Author: Howard Bryant
Copyright @ 2018 Howard Bryant
Published by Beacon Press
Howard Bryant takes a critical look at how precarious a role that sports and politics have played
for black athletes over the past century. He recounts the character assassination of Paul
Robeson for being “un-American” for his commitment to the issues of black people and his acceptance among peoples outside of America including Russia. Bryant uses Robeson as an example of how black athletes are viewed more as commodities or “black bodies” and that when they become politicized or “black minds” such as Robeson, Muhammad Ali and Colin Kaepernick they are deemed as unpatriotic. He shows how it is acceptable for athletes to receive in some case huge paydays that amount to hush money because it renders them quiet on the issues that affect the communities they came from. Those athletes who choose to use their celebrity to address the ills of black society often do so at the risk of their own careers.
Bryant delves into coverup of how many of the Post 9/11 era expositions of patriotism on the ballfields of America were orchestrated through paid agreements between team owners and the armed forces. Rather than honoring those who fought in the Post 9/11 wars and 1st responders it was shown to be a recruit tool for the armed forces which was suffering low recruitment and retention rates among it ranks.