The sports world is distraction, entertainment, and supposed to be fun. It is also a connection to the rest of society, with all of its maladies, quirks, and positive moments. There are stories of arrests, violence, and domestic violence–issues that have come to the fore in NFL stories and are just a snapshot of a much larger societal issue. There are stories of perserverance, and fighting things like cancer, that people around the country every day are facing as well.
We’ve also seen the issue of police action and its relation with the African-American community intersect with the sports world. Rams players protested Ferguson with the “hands up ” gesture, setting off police association requests for punishment. Andrew Hawkins wore a “Justice” shirt for Tamir Rice, the local Cleveland boy shot by a police officer while having a toy gun at a park.
That intersection with football is a lot more personal with the latest this week involving Walter Scott. In case you somehow missed the story last night, Walter Scott was shot from behind several times after a traffic stop. There was video taken by a bystander, showing the officer pick a weapon (perhaps his taser?) and plant it on the body after calling the shooting in.
“Fear Fadol” is Fadol Brown, junior defensive lineman at Ole Miss. He tweeted that out last night after the video of the shooting emerged, and the officer was charged with murder.
A week ago, he sent this tweet out, which, while unrelated, still holds important when these issues come up. Respect, understanding, and being able to put yourselves in other’s shoes. Sadly, this will likely be the next divisive political debate, but for one football player, it is also very personal.