Youth Education, Sports Icons and Community Leadership
Today, it’s all approximately being “cool” or “hip.” It’s approximately presenting the proper “photograph”, about being capable of impress the women or one’s friends. It’s approximately making the team, approximately being the best searching player on the basketball court docket or soccer subject, the dude with the snazzy haircut or braids, or gangster style tattoo, or Fubu outfit, or highly-priced Nike trainers, or gold chains, or rings, or disheveled pants, or sports vehicle.
Of direction women aren’t immune, they too are enticed with “bribes” of right instances and being pregnant! But it’s far in most cases our boys – the following generation of Black men – which are in real and in a few cases of mortal hazards. It is probably an overstatement to say that sports may be seen as a brand new shape of mental and physical slavery. But is it? It’s possibly actual to say that because it’s miles attractive and related to stardom, that sports activity exerts an effective have an impact on our teens and that in a few respects its have an effect on is insidious.
Okay, you are saying, allow’s keep matters in proper angle. Is no point scaremongering proper? After all, it’s only a sport. And are we able to sincerely offload this sports activities component onto the media moguls, sports activities magnates or style houses? Accepted, they do have the strength and the impact but aren’t we the ones who will purchase their merchandise, their services and who allow ourselves to be used?
As effective because the media is; as seductive because the trap of immediate fulfillment thru Nike trainers or an NBA or NFL contract might seem, the fact is that maximum mother and father and kids are not stuck up through the hype or fooled with the aid of the lies. In different words, the choice is ours. And lots of us have taken a stand in opposition to the temptations of sport realizing that one Michael Jordan, or Venus or Serena Williams, or Tiger Woods does now not a whole generation make.
The vast majority of young black adult males who rally to the decision of the sports and style media are drawn both to basketball or soccer. Almost undoubtedly these are the “coolest” sports activities and the black presence is apparent. The few gamers who, either because of their overall performance or income (the two typically cross collectively), make it into the superstar leagues are the brand new emblems of fulfillment and feature grow to be the position fashions of each young black male who fancies his probabilities and sees sports activities as an smooth price ticket out of the ghetto, the classroom, or the boring life dictated by means of the ones of his dad and mom’ generation.
What I discover most stressful is the way wherein the instructional possibilities of many young black men are seemingly being hijacked. Of direction, folks that make it into the expert ranks recognize the significance of a scholarship and a college schooling. But the memories of cooked grades and stars who can barely examine or write are too actual to push aside as delusion.
But, perhaps greater important even than this, is the “easy believism” that can be paralyzing or in any other case infecting our community via our children. Hey, they say and think, you do not have to work too difficult. Just play a little basketball. Don’t fear approximately faculty. There’s nothing incorrect with training that soars shot all day at the park. Homework? What’s that?
And my prayers are with you. But the fact is which you probably have a better danger of creating it to the White House and appointing an all-black cabinet as you do of becoming the subsequent Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, or any of the alternative currently top-rated basketball stars.
And it’s the problem; the cloud of unreality that has colored our thinking and blinded our vision. And, unless we awaken and soon, our collective blindness may additionally consign our youngsters to the profession ghetto and not using a training, constrained possibilities, on a teach going nowhere fast. And you do not have to assume too difficult approximately the usual passageway from right here to pills and the criminal justice gadget.
Most folks apprehend and be given that those closing are tearing many groups apart and we regularly hear people speak out in opposition to the cancer of crack cocaine or the unwarranted numbers of black guys in the back of bars. We rightly understand those “truths” as being proof that possibly all isn’t right with our society. But the possibility that slipping educational standards and the promotion of a clean route to fulfillment can be the actual modern-day-day curse of our children has yet to be trumpeted from the hilltops by way of our legislators, network leaders or conscientious media personalities.
If they are speaking approximately it, then they ought to be whispering. Either that or I’m slowly becoming deaf! Of route, now not all sports activities stars are jocks and it might be a horrible disservice to the capable, proficient, and aspiring amongst them to mention as some may that maximum athletes are nothing greater than youngsters with too much money and too little experience for their very own desirable. While the stereotype remains popular, once more in large part due to the media’s awareness and misrepresentation, it is essentially unfaithful.
There are much younger, brilliant, articulate, knowledgeable, conscious young male and lady athletes who are serving as high-quality function fashions for the following generation. However, it is unfortunate that interviews with those individuals or real-time media representations in their lives off the courtroom or discipline are few and a long way along. It’s so much less complicated to recognition on their carrying expertise and promotes their celebrity quality. After all, that’s what sells tickets and will increase the value of the character to the promoter, owner, supervisor, train, or television community.
For all of the nice traits that a Michael Jordan may also exude, and for all the speed with which decided on people are catapulted onto the arena level and transformed sometimes in a single day into American icons, how many of your sons or daughters do you actually agree with will ever have an possibility to obtain the equal diploma of fulfillment?
There are a few real success tales accessible. In most cases, the silent and the quiet who shuns media attention, and who attended on their families, their careers and their futures in that order are not generally the stuff of which legends are made. You may not discover such individuals being touted inside the media. And there are different stars who, having gained a sure notoriety via living up to the stereotype, have gone directly to make a fulfillment of their lives and business accomplishments.
Magic Johnson is possibly one example. It was back on November 7, 1991, that the sports activities global become rocked by means of the assertion that Magic had the HIV virus. The information was stunning. This becomes at a time when for lots HIV become equal to positive dying. Now, a decade later Magic is a great force in business with a said $500 million commercial enterprise portfolio.
Many communities are the richer for such efforts and no one can remove from those public successes or the significance of these acts of entrepreneurial magic. However, I continually find myself asking, when faced with such tales of achievement and fabric wealth, how a good deal more could our stars and leaders be doing by means of way of sponsoring scholarship programs or linking their names, abilities and wealth to charter schools, faculties and universities, after-school care programs, mentoring applications, summertime camps, area camps, foreign language learning schemes, cultural alternate programs, computers in colleges, technological know-how and era initiatives, hospitals, clinics, honest rent housing improvement schemes, libraries, urban renewal projects. The list is sort of endless and the benefits would expand a ways past the black network.