Archive for the On Sports! Category

The Deeper Meaning of the Super Bowl

Posted in On Sports!, On the Superbowl with tags , on February 25, 2018 by playthell

Duel Threat Quarterback Russell Wilson Celebrates Victory

On Football as an Expression of the American Martial Spirit

For millions of Americans football rises to the level of a civic religion. And once a year we turn our attention to the Super Bowl, a grand spectacle paying homage to the God’s of the game; the champions of the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference that emerge at the end of a season of bloody carnage on the gridiron. The Super Bowl is a national bacchanal marked by gluttony, drunkenness, and myriad other debaucheries worthy of an ancient Dionysian ritual.  Hence the thoughtful observer might reasonably ask: What’s it all about, this game of football?

“He knows not cricket who only cricket knows,” says the brilliant Trinidadian polymath C.L.R. James, in the opening passage of his Erudite and insightful book Beyond a Boundary, a treatise on the Sport of Cricket that one historian of Victorian England Dr. Keith A.P. Sandiford, told this writer “changed the way we look at Victorian society.”   This, he explained, is because “before James’ broadly learned text nobody recognized the importance of sport as the embodiment of deeply held societal values.” The brilliance of C. L. R. James’ analysis is that he demonstrated how the game of Cricket embodied the values of the British upper class during the Victorian era, when Britannia ruled the world.

One could equally claim “he knows not football who only football knows.”  Guided by a Master Narrative of American civilization that is fashioned in the popular mind by hype artists and mythmakers more than the peer reviewed scholarship of professional historians, Americans like to think we are a peace-loving country.  Yet, alas, our history and present circumstances suggest otherwise.

The United States was born in a bloody war; the vast and fertile land Anglo-Saxon settler/colonists fought their British cousins for was stolen from the indigenous people by force of arms; then the settlers enacted genocidal policies to reduce the “Indian” population; they enslaved African Americans for 250 years employing some of the most savage depraved practices in history. They introduced the unprecedented destructiveness of modern warfare during the Civil War; provoked a war with Spain and seized her colonies at the end of the 19th century; and militarily intervened overtly or covertly in other countries over a hundred times in the 20th century.  Perhaps this is what we might expect from a country whose national mascot is a bird of prey, the Bald Eagle, and the national Anthem is a war song written by a slaveholder Francis Scott Key, in celebration of a victorious American battle in a war to defend the slave trade!

Hence, like Cricket in Victorian England, football embodies some fundamental American values that harken back to the formation of the nation.  And like Cricket, football began as a patrician sport played by upper class white males in the Ivy League; commencing with the Princeton v Rutgers game in 1869 – two years after the Marquis de Queensbury introduced the formal rules of boxing, transforming artless bare-knuckle brawls between pugnacious bullies into the martial art of pugilism, which at it’s best becomes what A. J.  Liebling calls a “Sweet Science.”

Driven by anxieties over the fear that upper-class white men were becoming “feminized” from “over civilization,” advocates of “the strenuous life,” such as Teddy Roosevelt, began to embrace the sport of pugilism as a proper manly pursuit.  The prestigious New York Athletic Club, playground of the rich and famous, hired a former professional bare-knuckle fighter and trainer Mike Donovan – nick named,” The Professor,” due to his knowledge of the sport – to teach men of the privileged class the fine points of pugilism. Hence boxing also became popular among the young men who played football in the Ivy League; men who would later become leaders among those who pass the laws, control commerce, define cultural standards and determine the proper manners and morals for the nation.

Yet it was the game of football that most faithfully reflected the Zeitgeist of a nation embarking on the road to empire.  It was the ideal sport for the age of “Muscular Christianity,” Social Darwinism, Anglo-Saxon ethnic/gender euphoria, the pseudo-science of Eugenics, and white male supremacy.  Football, from which black men were formally barred, became even more important as a demonstration of superior white male prowess after Jack Johnson won the World Heavy-Weight Championship. 

The gravity of this event for white supremacists was poignantly expressed in the hysteria of novelist Jack London’s call for a “Great White Hope” to take back the World Heavy-Weight Boxing Championship from the cocky, ebony black, Jack Johnson.  A fascinating man of elegance, in and outside the ring, who greatly influenced the “arrogant” public persona of Muhammad Ali. London viewed Johnson’s ascendancy to the Heavy-Weight throne as an unmitigated catastrophe!

Jack Johnson

Challenging the Myth of White Male Prowess
Breaking Taboos

A Menace to Society?

London’s views were widely held by white men everywhere.  The danger, as they saw it, lay in the fact that Heavy-Weight Champions were universally viewed as the most potent men on earth, and the trash talkin Johnson – who became a sex symbol to white women when that was the ultimate taboo – openly mocked and challenged the claim of white male superiority, and by implication the system of white supremacy that supported it.

No one personified the spirit of this golden age of white supremacy like Teddy Roosevelt – who served as US President from 1901 to 1909 – who was at various times a lawman, cowboy, cavalry officer, statesman, and intellectual.  A rich white Anglo-Saxon hetero-sexual male, born and bred among the Manhattan elite, Teddy was a real tough guy and passionate fan of pugilism who regularly beat the boxing bag in the White House Rose Garden.

Teddy’ public ridicule of white Heavy-Weight Champion Tommy Burns’ shameful dodging of the black challenger forced him into the ring with Johnson, who whipped the white champion with ease on December 26, 1908. Johnson’s victory enraged white Americans, whipping up a wave of violent racist hysteria that resulted in armed attacks on Afro-Americans nationwide by white mobs, resulting in injury and deaths just days before Christmas.  An avowed White Supremacist and Eugenicist, Roosevelt would write an article denouncing Johnson.  Dr. WEB Dubois, arguably America’s deepest social thinker at the time, observed that Johnson’s only crime “is his unforgivable blackness.”

Teddy would make clear his belief that football is essential to the character development of white American males – the exclusion of black men made it a quintessentially American game – when a group of reformers developed a movement to legally ban football as a barbarous practice unworthy of a civilized society in the 20th century.  Alas, despite the eloquent apologia of its many fans and defenders, football is a brutal blood sport that conjure up some of the dangerous spectacles in the Roman Circus Maximus. Although football players are not expected to fight to the death like Roman Gladiators, it is a distinction without a difference when we consider the consequences of playing football. Recent research shows a majority of professional football players suffer brain damage, and some die from injuries they received from playing the game.

Without the scientifically engineered equipment players now enjoy, football at the turn of the 20th century was a bloody barbarous business that resembled organized mayhem.  This period is richly detailed by David Kay Miller in his pathbreaking book The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football. Although Teddy didn’t make the varsity squad at Harvard because he was nearsighted, he remained one of the sport’s biggest boosters. He saw playing the game as excellent preparation for military combat and even attributed the success of the Cavalrymen he commanded during the Spanish/American War – popularly known as “Rough Riders” – to the fact that they were former football players.

