The Day Jesse Jackson saved the NBA…
Apparently, after the Kings-Bulls game the other night, Jesse brought Ben Wallace and Ron-Ron Artest together. To share a prayer and lay to rest any residual rancor that may have existed from “the Brawl.” A nice gesture, certainly. Can’t fault Jesse for bringing them together.
What you can fault is Spoop Jackson’s overly reverential commentary on this divine intervention.
Reading Spoop’s column, one is left with the feeling that Moses just parted the Red Sea. I wonder if the players recognized the healing importance of what took place?
"But," Artest added before leaving the locker room, "it was always in the back of my mind. It was good to get a chance to talk to [Ben]. I always wanted to talk to him. To take a hit like that, not playing in the NBA a whole year, I was frustrated. It was good that I had a chance to talk to him and finally say, 'Wassup.' "
Wallace went one step further. "It was a nice gesture [of Jackson]. We had already talked on the floor. There's no hard feelings. It is what it is. All that stuff is in the past."
Well, you know…sometimes when you are privy to divine intervention, you don’t realize it at the time. But Spoop recognized the magnanimous ramifications of the divine intervention.
"But the reality is, that "stuff" is not in the past. We are still dealing with it. And the culture of sports in this country will be dealing with it every day until every amendment in David Stern's four-month-old mission statement is in the DNA of every player in the League -- or something worse happens.
The socioeconomic, sociological, sociobehavioral, socioethical, psychological and racial aftereffects of that Wallace-Artest-initiated incident are still haunting everyone connected to sports. And even though those two seemed to have moved past it, it was something that remained unsettled, still lingering in our lives."
Bet you didn’t realize all that, did you? That the entire sports world, despite the fact that the main players had moved on, was still reeling and set adrift in a sea of despair and uncertainty. That this wasn’t just a case of some players getting angry and fighting, and then, the fight getting out of control. HELL TO THA NAW! This was a watershed event. A microcosmic commentary. A reflection of society through sport. Spoop recognized this. And he even projected his recognitions on Jesse.
"And even though they didn't call him, he was called to do this. To go beyond a peace treaty or international negotiation or serving as a family spokesperson; to step up and do something that no one else thought was necessary, to think about healing souls instead of healing wounds…"
Yup. Saying a prayer with Ron-Ron and Big Ben was as important as world peace. And the rest of us didn’t even realize it!
"Up until Friday night, it seemed as if the scars might be not only terminal, but permanent. Everlasting. But thanks to what the critics would no doubt call "an uncharacteristic, atypical gesture" by one of society's greatest civil and human rights leaders, the final sentence to the worst chapter in American sports history is officially complete.
Now we can all move on."
Only NOW is it official: The NBA has been saved. (I'll ignore the the comment about the scars not only being terminal, but permanent...and how nonsensical that is.) And this is the worst thing EVER to happen in American sports. Worse than segregated leagues. Worse than drug problems, gambling issues, horrific injuries and even deaths. This fight is the most horrible thing EVER to befall American sports. FOR EVAH EVAH?.........yeah, FOR EVAH EVAH! Umm, ok...if you say so, Spoop (think maybe he takes himself a wee bit too seriously????).
Spoop went on to say that Jesse had no ulterior motives and didn’t even allow the press to be in the room for the meeting. But I don’t know…one line in Spoop’s column made me wonder about ulterior motives:
"to be inside a bathroom with two NBA superstars, holding hands, heads bowed."
The NBA. Saved by Jesse….and FANTASTIC!