Devin McCourty And Martellus Bennett Just Issued A Challenge To Every Black Member Of The New England Patriots » VSB

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Devin McCourty And Martellus Bennett Just Issued A Challenge To Every Black Member Of The New England Patriots

Bob Levey/Getty Images

 

Have you ever been to a birthday party or something in a banquet hall? And the event is winding down and the hosts actually start cleaning up — nothing major, just putting tables/dishes/chairs away, taking down decorations, and collecting garbage — but most of the guests are still there? And a couple of the guests join the hosts in cleaning up? Which makes more guests join out of peer pressure? And then eventually everyone is doing this shit that no one really wants to do, not because they sincerely want to help, but because they just don’t want to be the only person who didn’t join in, even though everyone also knows its the right thing to do?

Well, Devin McCourty And Martellus Bennett of the New England Patriots basically just did the exact same thing. By stating that they will not be in attendance when the Patriots visit the White House, and sufficiently articulating their very rational (and right) reasons why, they basically issued an implicit challenge to every other person of color who happens to be employed by the team. And I know that some other Black members of the team will eventually follow and join them with the protest. Some because they sincerely believe, as McCourty and Bennett do, that our President is a trash person. And some who might also believe that, but were going to go anyway, but now don’t want to go and experience the social and political fallout of being the only Black dude up there cheesing in a selfie with Tom and Bill and Donald. And I know some are seething at home today like “Fuck you Devin and Martellus for being all principled and right and shit! Now I gotta make a political statement just because y’all righteous niggas did!” 

Which is true. There’s no way out of this now. If a Black member of the Patriots decides not to go, it will be a statement. And if a Black member of the team decides to go and not make a statement, their non-statement will be a statement too.

(And, for the record, it would/will be a statement for the White members of the team too. But they won’t have a microscope on them. The collective expectations for them are so low that they still have the privilege of maintaining political ignorance and apathy. Or being wimps and feigning it at least. We don’t.)

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Giantstepp

    Looking forward to see how this plays out. Surely there will be some black players that will go, and it will spark debate etc. And I fully expect – Ray “All Lives Matter” Lewis- to defend them, and considering this is the NFL, Jerry “Popeye’s Chicken” Rice may join in on the chorus too. I appreciate things like this happening tho. We need to see clearly “Who ya wit” in such serious times.

    Salutes to those brothers for applying the pressure, even if they didn’t intend too.

    • A.P. Millz-CT

      I’m a Pats fan and I support these brotha’s..

    • KNeale

      I wanna see more people apply the pressure similar to the inauguration thing. It needs to be understood that none of us supports this administration in any way and those that do need to face the social consequences. Really and truly.

      • Ed

        Who is us? I’m black, voted for Trump and support him. As did 13% of black men that voted a few months ago.

    • Objection

      We need to see clearly “Who ya wit” in such serious times.

      A black person working, accepting paychecks, and winning a super bowl with the owner who supports Trump has already told us “who ya wit.”

      • Laura

        I am not critical of Black people who enjoy lucrative income. The fact that some of their bosses are racists is something they cannot control. Why should they sacrifice their livelihood or face criticism for it? If every Black person refused to work for bigots we would probably see a precipitous drop in Black employment!

        • CritiqueforEquity

          Or a drop in racists thinking they can keep getting away with acting on their bigotry. Bosses listen to money. Strikes — especially strikes by highly paid public icons — affect the money. Everyone has a responsibility to stand up, and those with more money and power, even more so. Until we do so, individuals who do can get targeted, and racist bosses will continue to act without impunity. Only solidarity wins.

          • truthseeker

            This has been embraced for over 400 years, past on from father to son, father to son, mother to daughter, mother to daughter, Its become a part of the physiological makeup of the nation. It is more normal than sunshine, what can a Native anywhere on earth gain from interacting in any way shape or form, what do they have to lose?

            This wont ever go anywhere

            • CritiqueforEquity

              Not sure what you mean by ‘this.’ Are you saying racism has been embraced for 400 years and therefore we should embrace it? I hope that’s not what you’re saying. That would imply that humans have neither free will nor the ability to learn and advance, both of which we know are not true. The dominion humans enjoy over much of the planet is predicated on the very facts that we do have free will and we can learn and improve upon ourselves and the ideas and actions of those before us. Maybe you mean solidarity is physiological? Whether you mean racism or solidarity, it would be either a misunderstanding or an overstatement to assert that either of these are truly physiological. Yes, they do serve a function, but other choices can also serve that function. Both racism and solidarity are cognitive choices — ones we may be socialized to make in a certain way, but nonetheless amenable to education, rethinking, and chosen action. Not biologically ingrained, and certainly not beyond us in every moment to choose to think and to act differently.