Teddy Roosevelt: Cavalry Officer

At Santiago de Cuba

In a 1903 speech Roosevelt said, “I believe in rough games and in rough, manly sports. I do not feel any particular sympathy for the person who gets battered about a good deal so long as it is not fatal.”  However, the events of 1904 put Teddy, and all football fans on the defensive.  A measure of the carnage could be seen in a Chicago Tribune report of 18 deaths and 159 serious injuries among amateur football players in Prep schools.

As the casualty and injury rate continued to rise in 1905, amid public protests and editorial comment openly comparing football players to Roman Gladiators Roosevelt, now President of the USA now president of the USA for four years and basking in the prestige of having negotiated an end to the war between Russia and Japan – sending shockwaves throughout the white world when Japan kicked Russia’s ass –  decided to take a hands-on approach to making football safer.

A knowledgeable student of the game, Teddy could see that most of the injuries came from the power running strategy, with plays like the “Flying Wedge,” where groups of men repeatedly collided with each other at full speed.  His solution was to get the coaches to incorporate the forward pass in their offense, which was then illegal. Although some thought the decision blasphemous and would ruin the game, it reduced injuries, saved football from extinction, and gave us the modern game.

Today professional football is dominated by the forward pass, and with the speed, style and grace Afro-American athletes bring to the “skills” positions football has become the greatest show on turf.  In view of its history – and the state of perpetual warfare we find ourselves in today – it is no accident that the terminology used to describe the game is filled with military metaphors. The long pass is “the bomb.” The quarterbacks that throw them are called “field generals with “cannon arms.”  Accurate passes are called “bullets.”  The world class speed of wide receivers is called “after burners” like in fighter jets.  Line play is called “battling in the trenches.” And the paramount objective of the game is to advance and hold the opponent’s territory.

The desire to dominate opponents by sheer brute force is inculcated in players at an early age; it is the result of systematic indoctrination with the idea they are “warriors.”  When I played high school football in football cray Florida, before every game we would form a circle, pile on hands and repeat after the coach in a rising crescendo: “We want them…Before our feet!  They shall not rise!!!”  Yet, notwithstanding the fact that football remains a dangerous game, a metaphor for war and a license to commit legal assault – often resulting in life altering injury to the players, it is wildly popular.

Indeed, football is so popular that according to Richard Deitch of Sports Illustrated, NBC will average more than 5 million dollars for a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl!  And it has truly become the all-American sport; transcending race, class and ethnicity. The once lily-white teams from the foundational cites of Philadelphia and Boston, that will clash in the Super Bowl, now look more like the national teams of Nigeria and Ghana.  For the millions of spectators watching in hovels and high-rise penthouses, it’s just a game…but then: He knows not football who only football knows.

 

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Playthell, G Benjamin,
February 6, 2018

 

On Patriotism, Jerry Jones, Dirty Donnie and ESPN

Posted in On Blacks and Trump, On Donald Trump, On Sports! with tags , , on October 19, 2017 by playthell

Old Massa Jerry

Now is the Time Black Players to Flex their Muscles!

ALL BLACK PLAYERS SHOULD TAKE A KNEE…AND THE NFL TO STAND UP WITH THE BLACK COMMUNITY….WHICH SUPPLIES 77% OF THEIR MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR PRODUCT!

Jerry Jones, the hypocritical Trumpanzee creep that owns the Dallas cowboys, has threatened to bench any player who does not stand for the “Star Spangled Banner!” And he consulted with his butt hole buddy Dirty Donnie, “The Insane Clown President” – as crack journalist Matt Taibbi titled his book on Trump after covering his presidential campaign. The two are so tight Jerry gave a MILLION dollars to Donnie’s inaugural ceremonies!

This is setting a dangerous precedent because if he gets away with it other NFL owners will be encouraged to follow his example, which could deeply injure the league by creating a spiraling conflict between the owners and players. Fortunately, the NFL has taken measures to avert this by calling a meeting between representatives of the owners and players in which the NFL Commissioner took the middle ground by saying while the NFL supports the flag and would prefer that players stand for the National Anthem, they are not mandating it…the choice will remain with the individual players. Which means that Jerry Jones is taking his stand on quicksand!

Trump’s angry denunciation of the NFL’s decision is a blatant attempt to silence ALL black protests…which is consistent with him being the racist demagogue that he has repeatedly demonstrated himself to be! While he has called black players who take a knee during the performance of the National Anthem “Sons of Bitches,” he has called Neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klansmen night marchers holding up flaming torches while chanting Nazi slogans: “FINE PEOPLE.”

Trump’s View of White Nazi’s…
……and Black Football Players

Furthermore ESPN, the premiere sports network. has suspended one of its star talk show host, Jemele Hill, for speaking out in defense of the players; calling Trump a “White Supremacist” and suggesting that people who oppose Jones’ action boycott the Cowboy’s sponsors. Trump’s call for Ms. Hill to be chastised – actually fired – is illegal because it clearly violates labor laws prohibiting politicians from interfering in labor management relations! Hence, I await the response from the progressive legal eagles!

Jemele Hill and Dirty Donnie

In the mean-time all-black players should take a knee. For although their right to speak out in the workplace is NOT protected by the Constitution – since the First Amendment” is designed to prevent government not private employers from restraining “Free Speech,” the players still have a powerful weapon in the STRIKE!!! Jerry Jones will poop his pompous pants if all the black players called his bluff and took a knee!

Since Jones cannot legally fire them, he will have to pay them for sitting on the bench while he cannot field a competitive team! The plain fact is that without the black stars Jones is out of business and will lose millions…and a league wide strike would end the football season; which would enrage many fans against the players and the owners. Given the fanaticism of football fans – who live for their “tailgate “parties and witnessing their favorite team wreak Mayhem on their opponents after church on Sundays – chances are they could become an enraged mob.

Many would also turn against Trump, as veterans of America’s wars who resent a rich draft dodging blabbermouth coward like Dirty Donnie purporting to speak for them and called the pootbutt pretender out. Neither Dirty Donald nor any of the men in his family have served in the military, or rendered any other kind of public service to the nation. So, what qualifies him to speak in behalf of those who have.

I am a veteran who comes from a long-line of veterans spanning several generations, and I, like former Navy Seal Jesse Ventura – who says that he NEVER met a single millionaire serving in uniform during his years in the service – deeply resent Trump’s shameless grandstanding on the issue of Patriotism!

