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Why are you upset at my Tebow story?

Having pants saggy shouldn't be a reason to go to jail, but it shoudn't be standard attire either.
Having pants saggy shouldn't be a reason to go to jail, but it shoudn't be standard attire either.
istock photo

I cannot believe the heat I’m getting from people around this country who are upset because I said Tim Tebow is the kind of athlete many sports fans want to see now, instead of those who dance and scream “Look at me!” after every good play they make.

One guy from California sent an e-mail telling me I “wouldn’t know a good athlete if I saw one.” Somebody else e-mailed me and basically said I was a “sell-out” because I said a lot of the NFL players getting in trouble were rich, young black men.

Now I might be able to understand some people’s anger at what I wrote if it wasn’t for one tiny detail …
It’s all true.

Am I happy that a ton of NFL players who get arrested (more than 500 in the last 10 years) for domestic violence, drug offenses and general stupidity are black?

What do you think?

As a black man who grew up in the South during a time when water hoses and German Shepherds were turned on civil rights protesters in Birmingham, Alabama, I want nothing more for young people of my race to understand how many folks died just to give them the right to express themselves today.

But those who died back then didn’t do so for today’s young black men and women to act like complete jackasses … dropping out of school at a catastrophic rate, walking around with their pants hanging off their asses, then decrying the lack of jobs out there for them, before ultimately turning to a life of crime to support themselves.

And for those fortunate enough to use sports as the vehicle that gets them out of harm’s way, they need to understand that once they make that break it has to be a clean break … getting away from everything and everybody who would like to bring them down and back to where they just came from.

Right now there is an army of illiterate, uneducated and lazy black kids 14-, 15-, 16- and 17-years-old walking around the streets of this country with no clue what they’re going to do tomorrow … except again walk around the streets of this country or just sit on the porch waiting for something to happen.

I see them EVERY day!

To them, a lot of blacks who speak correct English are sell outs. Obama is a sell-out because he hasn’t gotten them the jobs he promised, despite the fact they don’t have the skills to get … much less keep … the job if he got them one.

They can’t pass drug tests and can’t understand why so many people … black and white … cross the streets when they see them coming.

Am I angry?
Is the Pope Catholic?
Can Kobe play basketball?

These are MY people walking the streets and getting into trouble that will follow them for the rest of their lives if they’re not careful.
And for people to be upset just because I said athletes like Tebow are who we’d prefer to spend money to go see, instead of the kind who dances and prances 15 to 20 times a game … well, sorry.

The truth hurts. Especially when the reality of it is that a lot of people are upset at me only because Tebow is white.

Even more so, a lot of people are upset with me … a black man … for saying Tebow is the kind of guy we’d rather see than the Broadway Show-type athletes who take the field every Sunday.
Now, is Chad Ochocinco funny? Of course he is. But what a lot of folks don’t know is that Ocho is also a pretty bright guy, too.

Don’t let the crap he does after a score fool you. He will not be hurting when his playing days are over because behind that stuff he does in the end zone is a pretty good businessman, too.

Before the Lions traded Roy Williams to Dallas, Detroit fans were so sick and tired of his “first down” gesture every time he caught a pass that moved the chains that they actually resorted to booing each time he did it.
When a reporter asked Roy why he did it, even when his team was trailing on the scoreboard, he said it was his way of reminding himself to always strive to be the best on every play … or something stupid like that which he actually thought people would believe.
He’s tempered his act in Big D now. Maybe it’s maturity. Maybe it’s a lot of things. But Roy has changed the antics he brings to the field of play.

And that’s essentially what a lot of young black athletes … and non athletes, too … have to do.
They have to change the way they think about how to be the most successful person they can be regardless what field they go into.

I realized not too long ago that the real reason I’m upset at the way our young black men walk around every day is that they’re ALWAYS in leisure mode. Most really aren’t looking for anything to do other than what they’re doing … nothing.

This is NOT why three little girls died in a church bombing in Birmingham.
This is NOT why three civil rights workers died on the back roads of Mississippi.
This is NOT why the Rev. Martin Luther King never made it out of Memphis.

Keep those e-mails coming …


  • Amen Brother 5 years ago

    This is without a doubt one of the best and most insightful articles I have read in ages! Great job Mr. Patterson. Problem is, most of the kids to whom it's directed will probably never take the time to see it or read it.

  • Maria B from da D 5 years ago

    I LOVE IT!!! Preach! I have mentored several of those same 14-15-16 year olds, who are now 17-18-19 and on the path to adulthood. Some are now in college (and not on sports scholarships), two are working and my own 17 year old knucklehead is testing my patience but still on his way. I teach them all that the coolest man in the room doesn't have to shout it out loud. You speak what a majority of us feel, but are too afraid to say it. Ray Ray and Pookie need to get a grip, unfortunately they lack the examples that will show them to correct way.

  • Lorena 5 years ago

    I hope you are on Twitter and Facebook; use them to get this word (your article) out there.

    All I can say is, "C'est vrai!" Great, true, brave, courageous article!

  • Darron 5 years ago

    Lorena, Maria & Amen ...
    Plese help getting the teens to read this by forwarding, forwarding and forwarding it some more. Even to your local paper's blog site(s)

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