              • truthseeker

                No, I am saying that children in america were abused for centuries and taught separation, atrocity, rape and genocide were normal. They supped on this as if it was nutrition, it was fostered, cultivated and embraced as normalcy.

                So for 50 years there has been something other than open Hatred and atrocity, seething under the surface and only visible to one people. Today, everyone can now see minor inflections of its application and think is anomalous.

                I suggest it is more normal than any other possible disposition of a nation or people, this is the natural result of what has occurred. Fear, loathing and vile, extreme positions, defense of what cannot be defended, absolving what cannot be absolved. This is commonplace.

                Imagine if you will a small child born in a plantation owning state, he played with the sad kids out back, breatfed from the sad woman in the back, learned everything about familial relationships from this sad group of people in the back. About age 8 the Father determines to show his son “How life is” and he abuses him by subjecting him to abhorrent acts and he tells him this is normal. The child will naturally reject it, but there is chastisement for rejecting and reward for embracing, so the child was broken and accepted it as the norm.

                Multiply that over 20-22 generations of people, you have a deep seeded abnormality, bred in and passed on transgenerationally.

                • CritiqueforEquity

                  Got it. And yes, there I think we agree. Willful ignorance and will to control is deeply socialized. But still subject to unlearning and change. It’s going to be harder for some than for others, but its possible for everyone, and good lord is it past time. We all have some serious work to do.

                  • truthseeker

                    I have no vested interest in spending any more lives, any more blood or any more generations raising the moral standard of a nation that embraced the alternative. We spend 20 generations bringing humanity back to a people that exchanged it for trinkets and things.

                    We remain innocent people, stolen and not guilty of anything that would deserve what we have experienced. a Kidnapped woman, forced into a box and raped can NEVER be told, she has work to do in order to no longer be a target or victim of such. Well, 25 generations later, here we stand, having taken dog bites and firehoses for EVERY single immigrant group that TODAY are saying, “I never thought this could happen”.

                    This because their passage was paid by someone else, US, it cost us mothers, fathers, Grandparents, names, languages, land, continuity and belonging anywhere on this earth.

                    We paid for every single people that walk and enjoy what there is in this new world and today we have work to do?

                    No, we owe not one thing to any people on this earth!!!

                    • CritiqueforEquity

                      Well, I’m not about to disagree with what you’ve said. Yes, there are historical debts that can never be repaid (though reparations would be a start) and should never be forgotten. Let me instead respectfully rephrase my own comment.

                      This country has much work to do.

                      That being the case, and there being breath in my lungs and strength in my hands, I’ll do what I can, and keep pushing those around me – some of whom bear guilt, some of whom do not – to do more, to do better and to raise children who will keep at it. Until it is done and continues to be done.

      • Treasured Lights

        if you live in the USA, you live under a racist rule, probably work for a racist employer, pay rent or mortgage to a racist landlord/bank so what do you want them to do? Not take a paycheck because the owner supports Trump? They’re taking a paycheck, and making a statement which also helps the Black community.

        • CritiqueforEquity

          Certainly there are folks in a position with little leverage, and who really need that paycheck to eat and cannot find another option. By all means, people need to eat and find other means of resistance. But the more money, power, privilege one has, the more choices — and therefore leverage — one has. In that case, use that leverage, make those choices to ensure that every act you do is an act that contributes to the moral cause you are committed to. What good does it do to rally for workers’ rights while spending all your money at Walmart? You’re undermining your own action. As much as is possible in your own circumstance, evaluate your choices and bring your actions in line with the change you want to see. And folks with a whole lot of power and position have even more responsibility to do this and do it publicly because their choices have greater impact and can create cascade effects on and for others.

      • Ed

        Oooh I’m so scared of big bad trump. You Negros are an embarrassment.

  • cyanic

    Slightly off topic: Does anyone believe the Kennedy Center Honors will go on this year with you know who still holding office? I know Streisand showed up to hers when W II was president. But right now is a whole other level of fck-sht.

    • I’ve had this conversation with my brother and mom a couple months ago. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with that this year

    • These are unpredictable times. Kennedy center honors will probably go to Scott Baio and Stephen Baldwin.