Jesse Ventura: Navy Seal

No Fake Tough Guy Like Dirty Donnie

Ventura recalls that when he was governor of Minnesota, the legislature passed a law requiring school children to salute the flag and he vetoed it! “Dictatorships demand the Citizens salute the flag,” said Ventura, who pointed out that in free societies “Governments must win the respect of the citizenry!” He made it clear that he was prepared to fight and die for a free society,” not a dictatorship!

This issue of how Americans should express their patriotism could split the country apart with a vengeance; which would be par for the course for Dirty Donnie: a wannabe martinet who could well be the most Divisive President in American history! Furthermore, as is becoming increasingly clear, much of the problem with trump and his minions is their abundant ignorance of history – American history and the world. For instance, I would wager my last coin on the proposition that none of these ignoramuses know that the Star-Spangled Banner was written during the War of 1812, between the US and Britain. Nor do they have any inkling of the role the American slave trade from Africa played in sparking the war.

Hence, they do not know that the battle of Fort McHenry at Baltimore Harbor – where the lawyer Francis Scott Key wrote the Star-Spangled Banner as a poem, while witnessing the battle as a prisoner of war aboard a British Man O War – was a fight to defend the interests of a slavocracy, which at that very moment was engaged in massive crimes against humanity! keeping Africans in chattel slavery – selling their children to the highest bidder at public auction, while practicing genocide against the Native American Indians; stealing their lands by force of arms in one of the biggest land grabs in history!

These Euro-American settler colonialist thieves, mass murderers and enslavers of their fellow human beings had no shame in their game. Their iniquity and moral Turpitude is celebrated in the original lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner – which, ironically, was set to music of British composer John Stafford Smith’s “To Anacreon in Heaven,” written as the theme song for a London based men’s social club the Anacreontic Society.

Francis Scott Key

The Racist Slaveholder that Wrote The National Anthem

Note these lines from the third verse of the white nationalist war song that became the US National Anthem in 1931, one hundred and thirteen years after it was written: “No refuge could save the hireling and slave/ From the gloom of the grave/And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave/ O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” The apparent contradiction in the last lines of this verse demonstrate the length and depth of white American self-deception, as Key talks about the land of the free yet endorses slavery.

However, when we take into account the fact that Francis Scott Key was a rich slaveholder from a family of lave holders, we can see that this willful self-deception about the racist oppressive practices he was defending sprang from his need to defend an economic system he knew to be evil but profited from it.

This contradiction between the professed egalitarian ideals of this country and their oppressive racist practices began with the “Founding Fathers.” For instance, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were all slaveholders. Frederick Douglass – who Trump recently discovered on his trip to the African American Museum in Washington and apparently thought was still alive – was born and raised in slavery in Maryland.

Fredrick Douglass…Escaped Slave

Writer, Editor, Orator, Abolitionist

On a 4th of July Celebration in 1856, held in Rochester New York, as the nation was hotly debating the institution of slavery, Frederick Douglass told white Americans what he thought the existence of slavery said about their society and the ideals they preached but never practiced:
“Your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.
Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.”

However, like the great-majority of his white countrymen, the author of “The Star- Spangled Banner” was a notorious racist who defended the barbarous slave system by denying the humanity of black people and asserting the superiority of whites. This assertion is promoted by many of Trump’s followers today…their racist arguments have changed but slightly in the 161 years since Douglass spoke. To Francis Scott Key, African Americans were: “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.”

This is how Key resolved the contradiction between his professed love of liberty, while denying it to millions of his county men. This attitude toward black people and the slaveholder’s desire to maintain the slave system, fueled white American hatred toward the British who were attempting to to end the African Slave Trade by stopping American slave ships on the high seas and confiscating their slave cargoes, was the spark that ignited the war of 1812. Just as the desire to maintain slavery amongst the white settler colonialist population led to the American “War of Independence” from the “Tyranny” of the British Empire.

These facts, while unknown to most Americans, are no longer a matter of contention. They are well documented in the path breaking scholarship presented in works such as “Slave Nation,” written by the Baumgartens, two law professors who are husband and wife, and “The Counter-Revolution of 1776, by Dr. Gerald Horne, a former lawyer and law professor who is now the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of History and Black Studies at the University of Houston.

Alas that verbose airhead Donny Dimwit and his Confederacy of historical dunces haven’t a clue about any of this…that’s why they are quick to pick a fight on this question. If they understood the facts of American history they would think twice about starting an argument that will bring these shameful issues to light.

Aside from his innocence of real knowledge of American history, it is obvious that Trump fares no better in his knowledge of the Constitution. Alas, his attempt to throttle free speech among black football players and their white allies – whose numbers are few by comparison – comes perilously close to violating his oath to “defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.” He is stepping all over the spirit, if not the letter, of the First Amendment, as was pointed out in a statement from Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, who asked in a October 11, Tweet:” Mr. President. Are you recanting the Oath you took on Jan, 20 to preserve, protect, and defend the 1st Amendment?”

Dumb Donnie Dimwit has opened a putrid can of worms that could infect the body politic with a virulent malice between races. classes, and people of different political opinions. By raising such a fuss over the National Anthem and denouncing the removal of Confederate monuments on the orders of local officials, Trump has initiated a discussion about scandalous sinful facts of American history that white government officials, in tandem with much of the mass media, have labored ad infinitum to suppress.

Indeed, the major reason why the “American Exceptionalist” crowd oppose the teaching of disciplines such Black, Native American and Hispanic Studies, is because one cannot honestly tell their story without seriously assaulting the Master Narrative, i.e. National Myth, that defines who we are. Hence Clueless Donald has brought these conflicting narratives of the American experience out in the open. And the facts are on the side of African, Hispanic and Native Americans! That’s why this is a conversation that the “American Exceptionalists” of all stripes do not wish to have

To add insult to injury, Donny Dumbass is leaning on broadcast companies in trying to silence Afro-American journalists who criticize his reckless racist provocations. He has been openly calling for ESPN to fire Jamele Hill, who is an excellent sports reporter and sharp social commentator! Trump’s behavior reveals the instincts of a racist dictator, he thinks that the niggers should be happy to make millions in the sports industry and STFU!  It is the worst sort of racial paternalism and Afro-Americans must not accept it. All sports fans should send letters of protest to ESPN, and even picket their headquarters over their treatment of Ms. Hill!

NOW is the time for black NFL players to exercise their power and take a knee in solidarity with those who are fighting racist attacks – often fatal – against unarmed young black men JUST LIKE THEM!!! The case of Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett – who suffered Las Vegas cops putting a gun to his head in a false arrest during the Floyd Mayweather vs Connor McGregor fight – demonstrates this unpleasant truth.

