Shut Up And Dribble

Virtual Haters


cjones09022020

I’ve heard some viewers of the Democratic National Convention say they preferred it without a live crowd. Not me. Speakers need momentum. Playing to a crowd helps with that more than talking to a camera. When it comes to sports, fans don’t just make it more interesting, they’re part of the game.

Fans often distract and taunt players from opposing teams. Football stadiums are designed to maximize the crowd noise. Fans of the Seattle Seahawks calls themselves the “12th Man.” In case you’re not a football fan, there are 11 players on the field for each team at a time. In case you’re a Donald Trump supporter, 12 comes after 11.

Without fans in attendance, sports can be boring. It’s tough to watch baseball with cutouts of fans behind home plate. The NHL has been praised for the way it has handled games during the pandemic. Wrestling has to be even more ridiculous without an audience to play to, but maybe now they can look into CGI. But the NBA seems to have handled it the best.

The NBA has inserted monitors displaying fans in real time watching the games. They may not actually be there, but you can see and hear them. Each team has different criteria for how fans are selected to be on the monitors. Let’s see if drawing a cartoon of the virtual fans is one of them.

The NBA is the most progressive league in major league sports. Nearly 75% of players are black. The players may be the most interactive and in touch with their communities. The majority of the NBA stands with Black Lives Matter.

Donald Trump was upset at NBA players for kneeling and said, “They’ve had horrible ratings, low numbers. People are angry about it. They have enough politics with guys like me. There was a nastiness about the NBA the way (protesting) was done. The NBA is in trouble, bigger trouble than they understand.” As it turns out, his numbers are very low. His speech accepting the Republican nomination was lower than Joe Biden’s Democratic acceptance speech. Maybe Donald Trump is in bigger trouble than he understands.

Trump said, “There are some very, very, very nasty, frankly very dumb players.” He has feuded with LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant. Once upon a time, a president was too busy to angry tweet athletes.

The Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic postponed a playoff game in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. Jared Kushner, a trust-fund baby who has his position and security clearance in the White House only because his father-in-law is the president (sic), said, “NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they’re able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially.” Jared, you’re fortunate to not be in prison.

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, “Jared, your father in law spreads hatred and division daily. Spare us your confused lecture and try to teach the president to not be racist.”

Jared also said he’d like to talk to Lebron James and, “I’d like to see them start moving into concrete solutions that are productive.” I guess Jared isn’t familiar with James’ I Promise School in Akron or his More Than A Vote foundation, which he formed with fellow athletes to work on fighting voter suppression. Jared works in a White House that creates voter suppression.

We’re not going to get solutions to racism from racists. Jared, you don’t need to talk. You need to shut up and listen.

Hey, maybe you can shut up and dribble.

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