Wednesday, July 21, 2021

NBA Champions; Just a Reflection

 As a citizen of Milwaukee you may imagine that I am very excited about the Milwaukee Bucks defeating the Phoenix Suns to win the NBA Championship; the first time in 50 years.

Well... I cannot deny that I am filled with a great sense of satisfaction and relief that it is over, but I have soured against the NBA and basketball, all professional sports really, over the last decade or so.

"What?!", you exclaim as the weight of my words finally reach you, "But you have Giannis! Fear the Deer!"

Sanctimonious athletes (absolutely not Giannis) with more money than they know what to do with making politically charged, often ignorant and false proclamations, espousing values that do not reflect the values of our great nation, the United States, you may think is enough reason to be jaded by professional sports. Add to that the expense of attending live events puts it out of the reach of any man of common means and you may say, "Yes, I understand where you are coming from."

But... that is not the reason I have given up on believing in sports. I love sports. I love competition. I was elated as a college student when the Brewers won the American leagues pennant in 1982, watching the crowds fill downtown Wisconsin Avenue from my dorm window.

It was when the Wisconsin Badgers lost the NCAA basketball Championship final to Duke some years ago, myself older and wiser, that I had pretty much had it. The Badgers had come back in the last minutes to win their games over and over in that March to get to the finals. And they were beginning to do it again. Then foul upon foul against the Badgers, the commentators wondering "Where" suggesting that it was actually Duke that committed the foul, and the message was clear.

On the positive that was the one NCAA Championship that dropped from the news cycle faster than a lead balloon. It was so blatantly obvious.

Big markets mean big money.

After the Green Bay Packers' Super Bowl run this last season I half jokingly remarked on an old high school classmates Facebook feed (and that is why we will never leave Facebook, all those minor acquaintances from our past who we connected to, because absolutely everyone was on Facebook, will never follow us to another platform).

So I remarked. "Don't you know that the NFL will never allow the Green Bay Packers more than one Super Bowl per quarterback?"

The Green Bay Packers franchise is legend itself but it is not a large market comparatively, especially as football merchandise marketing expands throughout the world.

Wisconsin and particularly Milwaukee also have a powerful storied basketball tradition, but if you think todays Milwaukee Bucks will be allowed to become a dynasty you are naive.

Fear the Deer? Right.

Bigger markets mean bigger money.

The point where I really gave up on it completely was when the NBA silenced its' coaches and members from speaking out against the genocide happening in China. And for what. Nothing but money.

Nothing but money is the reason all our institutions and corporations refuse to take a stand against China on human rights, or what many call crimes against humanity.

So I was working my farmer's market stand Tuesday, game day, and several other vendors asked me if I would be going down to the Deer District, as they knew I live in the city.

I said, "I thought of it. I thought of making some signs boards about the NBA silencing free speech and supporting genocide in China."

"They will kill you." I was told with all seriousness by know less than three others.

What has become of our society?

In fact a few vendors had mentioned fear in being part of the downtown crowds for game six. After all is this not when the wanton destruction of our cities began, long before BLM or Antifa, when sports fans began trashing their own cities upon winning championships?

What has become of our society? What has become of sports?

Maybe it was always this way.