For all we know these cracker cops could have been pissed that McGregor got his ass royally kicked, while the arrogant fabulously rich black Mayweather walked away with over 300 hundred million US dollars for a night’s work shelled out by white fans who desperately wanted to witness the undefeated Mayweather get his black ass whupped!  If past is prologue, then this is a completely credible explanation for the motivation of the white policemen’s behavior in Vegas, we have seen white male jealousy and resentment result in unjust violent, attacks on innocent black men that sometimes become fatal.  Hence, the black NFL players should all rise up like Colin Kapernick, and take a clear and unequivocal stand by kneeling when the Star Spangle Banner is being performed.

After all, this song was not always celebrated in the Afro-American community because based on our experience in America we knew it was a lie! Instead, at most black community ceremonies we sang “Lift Every voice and Sing,” the inspirational eight stanza art song penned by the gifted brothers James Weldon and J. Rosamond Johnson. This magnificent art song spoke directly to the black experience in America and it was widely known as “The Negro National Anthem.”  Furthermore, as a work of art, Lift Every Voice and Sing is vastly superior to the Star Spangled Banner musically and lyrically!

That it should surprise anyone to learn Afro-Americans had their own Anthem is a measure of the extent to which white Americans are in denial about our actual historical experience with racial oppression. This denial is promoted by the constant hokum about Trump going against America’s traditional values; when the fact is he has tapped into the most enduring value in American civilization – deeply embedded in law and custom – White Supremacy!

It persists as a recurrent theme in our national history despite all efforts to eradicate it. Trump is just the latest racist demagogue to tap into this bedrock American tradition. Hence black players in the NFL have abundant reasons to take a knee when that racist white war song, penned by a slave holding white supremacist is played

And if the NFL owners dare to retaliate, the players should call a national strike and bring this season to an end!!! This can only work if all the black stars participate. Compared to the sacrifices countless black activists have made in order for them to even have the opportunity to play in the NFL, that’s a chicken shit sacrifice really! Especially since so many football players were missing in action during the 1960’s, O.J. Simpson, one of the brightest stars of the era, was the poster child for the know nothing, do nothing, black football player.

But that was back then, when black players were in the process of taking over the NFL; now that goal has been accomplished! Gifted black players are the backbone of the league; they are an irreplaceable commodity which generate billions of dollars in revenue annually. If they go on strike, in the business of football it would be like a teamster strike in the American economy…all business would come to a halt! Hence today’s black players fate is in their own hands. And since making money does not make you a man, in the most profound meaning of the term, NOW WE WILL SEE WHETHER THESE RICH MUSCLE BOUND SUPER STUDS ARE REALLY MICE OR MEN!!!!!

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To See Green Beret who told Colin to take a Knee Click on link
https://youtu.be/O2l-h3LdPig

To hear Governor Ventura’s Passionate Defense of Kapernick

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Barack Obama on Colin Kapernick

This is how a sitting President should address the issue
https://youtu.be/VPqOotT_ta8
Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
October 19th, 2017

THE IRREFUTABLE TRUTH IS….

Posted in On Sports! with tags on August 28, 2017 by playthell

*************

 

FLOYD TOOK CONOR TO BOXING SCHOOL!!!

Alas, I have NO TOLERENCE for those white commentators who talk about how well Conor did against Floyd in their boxing mismatch, when the truth is that Conor was NEVER IN THE FIGHT!!! Furthermore, it was disturbing to see how many whites cheered for Conor, a foreign white boy, over their countryman Floyd Mayweather. Where were the boisterous “USA! USA!” chants that one hears from white boys at Trump rallies, who also make up the bulk of white boxing fans. Here they were willing to put loyalty to race over country.

It reminds me of the white Americans who cheered Max Schmeling – and there were many, especially in the South – against Joe Louis, even though the US was on the verge of war with Nazi German and Schmeling was an officer in the German Airborne, who showed up to training camp in New Jersey wearing his Nazi uniform, and Hitler had declared “A Hero of the Third Reich!”

All one need do is watch the film of the Mayweather v McGregor fight and listen to what the white boys on the mike are saying, and if you know boxing it seems as if you are watching different fights! They say Conor won the first three rounds, I don’t know what the official score cards of the judges had to say on the matter, but at most Conor “won” ONE ROUND – the first round!

And even so, Conor was awarded the round because he was the most aggressive and landed two punches on Floyd – who threw about five punches the entire round. In truth Floyd allowed Conor to be the aggressor in the early rounds, because the strategy that Floyd and his father agreed on was to let Conor punch himself out then take the fight to him, “walk him down” and knock his ass out!

So Floyd just played defense, standing right in front of Conor and showing the loud mouthed Irishman that he couldn’t hit him with a handful of rice! It was absurd and an insult to the undisputed greatness of Floyd Mayweather – the most skilled boxer ever – to even suggest that an artless brawler like Conor would have ANY chance against Floyd. They kept talking dumb shit like “Conor has a puncher’s chance,” suggesting this boxing novice could accomplish something that 26 WORLD BOXING CHAMPIONS COULDN’T DO!!!!!

However, one hundred fight doctors that work at ringside during professional bouts saw it differently and protested the match arguing that Conor could be permanently injured or even killed in the ring with Floyd!!! In their defense, the Nevada Boxing Commission said that they would not have issued Conor a licence to fight either “Triple G” or Canelo Alvarez, hard punching Middle-Weights who are fighting each other in a few weeks. The reasoned that against these bigger, stronger, younger fighters Conor could get seriously injured. But he would have been seriously hurt in this fight if the Ref had not jumped in and rescued him by stopping the fight just in the nick of time! So yes, I think the many whites who passionately believed that Conor could prevail over the GREAT Floyd Mayweather were blinded by RACISM!!!!

After hearing Conor talking smack about the fight being stopped too soon, even though he was out on his feet and as helpless as a baby, then hearing that bullshit excuse repeated ad nauseum by Conor fans and Floyd haters, some of whom are black, I wish the Ref had allowed Floyd to finish his cocky ass off!!!!! Then I wouldn’t have to listen to anymore DUMB SHIT about Conor’s chances in the fight….which were about equal to the chances of a popsicle’s survival in a pizza oven!!!!!

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Note: Watch Highlights from the Fight At: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHWSfZEiv6U

 

Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
August 28, 2017

MONEY PAYS OFF AGAIN!!!!

Posted in On Sports! with tags on August 27, 2017 by playthell

The Hunter Counts his Pelts
AND THE RACISTS ARE CRYING IN THEIR BEER!!!!!

