Let's take a step back, and talk about something a little different. Today's Reader Advisor breaks down the separation that usually exists between professional sports and protests.

Philadelphia Eagles players Steven Means (51), Malcolm Jenkins (27) and Ron Brooks (33) raise their fists during the national anthem on September 2016. CREDIT: Chris Sweda for the Chicago Tribune.
Philadelphia Eagles players Steven Means (51), Malcolm Jenkins (27) and Ron Brooks (33) raise their fists during the national anthem on September 2016. CREDIT: Chris Sweda for the Chicago Tribune.

Welcome back readers to the best links the internet has to offer. Sports: an escapist’s indulgence yes, but also a microcosm for everything that makes contemporary society horrifying, vulgar, beautiful, and complex. Presented here are a few selections from the world of sports and their recent emergence outside of sports.

If you have been following the protests by NFL players over the past two seasons and the latest action instigated by DADDY INSTIGATOR then you need to read this letter by San Francisco 49er, Eric Reid. This piece breaks me down in so many ways. First, this is one of the most articulate and truth bearing justifications for sideline protests I have yet encountered. “We chose to kneel because it’s a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.” How can you push back against that sentiment? If that does not cut you and reshape your perspective then seriously there is something missing inside. Second, it confronts and expands my perception of professional athletes. I often conflate the dumbness of sports (they are literally children’s games) with the dumbness of those who play and watch. Reid’s letter is vulnerable and honestly scripted, deftly composed with unbending conviction from start to finish. Its insights and arguments illustrate a clear mind driven to thoughtful action. Like all good writing, reading it is akin to receiving a gift.

[ via New York Times ]

These protests have gained blowback even from some liberal sources. Ta-Nehisi Coates points out that protests are never, were never, popular. In fact, their effectiveness comes in their ability to fracture and disrupt the status quo of white supremacy.
[ via The Atlantic ]

Locally, Philadelphia Eagles safety (he tackles players with the ball) Malcolm Jenkins has been outspoken for his own reasons for protesting. Jenkins is committed to tieing these actions to the actual issues from which they were generated. Issues like criminal justice reform and police brutality. You can read Jenkins’ excellent opinion piece in the Washington Post. You can also follow Jenkins’ in his weekly column over at the Philadelphia Citizen where he pits Philadelphia’s crime, racial, and social inequality statistics up against that of the Eagles’ weekly appointments.
[ via The Philadelphia Citizen ]

All of this goes without saying that the WNBA and its players have been the leaders of racial injustice protests for quite some time. This piece does a good job highlighting the difficult and thankless labor these athletes put toward these causes often at greater risks than their male counterparts.
[ via Bitch Media ]

Lastly, if you don’t know about 76er star, Joel Embiid and what he brings on and off the basketball court to Philadelphia, just watch this local man spontaneously erupt in a proclamation of love.
[ via Newsworks ]


Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid, Joel Embiid, Malcolm Jenkins, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, Ta-Nehisi Coates, WNBA



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