Friday, June 5, 2020

It's past time to get in the game. (updated)

Yes, I owe you guys a couple posts, but I frankly have just not felt like discussing soccer (beyond work, that is) or binge-worthy distraction-viewing. I haven't felt like being distracted. I've been angry and upset and sad and then angry again.

So now here I am attempting to share some important commentary about racism from black MLS players. One of the most important things that anyone free from day-to-day worries about such things can do is listen to those who are not free from it.

On his Instagram, Kei Kamara hosted a relevant chat with good buddy C.J. Sapong (you can skip the first few minutes, which is just Kei waiting for C.J. to come online).

My MLSS colleagues Susannah and Jillian hosted Minnesota United duo Jacori Hayes and Mason Toye to thoughtfully discuss the past, present and future of this issue from their perspectives.

Similarly, Atlanta United players Anton Walkes and J.J. Wiliams join club president Darren Eales' Spike'd Up podcast to discuss the issue.

And finally, as Susannah alluded early in the podcast above, it's worth recognizing that everyone who wants to educate themselves and get involved can't simply expect their black pals to be responsible for that education/activation. Guide your own efforts as much as possible; Katie Couric has been kind enough to compile a list of books, films and resources that can help you gain knowledge about the history of racism in America and its effect on people of color (definitely don't miss When They See Us). Here's another great resource list that does contain a bit of overlap. Time offers up some very important movie suggestions that weren't on either list. I'd also like to add The Burning: Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 and Tulsa, 1921: Reporting a Massacre to the list of relevant books. I'm sure many folks caught the idea of this horrific, shameful episode from the Watchmen tv show, but there's so much beneath the surface here.

I’m running on fumes but I finally started my skincare routine and I’m going to watch some documentaries before bed. (Can you believe that’s how I relax?) In the past week my account JUMPED from 52k, which I had been working on since 2015, to 150k. I’m honored to continue my work and share my selfies with an even bigger audience. With this increased attention has come more demand. White people asking me for forgiveness—y’all. One lady confessed all of her racist behavior—to brands that have not nary a STITCH of Blackness on their pages all reaching out wanting to #LEARNMORE, #BEINSPIRED, OR #LISTENTOBLACKVOICES. I cannot stress enough how taxing this is. One the one hand, I’m ready for this. I’ve been preparing for this. I have infrastructure for this. On the other hand—DAMN CAN Y’ALL GIVE A BITCH SOME TIME TO ADJUST! I’m headed to bed early. There’s lots of work to do and we have nothing but time to get it done. So as you are flooded with the waves of urgency and the feeling that a change must come as instantly as the likes on a new post, breathe. We are in it for the long haul. This week, these changes? They cannot be undone or unlived. There is a shift taking place and we are all a part of it. So please, do not ask us (the Black voices you’ve so eagerly followed and shared) to light ourselves on fire to keep you warm, or more aptly exhaust ourselves catching you up on some shit you should’ve been listening to all along. Be humble. Be patient. Many of you are new to this, but many of us are not. You are a guest and your host is already exhausted.
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- Greg Seltzer


downintexas said...

Thanks Greg!

DaMa said...

glad to see the sports world speaking more. i always got a bad taste from the republicans buy shoes too viewpoint (though I understood it). White players need to be at the forefront here, too.

Tom said...

Thanks for these links Greg.