IIn a democracy, everyone has the right to support whoever they want. They also have the right to speak for whatever reason they choose, no matter how questionable. I would be a hypocrite if I didn't defend all the athletes, even those with positions with which they are not in agreement.
Enter Nick Bosa.
The defensive end seems to be an avid supporter of Donald Trump's MAGA brand, which has every right to be. Yet just before the San Francisco 49ers selected him with the No 2 choice in last month's NFL draft, Bosa climbed his Twitter feed by eliminating old tweets in which he took the uploads to Colin Kaepernick, Beyoncé and Black Panther. He also canceled the follow-up and the appreciation of the accounts that expressed support and sympathy for the white nationalists.
C & # 39; was a wave of support for Bosa from the right for his "courage" to defend what he believes and to be "shameless" and "annoyed" by external forces trying to silence the his freedom of speech. In fact, Trump himself praised and congratulated Bosa not only on social media but in a real rally, while not mentioning the player who was chosen with the absolute choice n. 1: Kyler Murray. Why? Was it simply because Bosa is white and Murray is black? It's deeper than that. Trump celebrated Bosa for the same reason that he publicly praised Tiger Woods, Jim Brown, Ray Lewis, Tom Brady and Kanye West. Because they help to legitimize it. They also talk about politics that aligns with his.
Mind you, this is the same president who called Kaepernick and the NFL players who took a SOB to the knee; who wanted fans to come out in video games if they saw kneeling players; who asked the owners to cut the players if they knelt down. The same conservative websites that condemned and derided Kaepernick for exploiting his platform as an NFL player are now celebrating Bosa for doing the same.
As my co-presenter Dave Zirin said on our weekly radio program The Collision: Where Sports and Politics Collide: "The evidence shows that a black player who expresses anti-racist ideals will find himself victim to the league, like Colin Kaepernick, or harassed and the drug repeatedly tested, like Eric Reid. But being not only pro-Trump but also expressing affection for the ugliest parts of Trump's white nationalist base is a non-issue "
Here is the problem.
For the conservative right, Bosa is a patriot who loves his country while Kaepernick – whom Bosa called a "clown" in a tweet deleted from the moment – is punished as an anti-American. But in reality, Kaepernick expressed his broken heart and anguish after repeatedly seeing case after case of black men and women killed by the police with no responsibility. On the one hand Trump tweets that the NFL should fire Kaepernick, but from the other he tells Bosa: "Always stay true to yourself".
The hypocrisy is overwhelming.
Now in an interesting turn, Bosa led another press conference trying to backtrack on his contempt for Kaepernick. "I have learned a lot in the last few months, and I am only ready to move on from this, put it in the past and bring some victories to the faithful," said Bosa after being drafted.
But my message to Bosa is this: don't go on an apology tour saying you didn't mean what you tweeted. During my days as an NBA player, I discovered that my teammates appreciated my opinions even when they didn't agree with me and we had healthy dialogues, debates and discussions. Everyone has the right to express their disagreements on the subject you are talking about, but no one has the right to silence him or attack you personally simply because he has an opinion that differs from his
If you think Kaepernick is a clown, keep an eye on him. If you think Beyoncé's music is rubbish, pay attention to your words. If you think Black Panther was the worst movie ever, don't go back on what you said. If you said you stay close and own it.
The same logic extends to all others in America. If someone is a racist, be an honest racist. If someone is a white supremacist, be a proud white supremacist unlike the cowards of the past who hid behind the sheets while terrorizing the black communities at night. If you want to be a Trump supporter, get out of the closet. You don't have to lie and you don't have to hide. To quote Malcolm X: "I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he is, even if he is wrong, of someone who looks like an angel and is nothing but a devil".
. (tagToTranslate) San Francisco 49ers (t) Donald Trump (t) Sports USA (t) Sport (t) NFL