      • BrothasKeeper

        And that other national treasure, Don Imus.

        • Don’t remind me of him…#UpstreamRedteam

      • JennyJazzhands

        Maybe that band that marched in the inaugural parade alone can play the Charles in charge theme song.

        • miss t-lee

          *currently trying to stifle an ugly laugh*

          • Mine was more of a deep guttural tone, lol.
            Gold.

          • JennyJazzhands

            When I read that comment, my mind immediately went to Peter griffin singing Charles in charge. But, I don’t even think the family guy people fool with trump like that.

            • miss t-lee

              Probably not…lol

            • Cleojonz

              Definitely not.

          • Cleojonz

            I was unsuccessful.

            • miss t-lee

              *cackling*

      • Hank Williams Jr.

    • Marceline

      First I’m hoping they cancel the White House Correspondents Dinner. I’d be more than happy to have Obama’s signoff last year be the end of the whole thing.

      • Cleojonz

        This shouldn’t happen either. Or if it does it will be full of only people from conservative publications. It would be full of Brietbart writers and fox news reporters. How can he be at something like that when everything is fake news? A lot of people have already said they wouldn’t go if it’s still on.

      • Madam CJ_Skywalker

        Nah. Its still going down. Its hosted by a separate org from the WH, WHCA. Steven Colbert said he’s down to host. Heres the info
        http://www.whca.net/

    • Cleojonz

      Technically it shouldn’t. I mean Toupee Fiasco has vowed to eliminate federal funding to the arts so why should he be able to participate in that?

  • Tyrell Holmes

    the Bennett brothers are exactly what the league needs…they are both unapologetic in all of their interviews and I love it (no h * m o)

    • miss t-lee

      Yup. I love those guys. Interview gold.

  • Deige

    Good, I hope other black players follow suit, and glad their implicit in their reason of not going – Tom Brady did it back 2015 citing “family obligations” = shade thinly veiled (Political correctness)

    • miss t-lee

      I hope all the players who boycott use that same excuse…lol

      • Damon Young

        that would be awesome, actually. everyone out due to “family obligations.” when they’re actually all just at a cookout playing spades.

        • Deige

          and post a pic to social media, you know for the culture

          • miss t-lee

            Jinx!

        • miss t-lee

          Exactly…lol
          Then someone should post a pic on IG with everyone present and tag it as #familyobligations

        • Sigma_Since 93

          And someone “leaks” a FB live post of them paying spades with Maze Before I Let You Go playing in the background.

          • Brother Mouzone

            With a gang of red solo cups in sight filled with various tasty beverages.

        • cedriclathan

          That’s a family obligation!

      • Wonder how Chris Long gets along with Brady if at all? He seems a tad woke.

        • miss t-lee

          Great question.
          I could definitely see a clash there.

          • He posed as homeless for a few days so he know’s what’s up to a point.

            • miss t-lee

              That’s right. I remember reading about that. It was him and another guy.

              • William Hayes was the other guy.

                • miss t-lee

                  that’s right!

        • Wonder how Chris Long gets along with Brady if at all? He seems a tad woke.

          by winning?

      • Blueberry01

        It’ll be the new “alternative facts”.

    • TheCollinB

      He looks like he’s a dyckhead irl. He was on Conan last week and I was hoping Marshawn was gonna clown him.

      • BrothasKeeper

        I really hope he did, at least off camera.

        • TheCollinB

          Marshawn is such a n*gga and I love it. he’s the epitome of what the bay is all about. Preservation.

          • Blueberry01

            I love Marshawn and all of his Skittles!

            • TheCollinB

              Most women do

    • Everybody should go wearing sombreros and turbans.

      • BrothasKeeper

        Eh….no. lol

      • Leggy

        Ehhh… that’s kinda racist.

    • Tyrell Holmes

      on the day Brady had “family obligations” he was photographed at the Apple Store

      • miss t-lee

        Seee…this makes my idea below sounds like gravy now.

        • Cleojonz

          Yup. It needs to happen.

    • siante?

      I was thinking about how Tom Brady went about things w/ Obama & I kinda wish these bruthas would’ve done the same & realized they don’t owe an explanation to anyone other than “busy” or “family obligations”

      • Kylroy

        They certainly don’t owe any explanation, but little slights like this mean way more to Hair Furor than they ever did to Obama. (Or any other POTUS, honestly.) Spelling it out may be the only way he gets the message.

