The Players Tribune is an athletes blog founded by Derek Jeter, and right now it is white hot with anger over the George Floyd murder. The most inflammatory diatribe among several current athlete posts was from Natasha Cloud, a guard for the WNBA's Washington Mystics. In her post, she seeted over America's so-called history of oppressing, Republican racists and additional injustices.
An African American, Cloud said she fears for her life. And she fears for the life of "every other person who is guilty of nothing more than belonging to a race that this country has been built on oppressing. It’s wanting to stay alive — in a time where the reality for a lot of people is that my staying alive doesn’t matter."
America in 2020 really isn't all that much different than it was in the Jim Crow era, contended Cloud, who's just 28 and earning a reported $115,000 annual salary. "You start to understand how the systems of power in this country, they’re not built to create possibility or opportunity for black people — they’re built to lock them out.
"America’s systems of power exist to lock in the white status quo."
Not so fast! The majority of WNBA players are African American. Furthermore, the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida, in its annual WNBA Racial and Gender Report Card, gave the WNBA a grade of A+ on racial hiring, shooting down Cloud's white status quo theory in her own industry.
Nevertheless, Cloud said America also existed so that Floyd "can be blamed for his own damn murder."
The thing that pains Cloud (at right in photo above) most of all was: "[H]ow the systems of power in this country are built so strong, and with such prejudice, that in order for white supremacy to flourish — people don’t even have to actively be about white supremacy. They don’t have to carry the burden of being openly racist, or waste their energy on being loudly oppressive. It’s not like that at all.
She added: "All they have to do is be silent."
Cloud's commentary claimed millions of people were helping protect racist cops and insulating those in power by hiding behind neutrality and politely staying out of "this shit." This could be a slap in the face to golfer Tiger Woods, who earlier this week expressed sympathy for the Floyd family without spewing anger at law enforcement.
The Mystics guard who said last year that pro-life life laws are "asinine," says anyone “seeing both sides” has blood on their hands. Opting out of the discussion means "leaving innocent people to die." Neutrality about black lives "might as well be murder."
People's silence "is the knee on George Floyd’s neck," and Cloud says, "If you’re silent, I don’t fuck with you, period."
Cloud had no time for old excuses like athletes not wanting to risk the loss of sponsorships by speaking out on issues. She has use for those "not wanting to alienate certain types of fans, or how 'racists buy sneakers too' or whatever?? We don’t have time for that. Not when lives are being lost."
The sneakers comment was a misquote and a direct attack on Michael Jordan and Republicans and his sneakers remark from the 1990s.
Cloud again said she has no use for silent people. "Because I’m just out here trying to stay alive. And your knee is on my neck."