I finally found a way to observe the fight tonight without squandering 100 dollars of my coin. And I rejoice because I am a serious fan of the art of boxing and witnessing Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match is a thing of beauty, a wonder to behold. He is a alchemist whose pugilistic conjurations blend science and art in a seemless perormance of speed, power and grace. He is so good that some commentators expose themselves as posers, fugazy’s, base pretenders playng over their heads.
There are, of course, the usual gaggle of bewildered white folks grieving over the demise of yet another “Great White Hope,” and they are joined by some black commentators who overpraised Conor McGregor in order to show that they are even handed in their assessment of the two combatants. Of these, ESPN’s Steven A is the most annoying.

In his attempts to be “even handed” he diminished Mayweather’s masterful dismantling of McGregor, and came dangerously close to “cooning!” Andre Ward, one of the best of the young masters of the “Sweet Science, also was luke warm about Floyd’s performance. Although bearing witness to his mastery in the fight and sound thrashing of McGregor, his remarks sounded too much like damming with faint praise.

For instance, no one said unequivocally that Matweather fought a brilliant fight in terms of strategy and tactics, was always in control of the match; that Conor won a couple of close unimpressive rounds because Floy was just chillin and studying him, taking his measure. After all, he was in the ring with a younger, bigger, guy who is a professional practitioner of a combat sport, a two time world champion in Mixed Marshall Arts.

Conor McGregor: A Game Celtic Warrior

A Two Time World Champion in the Octagon

Ready to Rumble!

Floyd is over forty years old. and he has been in retirement for the last two years! He came out of retirement to fight McGregor because the brash Irishman has a big mouth and called him out – and in so doing he created excitement among the white folks, perhaps they had found the true white hope that would make their long held dream of seeing a bad white man whip Floyd’s ass and shut this rich, arrogant, outspoken, “nigger” up!

You could tell it from the kinds of things they said. And you could see it in their dilillusionment after the fight was stopped. The wonder if it was stopped too soon, especially since Conor says so. But the Ref, like everybody who really knows boxing, could see that Conor was in deep trouble, helpless as a toddler, and Floyd was hitting him with every shot he threw; determined to punish him for the disrespect he has been shown by Conor and his acolytes.

For instance, I have never see a boxer with such an over-inflated ego that was as boisterous and vulgar about it. This has not escaped Floyd’s notice. In fact he pointed out with a sense of irony and anger that when ever he boasts about his victories in the ring he is denounced as abraggart. Conor would have been the perfect white warrior for the age of Trump! But in the end it proved a grand illusion.

The Magnificent Mayweather Breaking Conor Down

Giving Him Boxing Lessons

The Referee Stoped the Bout to Prevent a Tragedy

Mayweather’s Mastery of the Pugilist’s Art was on Full Display

By the Ninth Round Floyd was Hitting Conor at Will…It was Just a Matter of Time

At the Top of the Tenth Round the Ref Mercifully Stopped the Slaughter

We shall see, now that he has been put in his proper place by being recieving a thorough beat down with the whole world watching, let’s see if he has the good grace to thank Floyd for giving him the opportunity to become financially set for life! Up to this point Conor had made 27 million dollars over the years of his MMA career. He stands to make between 75 and 100 million dollars for a night’s work!!!! That’s why the call him “MONEY” Mayweather!

Here is the real deal yhall, if the ref had not stopped the fight Connor could have sustained permanent brain damage or DIED IN THE RING!!!!! Hence he should thank the ref for stopping the fight and saving his life….and the blood thirsty white fanatics in the peanut gallery who acted as if the were Romans in the Circus Maximus demanding that gladiators fight to the death!!!

Hence it seems reasonable to conclude that they were too emotionally invested in this fight. Alas they don’t seem to understand that even had Conor won the fight…they still would not be any more than they are!

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Watch Scenes of the Master at Work in the Ring

Floyd Mayther as Knockout Artist

A Connsumate Boxer Puncher!
Watch the McGregor V Mayweather Bout
https://youtu.be/gJIrWTy_w-0
 
Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
August 27m 2017

Don’t Believe the Hype!

Posted in On Sports! with tags on July 17, 2017 by playthell

Bidding on the Sugar Ray vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler World Title Match

Reflections of a Boxing Wiseguy on Mayweather v McGregor

This seems to be the season for suckers, and bunko artists are running rampant!!! There are so many pootbutt marks around you don’t even have to be a real bullshit artists who has mastered the basic tecniques of the con to play these chumps! You can tell that from the third rate grifter who bullshitted his way into the White House!

So if milions of pooty-pops went forTrump – mostly dumb white folks pissed off that Obama spent the last eight years in the White House and is adored around the world, while Trump is a universal laughing stock – millions of white folks who yearn to see Pertty Boy Floyd get his arrogant black ass kicked are shelling out 89 and 99 dollars for the pay per view hoax. And he is gonna walk away with GRAND THEFT DOUGH AGAIN!!!! Floyd has whipped 26 WORLD CHAMPIONS; in the process making many of them look like amatuers at the apex of their prowess!

Mayweather Vs Carnelo in Vegas

Floyd  Taking Yet Another Undefeated World Champion to School

 Take my word for it folks, you are being gamed! The vulgar spectacle that masquarades as pre-fight press conferences – an artless clown show that is more embarrassing than entertaining – is a desperate attempt to sell this hoax to a public begging to be fleeced of their coin. Take the advice of a boxing wiseguy folks: KEEP YO MONEY IN YO POCKET AND WAIT FOR THIS BLACK AND WHITE MINSTRLE SHOW TO COME ON YOU TUBE!

Save yo money because I can tell you what will happen right now. A brawling, akward, stumblebum McGregor cannot hit Floyd Mayweather WITH A HAND FULL OF RICE!!!!!! That’s how good Floyd is at the art of pugilism…when he steps into the ring boxing becomes a “Sweet Science.” The objective of boxing is to hit and not get hit and FLOYD MAYWEATHER IS THE BEST THAT EVER DID THIS!!!!

My assessment of Floyd Mayweather’s place in the history of pugilism is based on SCIENCE NOT SENTIMENT!!! Thanks to the marvels of computer science we can now analyze boxing matches – live or on films – and see who hit whom when, where and how often. All of the great fighters matches have now been analyzd by Compu-Stat, which reveals that Floyd Mayweather is the BEST EVER FIGHTING UNDER THE MARQUIS DE QUEENSBURY RULES OF PUGILISM!!!! Which are the rules that will govern the McGregor vs.Mayweather rumble.

Hence the question on everyone’s lips who are intrested in combat sports is does Connor McGregor have a chance? What are the odds? Well, after all things are considered, I put McGregor’s chances of prevailing over Pertty boy Floyd as less than the chances of a SNOWBALL’S SURVIVAL IN A PIZZA OVEN!!!!

