Lots of sports figures, from all around the world, are speaking up right now about racial inequality and police brutality in the United States. Former Chicago Bears and current University of Illinois head coach Lovie Smith sounded off about systemic racism in our society while appearing on a talk show yesterday.
This weekend saw another round of Americans and non-American soccer players showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the German Bundesliga. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees initially made a statement that showed total ignorance in regards to why Colin Kaepernick on other NFL players have taken a knee during the national anthem, but he took the time to educate himself on the issues, and now he gets it.
The fact that Brees now gets it drew the ire of the President of the United States, and that's what brings us to Michael Bradley. The Captain of the United States Men's National Team, and MLS' Toronto FC, sounded off on Trump and I don't disagree with anything he had to say.
The son of former Team USA and Chicago Fire Coach Bob Bradley, who spent his teenage years in suburban Palantine, said that Donald J. Trump is completely empty and doesn't have a single moral bone in his body. Bradly, 32, also pointed out that essentially we have no leadership at the top right now in this country. (Bradley also called out the GOP senators that have continually enabled Trump too)
It's a popular sentiment on social media these days- the USA really has no President. We have a former game show host who does nothing but divide, stage pointless photo-opps and call out quarterbacks on Twitter.
“We have a president who is completely empty. There isn’t a moral bone in his body,” Michael Bradley said on a conference call with the media.
“There’s no leadership. There’s no leadership from the president, there’s no leadership from the Republican senators who have sat back and been totally complicit in everything he’s done for the last three-and-a-half years.”
“I just hope that people are able to go to the polls in November and think about more than just what is good for them, more than what is good for their own status, their own business, their own tax return. I hope that people can go to the polls and understand that in so many ways, the future of our country and the future of our democracy is at stake.
“We need as many people as possible to understand that at a real level, to think about what four more years with Trump as president, what that would mean, how terrible that would be for so many people. If we want any chance to start to fix those things, then Trump can’t be president, it’s as simple as that.”
Bradley doesn't pretend to be a sociopolitical expert. He acknowledges that he doesn't know everything he needs to know about the racial and law enforcement issues that have currently set our nation ablaze. However, much like Brees, he's taking the time to educate himself, and encourages others to do the same.
That's key- taking the time to listen, watch, learn and grow.
“I have spent the last 10 days watching, listening to it all and I don’t even know where to start,” Bradley said of the Black Lives Matter protests that are going on all across the nation.
“There is so much that needs to be said. I’m horrified, angry, disgusted and embarrassed we live in a world where Black men, women, children fear for their lives daily.
“We have to find real ways to front this head-on. What we have been doing, the way we have been living is not good enough."
"We all have to do more, we all have to educate ourselves more, we all have to have more difficult conversations, we all, especially, especially white men, white women need to listen, need to put themselves, need to do the best that they can to understand that there is a perspective and a world totally different than the one that they’re used to."
“I have strong feelings on this. I can’t pretend to know everything, and I could never begin to understand what it’s truly like for Black families, but I want to understand more, I need to understand more, I need to listen, I need to read, I need to educate myself more.”
There are a lot of athletes giving their take on all that is going on in this country right now. The bigot Laura Ingrahan's "shut up and dribble" idea is long dead. For the perhaps the strongest take, against Trump, Michael Bradley is certainly right up there.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.
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