack on anthem protesters.

“I think it’s sad that with all that’s going on in the world, our president is concerned with football and basketball,” Lillard told reporters at Media Day.

The two-time All-Star also trolled the president after he withdrew his invitation for the Golden State Warriors to visit the White House, because Stephen Curry did not want to go.

Asked if he’d go to the Oval Office if invited by Trump, Lillard replied:

“No. I would not.”

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LaDainian Tomlinson pleaded for racial unity and harmony during his Hall of Fame speech, a common theme of the evening amid a turbulent political climate.

The former Chargers running back recounted a story of his great-great-great grandfather coming to the United States on a slave ship from West Africa, and called for harmony in these polarizing times.

“The family legacy that began in such a cruel way has given birth to generations of successful, caring Tomlinsons,” he said Saturday. “I firmly believe that God chose me to help bring two races together under one last name: Tomlinson. I’m of mixed race, and I represent America. My story is America’s story. All our ancestors, unless we’re American Indian, came from another country, another culture. Football is a microcosm of America. All races, religions, and creeds living, playing, competing side by side.”

Tomlinson continued, invoking the message of change championed by former President Barack Obama.

“On America’s team, let’s not choose to be against one another. Let’s choose to be for one another. My great-great-great grandfather had no choice. We have one. I pray we dedicate ourselves to be the best team we can be, working and living together, representing the highest ideals of mankind, leading the way for all nations to follow. One of the most eloquent orators of our time said it best in his farewell address. Paraphrasing and humbly building upon what President Obama said, ‘We all have to try harder, show up, dive in and stay at it.’ I am asking you to believe in your ability to bring about change, to hold fast to the faith and the idea whispered by slaves: ‘Yes, we can.'”

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Chris Weidman is grateful for the ill-informed politicians who lobbied against the legalization of MMA at Tuesday’s New York State Assembly conference.

The former UFC middleweight champion was more confused than angry at the bevy of arguments presented by opponents of a bill that would legalize MMA in Weidman’s home state. After a lengthy session, the bill was passed by a vote of 113-25.

Some of the arguments against legalization revolved around stereotypes tied to the sport, including comparisons to “gay porn,” the evoking of slave imagery, and the implication that fighters are more inclined to violent criminal behavior.

“Some of the things they were saying were so ridiculous that I was actually happy and embarrassed for them for even bringing it up,” Weidman said on a conference call after the vote, according to Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting. “It’s things I’ve heard people behind closed doors might be saying, but to hear them say it live and to the public, I actually thought it was pretty interesting – and probably good for us. I just thought it was embarrassing on their part.”

The Baldwin, N.Y., native has battled for years to bring regulated MMA to New York, but even he was caught off guard by some of the statements made against the sport at the conference.

The Hon. Daniel J. O’Donnell of Manhattan suggested assembly members had been bribed to change their votes. He also said MMA is “gay porn with a different ending.”

The Hon. Charles Barron of Manhattan chose slavery as the basis for his argument.

“Firstly, as an African American, we’ve been in cages on the plantation and other places and people let us bite off each other’s ears and other things until they regulated that and made it something different,” Barron said.

Thankfully for Weidman and the bill’s proponents, the comments failed to sway the majority of voters.

“For them to be actually saying it on a public forum was very surprising and I was actually embarrassed for them,” Weidman said. “I think it just kind of made them look ignorant with their comments and they were reaching as far as they possibly can to stop it from happening for whatever reasons. And they were willing to make themselves look bad while they were doing it.”

Tiger Woods’ former caddie Steve Williams has written an autobiography, and it is not kind to the golfing superstar.

Williams’ book, “Out of the Rough,” chronicles his time in golf and his 13 years alongside Woods, which were undoubtedly Tiger’s best years.

In an excerpt released Sunday, Williams said that at times working with Woods made him feel like a slave.

One thing that really pissed me off was how he would flippantly toss a club in the general direction of the bag, expecting me to go over and pick it up. I felt uneasy about bending down to pick up his discarded club, it was like I was his slave. The other thing that disgusted me was his habit of spitting at the hole if he missed a putt.

The book is set for release Monday.

Williams stopped working with Woods in 2011, after Tiger’s infidelity scandal rocked the sport. The two won 13 of Woods’ 14 majors together, but Williams maintains he didn’t know about Woods’ life outside of the greens.

Only a handful of his oldest buddies actually had any idea this was going on. I didn’t know because Tiger didn’t dare tell me. We had such a strong bond and working relationship that there was no way he could let me in on what was happening – he knew my values and that I would have zero tolerance for that kind of behavior.

But regardless of the morality of the matter, he was still a friend in trouble and I was going to stick by him. I did that even though people were accusing me of being an enabler, an accomplice, saying I was lying when I stated clearly that I knew nothing about this. For months on end, my life was absolutely miserable.

Williams served as best man at Woods’ wedding, according to ESPN’s Bob Harig, but their relationship ended poorly. Williams writes that Woods’ apology after his marriage fell apart was “heavily scripted,” and that he has no sympathy, because Woods was in charge of his own actions.

Williams began caddying in 1976, and started working with Woods in 1999. The New Zealander now has a working relationship with Adam Scott, though it is on a limited basis.