‘Shut Up And Dribble’

Billy Trice

Sports Editor

Sports Column

This was the phrase that infuriated many athletes around the country. It gave the notion that athletes were only able to speak and care about topics related to their respective sports.

But why do we view athletes as if they are animals and as if their sole purpose is to entertain people and nothing more?

As a society, I get the feeling that we forget and disregard the fact that athletes are also people and not just athletes.

Then again, we seem to realize they are more than just athletes when they give money to charities and their own businesses. 

For some odd reason, this phrase is uttered only when players decide to speak and act on equality for marginalized people in America.

As soon as the race is discussed, fans turn a blind eye and want their athlete to play that role again.

Every athlete has been told they are more than their athletic ability. 

I get that these men and women are professional athletes and are receiving millions and millions of dollars to play a sport but how can we pick and choose when we want them to be an athlete and when we want them to be a humanitarian?

I believe we are encountering these struggles because of the deeply-rooted racism and bigotry that is subtlety present in American culture today.

Many people of color comprehend and understand the magnitude of the issue, yet unfortunately the Caucasian demographic, who still hold a lot of power, have a hard time digesting that truth.

Kyle Korver, a shooting guard for the Utah Jazz, proved to be an exception.

Kover wrote a memoir in The Players Tribune just a few weeks ago and it spoke on how an incident that involved racism with an opposing player occurred on his home floor caused him to write on his new understanding of racism in America.

Korver’s piece was groundbreaking and riveting solely because it was a Caucasian male with success, realizing his own privilege and then publicly sharing that experience with the world.

The fact that he had the courage to speak out and stand up for a community that was the complete opposite of his was remarkable and moving.

It was ironic to see that there was no backlash or use of the phrase “shut up and dribble” after he voiced his opinion in his article, yet that proved the point of his “white privilege” and how each demographic gets treated differently.

But the fact that he wrote this article means a lot to the progress of this country and sports culture. Korver is breaking barriers and making it more acceptable for players, white or black, to speak up about social issues surrounding them.

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