 Pretty Boy Floyd Cajoles His Next Victim!
 Photo by> Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
 A Grand Master of the Sweet Science at Work!

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York

July 2017

Here’s Johnny! An American Master

Posted in Cultural Matters, Film Criticism, On Sports! with tags , , , on March 12, 2017 by playthell
playthell-and-johnny-chocranPlaythell and Johnny hangin out at Katie Couric’s Party, in Manhattan

Notes on O.J. Made in America

Suddenly O. J. Simpson is in the news again, and from all appearances the “Trial of the Twentieth Century” is creeping into the 21st century. The “Juice” is being introduced to another generation in this new century by virtue of two films, one a documentary the other a feature film:  O.J. Simpson: Made in America, and The People Vs. O. J. Simpson.   I have not seen The People vs O.J. Simpson, but I am watching O.J. Made in America as I write.  When the documentary, directed by award winning film maker Ezra Benjamin Edelman, won the coveted Academy Award, I was shocked!

I had already seen Raoul Peck’s marvelous documentary on James Baldwin: “I’m Not Your Negro,” and I knew any movie that beat Peck’s documentary had to be great.  For Peck had provided us a poignant portrait of the turbulent history of race relations in 20th century America, told in the words of James Baldwin – one of the most powerful essayist of the last century, whose pen greatly enriched the English language – graphically illustrated with photographs and video. It was a powerful presentation: riveting, enlightening, uplifting, a sublime experience.  But the Academy chose the O. J. Documentary instead.  I couldn’t wait to see it.

As it turns out O.J. Made in America is a production of ESPN, the sports channel, it’s a part of their excellent 30 for 30 series, and the multi-part series is still being broadcast.  I stumbled upon the film when I awoke about five o-clock in the morning, after having fallen asleep with the television on, and found the documentary just beginning.  After watching about four hours of this seven-hour epic on race, class, sports and the power of American celebrity culture – which made a demi-god of O.J. and put Donald Trump in the White House – I agree with the Academy.   This is a great documentary!   I was unable to leave it except to run to the bathroom.

When I first heard about the film my reaction was: “What else is there to know about O.J. Simpson?  After all, the cat really ain’t that deep.”  I was wrong.  A great part of the insightfulness of this documentary is due to the unique perspective Edelman brings to this project. As the son of Marian Wright Edelman, the long-time Director of the Children Defense Fund, the inequities faced by many children at birth has long been a topic of conversation in his household.

His sense of justice is enhanced by the fact that his father Peter B. Edelman is a law professor at Georgetown University.  And by virtue of the fact that his mother is Afro-American and his father is a Jew, Ezra has seen the world from both sides. His maternal grandfather is a Baptist minister and his paternal grandfather was a Polish Rabbi who was killed in the holocaust.  He attended a Quaker high school and earned a degree from Yale.  He was born in Boston and raised in Washington DC. What a unique perspective from which to view American society.

Ezra Benjamin Edelman

ezra-benjamin-edelman

Academy Award winning Director

I welcome the arrival of this film with such an even-handed report because I have always advocated looking at the O.J. Simpson affair objectively; give him his day in court and try to live with the verdict.  During his dramatic trial for killing his blond wife and her young Jewish lover, I was not one of those black people who was running around chanting “Cut the Juice Loose!”  At the time of the trial I was an Editorial Page columnist with the New York Daily News, and I wrote three columns on the incident.  I remember well how I came to write them.

At first, like everybody else, I was shocked at the accusation that old smiley O.J. brutally slaughtered two innocent people; not this hail fellow well met.   And while I believed he should be assumed innocent, I didn’t insist upon it as an act of blind faith.  As the details of their relationship began to emerge, I found his brutality toward his wife Nicole both shocking and appalling.  Yet I was troubled by the swelling cries for O.J. Simpson’s head.  They reminded me too much of the southern lynch mobs that terrified me in my youth.

Although I had never personally witnessed a lynching, I read about them and saw grim pictures of the victims, and I was living in a southern town where you knew that such an atrocity could happen given the right circumstances – that there was an element of white men in the town, including the sheriff, who were quite capable of forming a lynch mob. So, I was turned off by the howl of the white mob.  In fact, my second Daily News Column on the O.J. affair addressed just this issue.  Not being a lawyer, I had no original legal insights to offer, so I concentrated on the issues that surrounded the trial.

Hence the first Column was an attempt to place the story of O. J. and Nicole in a historical and cultural context.  I talked about how a story about a hyper-masculine black man who marries and murders a beautiful innocent white woman would resonate deep in the collective psyche of Americans.  For anyone who studied English literature, as we all had, and is familiar with the classics of the western literary canon, Othello immediately comes to mind.  Although, to fully grasp O.J.’s personality, it would require referencing two of Shakespeare’s plays – Othello and Titus Andronicus.

While O.J. can be seen as Othello, because he is accused of murdering his white wife in a fit of jealous rage fueled by his suspicion that she had taken another lover, Othello is constantly referred to even by his enemies as “noble Othello,” or “The noble Moor.” But, alas, O.J.’s character has more in common with the treacherous Aron the Moor in Titus Andronicus.  A few years before O.J. was accused of killing his wife I had published a lengthy treatise titled “Did Shakespeare Intend Othello to be Black: Reflections on Blacks and the Bard,” that was anthologized in the text “Othello: New Essays by Black Writers,” edited by the distinguished Shakespearean scholar Dr. Maithili Kaul and published by Howard University Press.

On that occasion, I had argued that in the dramatis Personae of Shakespeare’s two Moors he invested the polarities of virtue and vice, hero and villain.  O.J. embodies aspects of both characters, and like them he is a warrior; not in the literal sense but symbolically.  Othello and Aron were both fighting men, soldiers; O.J. is a football player, a blood sport that is a metaphor for war.  And all of these images of violent black manhood, these cultural references, are embedded, along with recollections of Emitt Til and Willie Horton, in the racial memory of black and white Americans.

Alas, the most persistent theme in American history is racial conflict between African and European Americans.  This is why such intense interest in the Nicole Brown / O.J. Simpson murder case persists; it is powerful testimony to the truth of Nobel Laurate in Literature William Faulkner’s observation “The past isn’t even past.”

Hence when Johnny Cochran took on the defense of O.J. Simpson, he inherited all of the thorny issues surounding the history of race relations in American; including the instinct for mob Justice to exact retribution for what whites view as black offenses against their kith and kin.  This issue becomes as explosive as nitro-glycerin if the victim is a white woman, and it becomes even more explosive to the degree that she is blond, beautiful, and apparently innocent.  In the minds of many white men it is a blasphemy akin to befouling he precincts of heaven; hence many of them felt O.J. did not even deserve a trial at all.  They wanted to string him up from the nearest tree mucho pronto….if they had their druthers.

