Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Breonna Taylor’s death is only the latest reason we should not be wowed by NASCAR’s banning of the Confederate flag, nor the Red Sox’ admission that racism runs rampant in Boston.
Breonna Taylor’s death is only the latest reason we should not be wowed by NASCAR’s banning of the Confederate flag, nor the Red Sox’ admission that racism runs rampant in Boston.
Photo: Getty

The banning of a racist flag that represents a former wannabe nation that got its ass whooped in the Civil War, and a baseball team finally acknowledging that its city has historically been one of the most racist places on Earth, has millions of Americans acting as if racism has been magically defeated.

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It didn’t happen after the Civil War.

It didn’t happen on Juneteenth.

It didn’t happen due to the Civil Rights Movement.

It didn’t happen when Obama was elected.

And it definitely won’t happen because a statement was released and a flag can’t be flown.

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Hate doesn’t work like that.

Almost three months after members of the Louisville Police Department murdered Breonna Taylor, the incident report has finally been released.

It’s almost blank.

It lists her injuries as “none,” although she was shot at least eight times. It also says that there wasn’t a “forced entry” even though the murdering officers used a battering ram to enter her home. Oh, and the suspect they were looking for was already in police custody. The Louisville Police Department has acknowledged errors in the report and has conveniently blamed it on a “reporting program.”

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“Inaccuracies in the report are unacceptable to us, and we are taking immediate steps to correct the report and to ensure the accuracy of incident reports going forward,” read a statement from the department.

See, that’s how hate works.

But wait, there’s more.

On the part of the report that’s supposed to explain what transpired, it only reads “PIU investigation.”

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“I read this report and have to ask the mayor, the police chief and the city’s lawyers: Are you kidding? This is what you consider being transparent to taxpayers and the public?” asked Richard A. Green, editor of The Louisville Courier-Journal.

“At a time when so many are rightfully demanding to know more details about that tragic March evening, I fail to understand this lack of transparency. The public deserves more.”

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As you can guess, Green is white. To him, this is shocking and appalling.

To people like myself, and the rest of Black America, this is par for the course. Because this is the America we know. This is what the police have always done to us.

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Taylor was killed on March 13, when three plainclothes cops used a no-knock search warrant to bust her door down as part of a “narcotics investigation.” Of course, the officers are claiming that they announced themselves. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, and multiple neighbors say otherwise. Walker fired a warning shot and hit one of the officers in the leg because he thought the police were intruders as they were in plain clothes, didn’t announce themselves, and were trying to knock the door down.

The three officers that murdered Taylor are on administrative reassignment, and almost three months later, they still haven’t been arrested.

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So while country music groups like Lady Antebellum are releasing statements explaining why they’re dropping “antebellum,” from their name, as if the word hasn’t always described a time when Black people were property and “America was great” for lazy slave owners in the South back then. I’m confused as to why this new “wokeness” is being viewed as an act of enlightenment.

Because it’s not like country music, a genre that was created by Black people, is going to automatically become “more diverse,” in the same way that the Red Sox can’t stop fans from hating anybody that isn’t white.

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The same can be said for NASCAR, and Ray Ciccarelli. The part-time driver has decided to quit the sport, as he’s upset by the decision to ban the Confederate flag at NASCAR events.

“Well its been a fun ride and dream come true but if this is the direction Nascar is headed we will not participate after 2020 season is over , i don’t believe in kneeling during Anthem nor taken ppl right to fly what ever flag they love,” Ciccarelli wrote in a Facebook post.

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“I could care less about the Confederate Flag but there are ppl that do and it doesn’t make them a racist all you are doing is fucking one group to cater to another and i ain’t spend the money we are to participate in any political BS!! So everything is for SALE!!”

Pay attention to the numerous spelling and grammar errors. People who think like Ciccarelli are never the sharpest tools in the shed. This is also a man that’s never won a race and hails from Maryland, which was a state that was a part of the Union, not the Confederacy. So much for the flag being a symbol of “Southern pride and heritage.”

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But here we are, six months into one of the craziest years in American history, and the bar has been lowered so far that NASCAR and the Boston Red Sox are being applauded for something that should have been done decades ago.

Let me be clear: these are pointless grand gestures.

The removal of that flag isn’t going to stop race day at NASCAR events from feeling like a Klan rally. Just like a press release isn’t going to make Black baseball players feel better about playing at Fenway Park.

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As I said, hate doesn’t work like that.

Because hate allows Breonna Taylor’s family to mourn while her killers are at home with theirs.

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So until NASCAR and the Red Sox can provide the Taylor family the justice they so desperately deserve, let’s stop acting like this week was some pivotal moment in American — and Black — history.

Saginaw Native. Morehouse Man. Syracuse (Newhouse) Alum. 2019 NABJ Award Winner. 2016 PABJ Journalist of the Year. I only eat my wings lemon-peppered. And I like brown liquor & brown women.

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