The nation in an uproar, divided along racial lines because of a collegiate basketball game, starring a black player and a white player on opposite teams? Where have we seen this before ?
I love sports.
For those that know me , this isn’t necessarily a revelation. Magic Johnson is my favorite athlete of all time, and will remain unchanged as the GOAT of the NBA to me. Now, I was too young to see it live, but I’ve been able to relive it through countless testimonies of eye witnesses and documentaries.
It was the 1979 NCAA Men’s championship game. Bird’s Indiana State team matched up with Magic’s Michigan State team. Great game on all accounts and Magic leads his team to the Victory. Those two would go on to become bitter rivals (and then best of friends) in the NBA, giving us the Golden Era of Basketball. Truly epic.
But the game beneath the game … the social war in America that caused people to choose sides over … wait for it … race took center stage that night. Bird was billed as the hard working, blue collar, leader while Magic was labeled a showboating cocky kid. That narrative continued even into the NBA until it was finally noticed that Larry was indeed an instigator himself! Watch the documentaries for yourself, many Americans were divided over racial lines. Ask the Laker players about the bigotry they experienced from Boston fans in Boston… shoot ask the black players about some of their experiences in Boston for that matter lol. The bigotry overshadowed the facts.
Bird wasn’t the quiet unassuming kid that just loved the game that the media portrayed him to be, nor was he a victim to Magic’s taunts. He was a trash talking cold blooded assassin, and I loved all of it.
Which brings me to today with Caitlin v Angel. Two great players, two amazing teams, and a huge win for women’s basketball. All of this has taken a backseat to division because of a narrative. It’s a setup folks. It’s almost as off the media saw, “Oooh black vs white” and began salivating…. And the bigots took the bait. At the end of the day a few things are true:
* If one was “swag” and the other was “poor sportsmanship”, you are a part of the problem. “But why does she have to celebrate in her face!?!” Further proof that you JUST found out who Caitlyn was 2 days ago.
* Caitlyn is not an innocent victim, she’s an instigator. Never dish what you can’t handle. If she’s a victim she’s a victim of trash talk 101.
* The funny thing is , she knows the code. Trash talk is in the game, it seems she can handle it…. People who’ve never watched her play until that night can’t.
* Angel is not some classless thug, she’s an excellent athlete, 20 years old who talks trash on the court.
* Both are a part of a culture where bravado and trash talk are celebrated … if you can back it up, and clearly they both can. If that bothers you lol don’t go to any middle school sporting events.
* If it’s classless, it’s classless. But it’s not classless, it’s timeless. Has been done for generations.
* Anyone ask John Cena how he feels about this ?
* Who knows, maybe our daughters will grow up watching a Bird v Magic type rivalry in the WNBA. It’s a rivalry, that wasn’t the first time they’d squared off on the court.
At the end of the day, it’s sports. There is trash talk in sports. In my house? There’s trash talk in Uno. Deal with it or don’t watch.
Just some perspective.