Shut up and dribble.
For Black professional athletes, it’s an all too familiar refrain meant to dissuade grown-ass men and women from expressing their personal opinions on relevant issues that affect American society as a whole. Simply put, it’s a very white thing to say.
It’s also a completely foreign concept to people like New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who was hailed as a patriot back in June for freely expressing his ass-backward views on athletes peacefully protesting during the national anthem.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Brees told Yahoo Finance’s Daniel Roberts. “What you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better and that we are all part of the solution.”
Brees has since apologized for being loud and wrong, but only after Black folks—like teammate Malcolm Jenkins—committed themselves to doing the emotional labor required to bring him to his senses.
“Our communities are under siege, and we need help,” Jenkins said in an Instagram video after Brees’ initial comments surfaced. “And what you’re telling us is don’t ask for help that way. Ask for it a different way. I can’t listen to it when you ask that way. We’re done asking, Drew. And people who share your sentiments, who express those and push them throughout the world, the airwaves, are the problem.”
Perhaps inspired by Brees’
privilege and willingness to be so forthright, perennial failure Jay Cutler, wielder of one of the worst attitudes in the history of the NFL, decided to take to social media on Thursday to publicly endorse somebody you should not be voting for under any circumstance whatsoever: Donald John Trump. But instead of heaping praise upon our Commander-in-Tweet himself, Cutler merely co-signed a lengthy endorsement from golf legend Jack Nicklaus—who, much like Cutler, is painfully alabaster.
So if you’re over there wondering why white athletes feel so comfortable expressing their opinions on political matters, while Black athletes are chastised for doing the exact same thing, you aren’t alone. In fact, many have taken to Twitter to point out the blatant hypocrisy.
Of course, detractors have pointed out the fact that Cutler and Nicklaus are years removed from the height of their athletic prowess.
“Jack Nicklaus hasn’t played a professional round of golf in about 15 years,” user @JoeFL65 tweeted. “He’s 80 now. Cutler has been retired for about 3 years. Comparing them to active athletes is a ridiculous stretch on your part.”
Buuuuuuuuuut last time I checked, people like Drew Brees, punk-ass Colby Covington or MMA legend Tito Ortiz are very much active in their respective sports, and are very much open about expressing their political views without consequence.
I guess that’s exactly how double standards are supposed to work when it comes to Black folks though.