This past Sunday five St. Louis Rams decided to do a salute with their hands up that signified don’t shoot, we have our hands up. This was a referral to the shooting in Ferguson back in August and the decision not pursue any further legal action against Officer Darren Wilson. There are so many sides to this story but I am not God, Darren Wilson or Michael Brown so I am not going to assume one side is right and the other is wrong. I wasn’t there so I don’t know what the truth is. Here is one truth and that is people destroying businesses, looting and setting fires are wrong. The other thing that is wrong is bringing this very sensitive and controversial topic into the sports world.
I understand that the Rams were trying to defend their community but in hindsight they should have left it alone and not did the salute. People are trying to get things calmed down in Ferguson and around the nation where there has been protesting. This salute has got everyone all up in arms again with debates and arguing taking place on every sports stations and social media platform around the country. If the five Rams really wanted to support their community then they should be out volunteering and talking to the youth of America about the difference between right and wrong. Spectators did not pay a ticket to get involved with political view and stereotypes of the players they are watching.
The other side to this is that the St. Louis police wanted the NFL to suspend and fine the five players who did the salute because they found it offensive. Let’s be realistic about this and realize that if the NFL would have taken in any action it would have caused more outrage and probably more riots which is something that doesn’t need to happen. Some might say what the Rams did is no different then what the Miami Heat did when they honored Treyvon Martin. These teams felt they were supporting their communities by their actions and there is not a lot anyone could do about it because it was a peaceful response and they weren’t harming anyone.
People that were not directly involved with what happen to Michael Brown need to move on and get back to their regularly scheduled life. I am personally tired of hearing about racism, and stereotypes. People watch sports to get away from the negativity that situations like this bring to society. People go to sporting events to get their mind off all the violence and hate being shown on TV. How are we suppose to enjoy things like sports if politics, stereotypes and racism finds their way into sporting events? Let’s leave the negativity out of the positive things we do have. Do I think there is racism in this country? Yes I do but it’s not as big as everyone makes out to be. Yes we have people that hate and persecute against others but not everyone is a racist. If you want to talk racism go back to the 1960’s when African Americans were peacefully fighting for equal rights. Go watch the move 42, which based on Jackie Robinson’s early years or Remember the Titans and all the adversity they faced. Racism was horrible at one point in time but this country has come a long way since the 60’s and 70’s.
Let me ask this and I am sure people will be upset by these questions but they need to be asked and put into perspective. If this country is so racist and full of injustice why are the majority of NBA and NFL players African American? If we are so full of hate then why are the majority of MLB players Hispanic and come from different countries to play baseball? We live in a great country that is full of opportunities for all who live here or want to live here. As I said before sports are suppose to be a positive outlet for athletes and viewers a like to escape from the troubles and hardships of life. There is no room for political talk, racial slurs and unnecessary stereotypes in the world of sports. Leave all of that to CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. When I turn on ESPN or Fox Sports I want to hear about sports and nothing else.
Let me end this by saying that I don’t agree with racism, stereotypes or the violence that comes with it. This is why I love sports and write about sports. Too many people get hurt and upset when discussing matters of politics and issues in society. Lets start focusing on the positive and not the negative. Focus on what you can control instead of things out of your control. Instead of fueling the fire and causing more hate and anger go do something fun like watching a sport event, playing a video game or participating in sports. Our society would be so much better off if we didn’t get so emotionally involved with situations that have nothing to do with our own personal lives. Peace not violence, love not hate, and stay positive not negative.