(above : while we’re waiting for David Wright to offer his feelings on Ferguson,
fledgling podcaster Dino Costa shared his deepest thoughts)
Kobe Bryant and LeBron James each weighed in via Twitter Monday expressing frustration with a St. Louis County grand jury’s failure to indict Ferguson cop Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18 year-old Michael Brown, but the Nation’s Dave Zirin wonders why “few in the sports media will ever challenge” celebrated white athletes (and no, Chris Kluwe doesn’t have the same cultural cachet) to make similar statements.
It’s horrific that in 2014, we are still, as Funkadelic said in 1972, a nation that eats its young. It should be both an outrage and a shame that the burden is on black America to be the voice of anger when killings like this takes place. People need to stand up and be counted. All people. You either stand with the family of Michael Brown and believe that Officer Darren Wilson should have to stand trial for killing an unarmed teenager, or you believe Officer Wilson’s gobmacking story about what took place when his path crossed Mr. Brown’s in August.
Everyone in the hyper-exalted cultural firmament of sports should be asked if they have any solidarity—verbal or financial—to offer to the family of Michael Brown as well as those on the ground in Ferguson fighting for justice. “Everyone” means not just black athletes. Peyton Manning, Kevin Love, Tom Brady, Mike Trout, Aaron Rodgers: this is the culture that has made you famous. If you want its blessings, then share its burdens and call for justice for Michael Brown. Either black lives matter or they don’t. In other words, either the lives of your teammates matter or they don’t. It’s time, white athletes: take some of the damn weight.