Posts Tagged ‘United States of America’

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.'”

wayne

Wayne Simmonds has experienced racism in the NHL first-hand in the past, and according to the Philadelphia Flyers forward, it’s still an issue in the league.

“I don’t want to say it’s completely gone – racism in the game – because I believe it’s not,” Simmonds told Joey Vendetta of Sportsnet 590 on Wednesday. “I’ve had situations arise where I’ve had things said to me or done to me, but I think for myself it’s kind of a motivator.”

Simmonds grew up in Toronto, and played junior in the OHL with the Owen Sound Attack and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, but having played his entire pro career in the United States with the Los Angeles Kings and Flyers, he’s noticed a difference between the two countries.

“Growing up in Canada, I think it was a little bit different. Obviously hockey is life in Canada. So you grow up as a young black kid and everyone is playing hockey around you, so it’s easy to get into,” Simmonds said.

“But I think it’s just easier in Canada. I think the States is kind of, as it’s going now – I don’t want to say it’s segregated, but I think you feel it a little bit more. You feel it a little bit more in the States, whereas in Canada it’s – especially in Toronto, it’s a melting pot. You’ve got every single culture. You’ve got everything here under the sun. It’s like a rainbow. You just don’t feel it as much when you’re growing up in Canada. And I moved to the States I started to notice it a little bit more, but I’m always around good people so it doesn’t have an effect on me.”

Simmonds generally let’s his play do the talking, and lately, his performance has spoken volumes, setting a career high in goals last season with 32.