Earlier this week, former Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley took to Twitter to share his disgruntled thoughts on Black players speaking on social injustice and politics, and his wife, who is white politely shut him down.
In his tweets, Finley suggested players shut up and play. He then tweeted a video questioning whether Marshawn Lynch, Oakland Raiders running back, and Seattle Seahawks defensive end, Michael Bennett, were taking a knee during the national anthem as publicity stunts.
His wife Courtney, then tweeted him the above calling out how foolish he sound, pointing out the many obstacles Black men and people are faced with and reminding him twice that he IS a Black man.
A day or so later, Finley replied to a Twitter user who commented that Finley’s wife “had more balls”, and Finley shared that he was taking his own advice and would be educating himself on ways he could contribute to “solving racial injustices in America.”
First I had to give Courtney kudos for pointing out the facts, but then I began to wonder if Finley identifies as Black? Even his tweet about seeking help made it sound like he didn’t see this as our struggle, but those other people’s struggle. Personally, as a Black woman, a Black woman who loves the Black man, and a mom of 17-year old Black boy, I see it as my struggle as well. The police are killing us and being acquitted practically every day, while the system oppresses us in every way possible.
However, I also recalled how Lil Wayne does not appear to identify with the Black struggle as well, and as someone pointed out to me, it may be because these men have been privileged and sheltered for so long, their perspective is different, yet I can’t help but think they have friends and family who are Black, whose struggle they may be witnessing and should be able to identify with. There’s no way they can read the news and see these images of injustice and not think, “damn he looks like me. That could be me.” Yet at the end of the day, we must realize not every man fights in the war. I personally call them cowards, especially when they have the means and platforms to step up.