One of the most valuable achievements of this remarkable documentary film is the skillful ways in which the director weaves vignettes about the broader experience of Afro-Americans with racism  in the USA and how it affects the perceptions of Blacks and whites in the way they view the Simpson trial.  From the outset blacks viewed O.J.’s guilt with skepticism, and whites dismissed the assumption of innocence. Of course, it goes without saying that I am not talking about all whites or blacks; rather I am speaking in the aggregate based on opinion polls.  Hence Johnny Cochran was viewed with growing suspicion by whites, while blacks rooted for his success in defending O.J.

After the racist statements of Detective Mark Furman, who had found the bloody glove which the prosecution said was worn by O.J. while committing the crime, was exposed on an audio tape in the courtroom, the prosecution lost faith with most black Americans – including the Jury.  After listening to Detective Furman routinely calling Afro-Americans “niggers;” casually discussing how white cops brutalized and framed innocent black men; and declaring that he would like to see “all niggers killed,” the Black community became convinced that the fix was in and O.J. had been framed by the LAPD based on the lies of a racist white detective.

 A Dramatic Moment Tailor Made for A Professional Actor
o-j-simpson-iii
If it Don’t Fit…You Must Acquit!

johnny-cochran-iii

The Coup de Grace!

When this compelling evidence Furman’s racism was added to a major blunder by the prosecution, who ordered O.J. to try on the bloody glove and it didn’t fit, it gave Johnny Cochran the opening to charge the jury with the compelling rhyme: “If it doesn’t fit you must acquit!” The film examines this moment in a way that allows us to observe O.J., the experienced screen actor, at work. He recognized the high drama of the moment and made the most of it; turning to the camera and triumphantly thrusting his hands into the air to emphasize the fact that the glove didn’t fit!

His transparent effort to brazenly play to the cheap seats and milk the scene for all it would yield, conjured up the warning of that consummate thespian Sir Lawrence Olivier, who warned aspiring actors: “Acting is a noble profession but the actor must never be caught doing it!”   In the film, other members of the prosecution team all say they were against the disastrous courtroom demonstration because it went against a cardinal rule of good lawyering: “Don’t ask questions before a jury when you are not sure of the correct answer.”

But, alas, they say Darden saw this demonstration as an opportunity to kill two quails with one stone: to put O.J. away for murder, and salvage his reputation from the accusation that he was an “Uncle Tom,” who was being used by the white power structure to frame an innocent black star. Hence upon the insistence of Chris Darden, the only black attorney on the prosecution team, the other prosecutors went against their better judgement and allowed O.J. to try on the glove…and it sank their case!

However the thing that enraged white Americans most, was when Johnny Cochran dramatically compared Detective Mark Furman’s beliefs about black people to Adolph Hitler’s beliefs about Jews.  This was one of the most telling moments in the film, because it demonstrates the willful ignorance and denial of the obvious similarities of Hitler’s Master Race theories and the racist white supremacist ideology of white America.  Alas, the film maker missed a perfect opportunity to clarify this widespread misunderstanding.

The fact of the matter is that Hitler actually imported his racist ideology from the USA.  Never has the Afro-American historian Dr. Benjamin Quarles’ axiom rang truer: “He who would understand the complex realities of the present needs the added dimension of historical perspective.”  For it is well documented that Hitler adopted his Master race theories from a book by a leader in the American Eugenicist Movement: The Passing of the Great Race, by Madison Grant, published in 1917.  We know this because historians have found a letter from Hitler in Grant’s personal papers where the Nazi leader thanks Grant for writing the tome and enthusiatically declares: “Your book is my Bible!” Hence despite the opprobrium heaped upon him Johnny Cochran was right on target.  Nazi racial ideology and American white supremacy are the same class of phenomenon and it, like O.J. was made in the good old USA!

Despite this oversight however, the documentary does a good job of connecting the dots when it comes to white racism, Afro-Americans and the O.J. Simpson case.  And their inclusion of the brilliant litigator F. Lee Bailey’s cross examination of Mark Thurman on the stand, exposing him as a flaming racist sicko, is one of the outstanding episodes in the film.

They also spared no effort in exploring Johnny Cochran’s brilliance as a trial lawyer; his elegance and eloquence were fully on display. (see video clips of both lawyers in the courtroom at the bottom of this essay) As was the feelings of the jurors, the jubilation of the black community nationwide over O.J.’s acquittal, and the rage of white America that O.J. got away with “a double murder.”   The importance and power of this trial can still be seen in the intense emotions it evokes after all these years.

The Master at Work

johnny-cochran

Mesmerizing the Jurors with Erudition and the Magic Power of Speech

The shock, rage and outrage of white America upon the acquital of O.J.Simpson by a black Jury in Los Angeles is poignantly portrayed in this film.  It was as if the heat of white anger was fed by two blazing fires: O.J. got away with murdering some white folks, and the “niggers were laughing!”  It seemed that everywhere you looked black people were laughing; to white eyes it must have looked like every black person in the world was laughing!

Based on their comments, it sure sounded like that’s what they thought and it just seemed to piss them off more. I remember network television news reports showing students at the Howard University School of Law, and they were cheering like Howard had just won the annual “Whiskey Bowl” against their hated rival Lincoln University. What happened at Howard was of special interests to white commentators because of it’s venerable reputation as “The Capstone of Negro Higher Education.”

Under the leadership of it’s founding Dean, the brilliant and elegant Harvard trained lawyer Charles Hamilton Houston, Howard law laid the legal ground work for a team of Houston’s students led by gifted constitutional lawyer Thurgood Marshall – who would go on to become the first Black Justice on the Supreme Court – changed American society into a better place with their unanimous victory in the historic Brown V. The Board of Ed Decision.  

The white folks got so upset after repeated viewings of the jubilatiion at Howard that I felt compelled to write my third Daily News column on the history of white anxiety over black laughter in America.  My intention was to tutor my readers – and those who would hear me read and discuss the column on my radio show “Talk Back,” broadcast over WBAI FM – on the fact that white people have always gotten uptight when the see  black people laughing.

This has been discussed by white commentators going back to the 18th century, who pointed out that the source of white unease lay in the fact that they couldn’t see what was funny, and suspected that we might be laughing at them.  There are numerous references to this in the writings of white Americans from literary figures and journalists to private diaries.  Afro-American cultural critic Mel Watkins discusses this question in some depth in his seminal text on Afro-american comedy “On the Real Side: The Underground Tradition of Black Humor.”

