Stephen Smith on ESPN goes a long way towards proving that sports journalists are not the brightest, that Americans are nationalistic and that free speech has been replaced by self-censorship in the United States. Thanks for showing the negative image we Americophiles have been trying to dispel for years.
Josh Howard, a far better than average basketball player on the Dallas Mavericks, was filmed at a charity event 'disrespecting' the American national anthem. In his own words: "The Star-Spangled Banner' is going on. I don't celebrate this shit. I'm black." Now, I am not quite clear why this is such a big deal. It is a free country I thought, free speech and stuff, right? Instead, 'it has to stop now' according to Smith and Mark Cuban (the owner of the Mavericks) said 'that the team dealt with Howard at the time of the incident.' 'Howard has the audacity to publicly challenge America's affinity to its own anthem.' I mean how dare he? Don't we all know you are supposed to stare at the red, white and blue teary-eyed through the singing of the anthem? What a sorry state of affairs, if a semi-celebrity is condemned for voicing his personal, political opinion.
Smith continues his rambling by mixing in some references to Howard admitting to smoking weed and its widespread use among NBA-players. I am not quite sure how this invalidates his reasoning on anything else. I assume if he drank Bud Light and watched Monday Night Football he would be considered an upright citizen though. Smith actually has the audacity to call Howard an idiot. I guess that is what not being patriotic makes you.
The funny thing about all that is of course that greater thinkers as Josh Howard would agree (Frederick Douglass' The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro is just one prominent example, WEB DuBois actually moved to Ghana in the last years of his life).
Even J. A. Adande managing a far more level-headed commentary on Howard opens up with talking about America as 'the best country on the planet.' Who are these people? When will they arrive in the 21st century? When will they finally abandon these nationalistic terms that are meaningless in the first place.
I don't think I am doing a good job of expressing myself in this post, but I haven't felt as exasperated with American society in a really long time. I cannot believe this piece of bullshit was published on the front page of espn.com.