Whether you’re at the end of your coffee, your day, your week or even your rope, welcome to Whitt’s End 8.28.20 …
*This will not be a normal Whitt’s End, because nothing about America 2020 is business-as-usual.
*Stick to sports?! Looks like you’re going to have to re-direct your sad, misdirected, punchless tropes to, ya know, all of sports. Because this year in general and Thursday in particular, the athletes who play the games told you loud and clear that there are things in this country much bigger than sports. And they’ll be damned if they’re sticking to them. Or even playing them.
*In unified protest of the senseless shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, there were no Dallas Mavericks. No Texas Rangers. No Dallas Wings. Only a smidge of Dallas Cowboys. Even then – after a training camp practice – they felt the depth of the movement for racial equality.
Said head coach Mike McCarthy, “Sports are supposed to be a great escape, but you can't escape this.”
*We are so disgustingly divided and broken in America that the video of an unarmed man being shot seven times in the back by police officers sparks two decidedly different emotions: 1. Sadness, followed by anger; 2. Enthusiasm toward digging up the victim’s past transgressions in an attempt to justify his “punishment.”
*Tweeted Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall, Get in trouble. Good trouble. Necessary trouble. We still have a lot of work to do. I’m inspired to get in trouble.
*Moved to do something tangible by the May killing of George Floyd and the ensuing protests, I am volunteering as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters. It took me exactly two meetings to see first-hand what it’s like to be Black in America. To feel, to some tiny degree, Black in America.
I was taking my Little Bro – 14-year-old Ja Ja – for lunch at a DFW restaurant. In the parking lot was a police car. Said Ja Ja without blinking,
“Are we really going here?” I’m 56 years old and I’ve never once in my White life feared going into a restaurant because cops might be eating there.
*Cowboys’ cornerback Jourdan Lewis on Twitter Thursday night: If you follow me solely because I am an athlete, I advise you to unfollow me and do it fast. Brah-vo!
*The Mavs’ Game 6 against the Clippers is postponed. But we’re going to remember Marcus Morris intentionally trying to injure Luka Doncic’s left ankle, aren’t we?
How do I know it was malicious? I can count on one finger how many times in this series Morris has picked up Doncic 90 feet from the basket. Once. And he skipped on his right foot to make sure his left stride stretched to land on Doncic’s foot. If this was baseball, Morris would get a fastball in the earhole.
Since it’s basketball … the Mavs need a gnarly enforcer. For this series. And beyond.
*Some upset with NBA players for kneeling during the national anthem are now also pissed-off that they boycotted a playoff game.
What does that prove? That it isn’t now – or never was – anything at all to do with the flag.
*Touché, MLB. The New York Mets and Miami Marlins took the field, had a 42-second moment of silence, and then walked off. The only thing left on the field: A Black Lives Matter shirt.
*Why are some so quick to forget a vital phrase from our Declaration of Independence? “ … All men are created equal … ”
We’ve totally abandoned the goal of treating every person – regardless of sex, color, religion or creed – the same. Sounds simple, but, then again, America has never been great. Not when it comes to race relations.
I once had White friends – let’s call them “former associates” – who to this day feel they are superior to Black people based on nothing more than the color of their skin. When they referred to the “good ol’ days”, now I get it. They desire a country legally divided by segregation. I only wish I was kidding.
*Former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant’s best off-field moment that received zero media attention: Around midnight one night at Walmart, he was shopping when a woman entered the store wearing a hard hat.
“I can see she had been working all day,” Bryant recalls. “Stressed out.”
Without fanfare, he bought the woman as many PlayStation PS4 consoles as he could stuff into a shopping cart.
“Her kids,'' Dez explained, "may not understand the stress their mama went through for them.”
*Tangible action > Thoughtful gestures. We can’t right all our wrongs overnight. But the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act should at least make it for a vote on floor of the U.S. Senate. Laws requiring all cops to wear body cams, not receive automatic qualified immunity and to be held accountable in court would be real steps in the right direction.
*That said, the New Orleans Saints removing their names from their training camp helmets and replacing them with “Jacob Blake” was pretty cool.
*Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel on his team canceling practice: “Just tremendously proud of our football team. Tremendously proud to be their coach, to lead a group of men that care for one another, that care for making this place better, making a stand, believing in something.”
*White racists always think pro-Black means anti-White, because pro-White has often meant anti-Black.
*The Cowboys practiced Thursday morning. Here’s betting it will be one of their worst, most distracted workouts of the season. Said safety Darian Thompson, “Practicing today was obviously a team decision. But we are not shedding a blind eye to the things that are occurring in this world today.”
READ MORE: Fish - Cowboys Practice Notes: The Good & The Not So Good (Dak)
*Remember, Black Lives Matter didn’t choose Jacob Blake. Two Kenosha police officers did the choosing for Black Lives Matter.
*NBA players had the leverage to sit, but ultimately decided it’s more important to be heard.
*While athletes and teams put their collective heads together in attempt to mitigate systemic racism in our country … isn’t that the job of government and our elected leaders?
*Sports are a luxury for a functioning, fair society. On a historic Thursday, the athletic leaders of America decided we didn’t deserve them. And they were right.
*This Weekend? If in a transcendent moment like this we aren’t willing to stand up and speak up for what’s right, when will we ever do it? As always, don’t be a stranger.