At one point white anxiety over black laughter became so intense that “Laughing Barrels” were installed on the down town streets so if blacks felt like laughing in the presence of whites they had to rush to the barrels, stick their heads into them, and then laugh! None of this was mentioned in the film, but then this was my unique contribution to news commentary…I had been a history professor before I became a journalist.  Everything becomes clearer when viewed from the hindsight of history.

Among the special virtues of this film, which suffers an embarrassment of riches regarding virtue, is that it goes on to give us a good summation of O.J.’s life after the trial.  He tries desperately to regain the love of a white public that once adored the ground he walked on, but millions of his former fans were through with him for good.  And all the money he was making as the top pitchman in America evaporated.  For whether he killed his wife or not, the 911 tapes from Nicole left no doubt that he certainly battered and abused her; he would have been jailed for treating a dog that way.

One of the most shameful and embarrassing episodes in this richly sourced documentary is the hero’s embrace that O.J. received from the black community.  He did not deserve it!  O.J. Simpson had been running from any involvement with the black community as hard as he ran from defenders on the fotball field ever since he was in college, which is made clear in the film.  However, I became aware of this right after O.J. won the much coveted Heisman Trophy, which is annually awarde to “the best player in college football.”

I attended his party celebrating the event at USC, as the guest of my good friend Bobby Barnes, a baseball great and the father of Barry Bonds – who should be in the Hall of Fame – and I  noticed that O.J’s friends were virtually all white.  They shamelessly genuflected before him like a bronze God!  The white girls flocked around him like bees to honey, and he possessed the sort of arrogance that made him think any woman in the room was his for the asking.

I noticed this when he attempted to flirt with the lady I was with, a stunning beauty with a Ph.d in mathemetics.  However it was comical because she got off on brains not brawn, and had become mesmerized by a lecture I gave at UCLA on the dynamics of mass transformative movements as a class of phemomena by conducting a comparative analysis of the Black Liberation movement in the US, the American Feminist movement and the Chinese Revolution…which had inspired a standing ovation from the audience.  And since the country was aflame with mass protests this was a very hot topic  of broad interests….plus I was quite a physical specimen myself – a former highschool football player  six feet tall, a solid 215 pounds – and a silver tongued ladies man.  O.J. was a barely articulate square with no game off the football field, who got by on his looks and celebrity status.  I was amused at his futile attempts to impressed Dr. Fine.

Dr. Fine Braiding my Hair

The Juice bombed with this Brainiac

Shortly after the party, a friend of mine with the United Negro College Fund approached him about doing a public service spot soliciting money for Black colleges.  O.J. refused the request and frankly told her that he did not wish to be identified with anything racial.   My impression of him from that day forward was that he is what the old folks in Florida, when I was a boy, called: “A White Folks Nigger!”   Hence while this superb and candid film offered many new insights, it did nothing to change my initial impression….in fact the revelations of this in-depth documentary confirmed it.

 

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The Moment O.J. Tries on the Glove
https://youtu.be/16KaoVmVTPE
 F. Lee Bailey’s Exposes Furman’s Racism on the Stand
https://youtu.be/UyuqBOBM12s
 The Great Johnny Cochran in his Closing Argument
https://youtu.be/sBobchfpiVM

Playthel Benjamin Interviewed by NBC on O.J

In the Studio of WBAI FM, New York  circa 1994
Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
March 5, 2017

 

A Sports Reporter’s Homage to Obama

Posted in Cultural Matters, On Sports! with tags , , , on March 3, 2017 by playthell
samori-interviews-raptorsSamori Benjamin interviewing Toronto Raptors shooting guard deMar DeRozan

Black NBA Stars Bid Obama Goodbye

Wise men may justifiably question if we have the right to feel pride in our ancestors; for what, after all, did we have to do with their achievements that would justify our gloating.  Hence one could argue that we are trying to “hitch a ride on their cool.”  But there is no question that we can justly take pride in our progeny; especially if one has been a present and active parent.  Whenever one is skillful enough to command the trust of your children, and well equipped to pass on wisdom, then none can deny that such a parent can claim some pride in their worth-while achievements.

My son Samori is a sports reporter, and like his cousin Jimmy Strawder, a distinguished architect, Samori has known what he wanted to do since he was a boy.  At first, like all boys who enthusiastically participate in organized sports, he aspired to become a professional athlete, a major-league baseball player. While he enjoys all sports I think his choice of baseball was determined by several specific things that I can see.

First, he grew up in Manhattan, which means that unlike the small Florida town that I grew up in there were not a lot of vacant fields where kids could play games like football – which was my sport of choice.  And in retrospect I can see that my choice of football was virtually inevitable growing up in Florida, where football is a civic religion, and a rite of passage into manhood – a demonstration of manly valor as well as a courtship ritual. But for Samori it was going to be baseball or basketball.

And since he could view the magnificent spectacle of Yankee Stadium, all lit up on summer nights, out of his living room windows, close enough to hear the cheers, he became curious as to what sort of wondrous magic was taking place in the giant arena that looked a lot like a space ship about to take off. Samori’s fate was sealed when he met the future Hall of Famer Dave Winfield on a trip to Yankee Stadium when he was five years old in an event sponsored by the Dave Winfield Foundation. 

Dave came out to greet the kids and gave them all baseball gloves, and thus began Samori’s love affair with baseball – which he played through Little League and High School- where he began to split his time with the art of Saber fencing.  After spending several years away at college he returned to the City and began to cover the Yankees as the Sports Reporter and Editor at WBAI FM radio in New York City.  He also wrote sports stories for The Black World Today.com and other outlets.  Now his writings and broadcast archives regularly appear on the website wbaisports.com.  Samori is also finishing a book on the disappearing Afro-American Major League baseball player based on extensive interviews of players and managers.

Hence as a sports reporter Samori’s work is sensitive to how developments in sport reflects what is happening in the wider society.  This feature, NBA Players Say Goodbye to President Obama, is a poignant example of the social consciousness that characterizes Samori’s work.  In this report he has systematically collected the heartfelt feelings of black professional basketball stars, and edited them into a seamless epic commentary that captures an important episode in American history, preserving the heartfelt testimony of rich, famous, young black men who are legends in their own time.

This is a moving tribute to President Obama and a historical document that, like the finest of wines….will continue to grow better and more valuable with time!

The Players Loved the fact that ‘Chilly B” is a Baller!

baracks-got-hops

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Kyle Lowry, Point Guard, Toronto Raptors

samori-and-nba-player

Toronto Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri.
samori-and-raptors-general-manager He Spoke as a Friend of Obama and Painted a Moving Portrait 
 Click on link to hear their Tribute

 

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Introduction By: Playthell G. Benjamin
Writer, Producer and Host of the NBA Tribute
Playthell “Samori” Benjamin
March 2, 2017