Forget who’s “black enough,” it’s time to address the big black elephant in the room — and acknowledge what we really mean when we talk about the NFL, violence and race.
by Carl Banks
On Wednesday, a report surfaced that a rift has developed inside the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks’ locker room — purportedly due to a certain segment of the team’s players being of the belief that quarterback Russell Wilson is not “black enough” for their liking.
In my 12 seasons as an NFL player, no one ever accused me of not being black enough. No one ever questioned my blackness because I had attained my undergraduate degree in communications from Michigan State University. No one accused me of being a sellout when I chose to invest my intellectual capital wisely, laying the business groundwork for my successful transition to life after football. And though there were undoubtedly those in my locker rooms who felt that way about me — players who occupied the same real estate as Percy Harvin and Marshawn Lynch, if they, in fact, do question Wilson’s blackness — no one dared say it to my face, or leak it to the media.
There is no litmus test for racial “legitimacy.” The only thing these “tests” reveal is a window into the foolish psyche of whomever applies them.
To read Carl Banks’ entire commentary visit Medium.com.