I was most certainly not surprised when Michael Crabtree told a white reporter seeking commentary on the recent protests involving Black athletes and the National Anthem, issues that are closely associated with his former teammate Colin Kaepernick, “I just play football. I ain’t no Martin Luther King.”
To be honest with you, I am surprised that a person of Crabtree’s ilk took this long to arrive on the scene as his arrival was in a word, predictable. The Michael Crabtree’s of the world seem to arrive every time whites need reassuring that Blacks are neither politically astute nor desirous of first-class citizenship.
In fact, Brother Malcolm spoke about this type of fool when he stated that anytime that a proud Black man in possession of his ‘correct mind’ says something that white folk don’t like they go and find some bootlicking, buck-dancing Negro to come forward and dispute the obvious truth that he has spoken.
Michael Crabtree’s desperate attempt to ingratiate himself to whites via displaying to the entire world his absolute ignorance regarding all things extending beyond the gridiron is not only unfortunate, but also reeks of someone who has been wholeheartedly convinced that his only contribution to the nation will occur via catching a football. What a pitifully small life Mr. Crabtree has chosen for himself.
Just consider for a moment that here is an individual with what can only be termed an attentive audience eagerly waiting to hear his position on contemporary social and pressing political issues and the only utterance that he is capable of sharing is “I ain’t no Martin Luther King.”
Maybe Michael Crabtree is on the verge of being a marketing genius and planning to trademark his drivel. I can see it now, t-shirts with the saying “I ain’t no Martin Luther King” in every sporting goods store across the nation placed right next to Nike’s well-known slogan of “Just Do It”.
Unfortunately, I suspect that Crabtree’s shirts would appeal to a segment of up and coming African-American athletes who have been duped by teachers, parents, and society in general into believing that the development of their physical prowess and maintenance of a feeble non-inquisitive uncultured mind is the most assured path to “the good life”.
If the next generation of athletes choose to follow the well-worn path that Michael Crabtree has traveled, the world will most certainly be worse off because of it. History has displayed that any individual who travels down a path devoid of politicization and the development of the mind will undoubtedly set the African-American liberation struggle back immeasurably if for no other reason than its propensity to fight against one of our greatest traditions, that being, the creation of politically astute Black athletes. Put simply, if succeeding generations of Black athletes follow Michael Crabtree’s example, not only will we never have another Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., nor will we ever produce another Paul Robeson, Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Arthur Ashe, and the list goes on and on. And for that reason we should all be saddened because the world will be a much worse place for all of us to live.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016