Make no mistake about it, there is a social penalty for speaking out on issues of racism and social injustices. Athletes like John Carlos and Tommie Smith who famously raised their fists at the 1968 Summer Olympics to demonstrate solidarity with the Black Power Movement , Muhammad Ali who was outspoken on issues of racial injustice in America, and more recently Colin Kaepernick who has incurred wrath for silently kneeling during the National Anthem in protest to violence imposed on black and brown bodies in this country. All of these athletes have paid the price for consciousness with major hits to their career. That's how systemic racism works. The whole point is to make such an example of those who dare take a stand, that others are discouraged from doing the same.
Being woke and black in the NFL comes at a price, and Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is not interested in paying it.
Dez Bryant on national anthem protests: “Whatever they got going on with that, that’s them...I don’t really have nothing to say about that."— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 16, 2017
In response to that statement, Bryant was confronted by disappointed fans.
Bryant responded with one simple sentence that said a whole lot.
As the tweets poured in, Dez held that line.
I got a family to feed https://t.co/PRgTv7ph2E— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) August 16, 2017
Bruh it's the wrong place and time to be talking about that....I care about my black people...at the same time I have a family https://t.co/9HNgWJ7cFO— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) August 16, 2017
I mean, the man made his choice. Can you really be mad?
There was no shortage of opinions.
I don't think it's fair for folks to condemn #DezBryant for his comments.— Dubby RayBan Goodell (@DVTwirk) August 16, 2017
The bottom line is this, we're living at a pivotal socio-political moment in history and everyone gets to decide for themselves how they choose to respond. Dez Bryant has made his choice.