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Josh Howard has apparently lost his mind and has plunged head long into the deep end of stupidity pool with his recent actions (and lack of thought) at Allen Iverson's charity flag football event. As reported by ESPN:
The video, from Allen Iverson's event, shows Howard, as the national anthem is being sung, saying: "'The Star-Spangled Banner' is going on. I don't celebrate this [expletive]. I'm black." Howard also makes a hard-to-hear reference to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama (see the video here; some viewers may find content offensive).
Needless to say, I'm rather befuddled and angered by this blatant disrespect to the US and the symbols that represent our country. I don't understand why Howard seemingly wants to add ire to his career and become further labeled as a talented yet socially corrupted athlete. As a fan of basketball in general, I appreciate Howard's skill and tenacity; however, when he's not on the court he seems utterly lost. A few months back, Howard openly admitted to smoking marijuana and stated that he didn't see the big deal in it. Now, he chooses to make a racial remark that will inevitably add even more fuel to his fire. Why, Josh?
Let me get into the meat of my issue...
I'm disgusted for two simple reasons: Slavery is dead and gone and has no bearing on the life of Josh Howard AT ALL. Was it a crime propagated by whites a couple hundred years ago? Yes, but it wasn't whites entirely. I'm not going to get into the semantics of the issue as I don't feel it's necessary, but I do feel as though Howard needs to check into his history and see just who freed his ancestors from slavery. I'm not a racist, bigot, or any other derogatory remark that someone might choose to assign, so please don't jump on that wagon. As I am white, it's true that I have no idea what it's like to be black in the US nor would I even hope to imagine that. Racism is a two way street and plenty is held against whites in turn. I'll stop there.
If Josh Howard feels it's so bad here in the US and that he's being treated so poorly, why not leave? He doesn't have to "go back to Africa" as some might say; he's a multi millionaire, so he can go wherever he pleases. Since European teams are offering so much money, why not take them up on it? If you don't like the country or the rights afforded to you by the Constitution, feel free to go at any time. I won't hold you back, Josh. I'm not a fan of your Mavs anyway, so your loss wouldn't hurt my feelings a bit.
My second reason: I'm a veteran and seved proudly in the US Navy to defend the very rights that allow Josh Howard to stand up (or sit down) and run his mouth in any fashion he sees fit, black, yellow, green or otherwise. To see him be plainly disrespectful to one of the nation's symbols of freedom, justice, and patriotism really makes me angry. As a privledged athlete, he has NO understanding at all for what it takes to keep those rights alive. He might be singing a different tune if it weren't for what our military does. Then again, he might not be singing a tune at all; he could be enslaved or dead elsewhere. How do you feel about that, Josh? What's your take? Oh, I guess you don't have the freedom to state what you think without fear of repercussion if you lived elsewhere, eh?
Josh Howard certainly isn't helping his cause, whatever it might be. What he is doing is putting himself in a nasty position that sets back any civil rights advancements that have been made in the past 40+ years. Do you care to explain how this makes things better, Mr. Howard?
What say you, the fan?