This year's NBA All Star weekend has gone and passed and we all watched as the best players in the world came together to highlight their individual talents for the world to see. Like many other Americans, I watched the whole weekend with pride and joy. Then I saw a story that just blew me away. The headline read: "Li-Ning Brassmonkey Evan Turner All Star". As I read more I saw that it was the announcement of a new shoe to be worn by Evan Turner, the shoe name: 'Brass Monkey'.
Wait, I must be reading this wrong. I know they are not asking a Black man to wear a shoe called brass monkey right? I know that Evan Turner who is from my home city of Chicago who also is a black man would not dare associate his name with this shoe right? I know Turner has to know the history of this country and how our ancestors were frequently called monkeys right? Turner has to know that millions of kids look up to him and that no matter how much money he is making from the shoe deal that this name is inappropriate on so many levels right? I am sure Turner has to know that the name brass monkey is also the name of an alcoholic beverage right? Surely his family or his agent told him that people would find this offensive right? Well I guess not, because there he was playing in his brass monkey shoes against Cleveland.
As I watched him with the shoes on I said to myself 'this company must only have one NBA player right'? Nope, come to find out one of my favorite players of all time is signed with this company as well; he is known by many names but I call him Shaq. So I guess Shaq will have brass monkey shoes too right? Nope.
So now I am writing this blog to make sure Turner, his agent, family, and all of the younger players are aware of our history in this country because it's apparent they have no idea. First let's look at the origin of other races calling black people monkeys. In the early creation of this country white people taught that some people groups, blacks etc., are less evolved than white people, therefore, white people are superior. That is why calling a black person a monkey is actually saying, "you are less evolved and therefore less human than me". Secondly, does Turner and his representation not understand how Dr. King, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers and every other civil rights leader at some point in the their struggle was referred to as monkeys? Does Turner not realize that the players who came before him in 50's and up were also called monkeys?
I guess that Turner and his reps only care about one thing: MONEY! Furthermore, I have to ask if this was a Jewish player would he wear a shoe called Hymie? Would his reps stop him from disgracing his heritage? Would the NBA ban such a shoe on the floor? I think we all know the answers to these questions.
I am sure Turner is a great young man. I bet he is caring and a role model in most things that he does. But, in this case HE MUST DO THE RIGHT THING AND CHANGE THE NAME OF THE SHOE. If they do not, then we as black people should not support him or the NBA! Because it's apparent that they think we are just a bunch of monkeys!