        • siante?

          If all the brown team members were just mysteriously “busy” during the Patriot’s visit to the Whitehouse, I think that may’ve sent an even stronger message. It also would’ve come across as more authentic.

  • TheCollinB

    These type of events are where establishments get dummy passive aggressive. Very much in the pocket of not showing up to the office xmas party/happy hours. They won’t directly penalize them for not going but their equipment will be misplaced all the time next season, the whirlpool will never be prepped for them, names spelled wrong on their jerseys so they have to wear old ones. I’m probably off base and projecting but I feel like shyt like this won’t go unchecked by the Pat’s organization.

    • thasamiam

      You’re not off base at all. This is football – coaches and management thrive on passive aggressive petty shyte like this. And the Pats take it to higher level. They even have a name for it, “The Patriot Way”, which is basically this: “All players must be good, proper, obedient boys and keep their mouth shut, or there will be severe consequences. Except for Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski – you guys can do whatever you like.”

      • Annalise Keating

        “All players must be good, proper, obedient boys and keep their mouth shut, or there will be severe consequences.”

        This sounds like every predominantly white workplace I have worked since I finished school.

        • TheCollinB

          That sounds like the type of workplace that would bring out your inner Black Israelite.

          • Epsilonicus

            Why their churches have to have bouncers at the door

            • TheCollinB

              They operate from a “stay ready” perspective, which is wild because I don’t think anyone ever looked at them and said “these would be a good group of n*ggas to try”. They look like they’re always coming from an audition for The Wiz.

            • I’ve never seen them indoors, in my life.
              Ever.

              • TheCollinB

                They were featured on “Hate Thy Neighbor” on VICE TV. I gotta say as cuh-rayzee as they appear to be I couldn’t really detect one lie during the feature.

                • You should see the size of the crowds they get here.

                • Cleojonz

                  The host of that show was on Desus and Mero and they asked him of all the groups who did he enjoy the most and he said the Black Israelites, that they were a really cool bunch of dudes lol.

                • Charles Johnson

                  1. hmmm
                  2. i need to step my VICE TV game up

                  • TheCollinB

                    You do. VICE got it right now.

                  • PhlyyPhree

                    VICE is killing right now

            • KNeale

              I went inside for the first time last year and was patted down. Lol. I was shocked! But no harm no foul.

              • Epsilonicus

                I do not want to worship anywhere that requires a pat down lol

          • Annalise Keating

            ?????

        • “M”

          Yes. I was like “I don’t work for the Patriots Organization. Hmm.”

      • TheCollinB

        I know they’re a very “get down or lay down” team and that pretty much all their players are expendable because the style of coaching makes up for it. It just shouldn’t be a situation where they get the ability to flex on people who don’t wanna go visit these fuckboys at the White House.

      • Kylroy

        Tom doesn’t really do much that isn’t good, proper and obedient (that isn’t initiated by Patriots management, anyway). Gronk…is a human bicep tattoo.

        • BrothasKeeper

          “Gronk…is a human bicep tattoo.”

          This is too accurate.

      • This reminds me of the Yankees. Got players shaving and s#it.

        • thasamiam

          Not to mention that the Yankees don’t allow players to have long hair. They even suspended Don Mattingly back in the day because his mullet grew too long.

        • I’m a Yankee fan, and I don’t like that ish. I can see how it makes money though. Having a distinct look is one heck of a marketing advantage.

          • black-a-rican

            It stems from The Boss being an AF captain. He thought the clean shaven look was more professional and made it mandatory for anyone who wanted to be a Yankee. He also expected the players to conduct themselves as such. He was more lax with the stache and long hair when compared to the military, because half the players would be out of regs lol.

            • thasamiam

              It didn’t help that there was a scandal with two Yankee pitchers swapping wives and families shortly after Steinbrenner became owner.

              • black-a-rican

                Eh. That happens in the AF too.

    • Brother Mouzone

      Brady didn’t go for Obama but he went for Bush, so the Patriots bed not treat them any different….they will though.

      • miss t-lee

        You know how this goes.

      • HouseSublime

        Tom Brady could commit a violent crime and the Patriots (and their fanbase) would ride for him.

      • From Where I Sit

        I don’t blame Brady for not going as Barry was a LOSER president always apologizing and bowing down to other countries and the like. He will go down as one of the WORST US PRESIDENTS EVER right beside Jimmy Carter!!!! Again, ones skin color does not make one a good or bad person. However, the whole Black community showed that they are RACISTS by only voting for Obama because of his skin color rather than his political beliefs!!! A lot of Blacks don’t get it! You ruin your own neighborhoods by crime and rioting & looting. You disrespect the law and others. That CRAP you call music only degrades women as it talks about robbing, shooting, and lack of respect for others. Where is GOD in your hearts and lives? UNREAL but not SURPRISING!!!!!!

        • Brother Mouzone

          Go away troll.

    • Mary Burrell

      I guess these brothers are prepared for the effery that will take place.

  • Like you said yesterday, this is a no-brainer in regards to the NBA. But, the NFL? I can’t wait to see how all of this unfolds.

  • Chuck Moulton
    • Wonder how his face feels?

      • TheVilleintheA

        LOL! Probably feels busted up.

      • Tam

        Probably yearning for another meeting with a fist

        • Cheech

          Not properly tenderized yet.

      • TheCollinB

        If I could be real that punch he got express delivered wasn’t really that mean. It was an ear hit which, eh. Somebody hit him with something that makes him fall like the walls of Jericho and we’lol talk.

        • Kylroy

          “Ow! The ear! Why did you hit me in the ear?”

          • Chuck Moulton

            ‘Fight Club’….I thought the same damn thing

        • BrothasKeeper

          Sweet Chin Music.

    • cyanic

      Disgusting.

    • Tyrell Holmes

      I cant lie…”The Patriots even call their blacks White” is hilarious

      • Damon Young

        It was.

      • Chuck Moulton

        Truf. But, it’d be funnier from another mouth.

    • miss t-lee

      This is why he keeps getting punched in the face.

    • Mary Burrell

      That’s why he needs to keep getting punched in the face.

    • I saw. But yeah, this isn’t going to end well.

  • I’m glad they are doing this. I remember reading that after the election an “unnamed front office” type said the election divided locker rooms.

    I’m also glad they don’t show the cocoa butter commercial with McCourty and his brother carrying white women. It made me itch.

    • miss t-lee

      I’m glad I missed that.
      Yikes.

    • The worse part was that they did that commercial at Rutgers Stadium. I understand you needed the check, but really? LOL

      • Was the check that good? Could they not ask for any sisters?

        • Tam

          Because ww always need rescuing, delicate chex and all

        • From what I understood, they did it on their rookie contracts, and the money was very nice. NFL stands for Not For Long, and they didn’t know if they were going to stick around.

        • Brother Mouzone

          Unckle Ruckus voice* The commercial was about smooth soft skin, so of course they had to use white wimmins.

  • cyanic
  • Starting with the late 50’s to the present I wonder what the breakdown of the political leanings of NFL owners are. That would be interesting.

    • mr. steal your costco samples

      fk nlggas, get money.

      repeat for 55 years

    • miss t-lee

      Well…considering that Bob McNair had Pence in his box on Sunday…it was hammered home in the case of my squad.

      • I knew how Bob rolled from jump.

        Mark puzzles me then again so did his pops.

        • miss t-lee

          I did too…I mean, this is Texas afterall.

        • miss t-lee

          Pops was a wild one…lol

          • Pro labor, anti-segregation, hired blacks, Mexicans, and women but reserved the right to sue anyone who looked at him sideways. I could never figure Al out.

            • miss t-lee

              An enigma, for sure.

    • I know Woody Johnson, the owner of the Jets, is a Republican. Then again, he’s the old money billionaire heir to a pharmaceutical fortune that lives in New Jersey. I’d be legitimately shocked if he wasn’t a Republican. I disagree with his leanings, but at least he keeps the Jets out of it.

    • Kylroy

      This is normally where I get to be all morally superior by being a Green Bay fan, but I *really* don’t think that applies here.

      • Well, there are the companies who own a few hundred shares of Green Bay Packers stock to be good corporate citizens and help run the hometown team, so…

        • Kylroy

          Yeah, but I’ve been around enough “G for Jesus” people to know that the folks holding (real) Packers stock skew as far right as the batch of CEOs who own the rest of the league.

    • BrothasKeeper

      Probably 85% of all owners have been dye-in-the-wool Repubs.

    • this is actually from last year. interesting to note that Kraft has given to both sides.

      http://thebiglead.com/2016/02/25/nfl-owner-political-donations-republicans-democrats-bob-mcnair-jimmy-haslam-robert-kraft-arthur-blank/

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