Archive for NFL

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith: Great Voice Wrong Message: Fighting Against the NFL’s N-word Policy

Posted in Black Men, Sports News with tags , , , , on October 5, 2014 by Gary Johnson


By H. Lewis Smith

During the course of a nationally-televised football game on September 14, 2014, the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick called Chicago Bears’ defensive end Lamarr Houston the n-word (n**ga). It was then that a referee (who happened to be white) penalized Kaepernick for use of the vitriolic; the penalty resulted in an $11,025 fine.
On September 23, 2014, on national TV, ESPN’s First Take commentator Stephen A. Smith took issue with the policy. He presented an arousing and passionate response to the enforcement of the policy that he diametrically opposes. Smith feels it is okay for two African-American athletes to “trash talk” one another on the field, and if the term is spoken, then so be it. Smith argues that the rest of the world isn’t “sensitive” to how the athletes were raised and that, perhaps, in their neighborhoods and homes, the n-word was acceptable and a term of endearment.

Smith’s main point of concern, however, is that a white referee penalizing a black player for use of the n-word is egregious and offensive to him. Sadly, there are many who agree with him. Smith goes on to say that though he has deep respect for Mr. John B. Wooten, Chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance and the black man who spearheaded the movement for the NFL to adopt such a policy, he’s in complete disagreement with Wooten. He further attempts to paint a picture that the “older heads” (or older generation) including Mr. Wooten and others need to listen to the “younger heads” (or younger generation) such as himself and others when it comes to penalizing and fining NFL athletes for use of the n-word.

Moreover, although Smith seemed to have made a convicted argument as to why the n-word should not be a point of discussion or penalty, it needs to be pointed out that there are many capable and brilliant young heads who are not searching for pseudo-intellectual reasons to refer to themselves or any member of their race as n**ga. In fact, some young heads may have listened to that argument and heard nothing but ignorance spew from the mouth of a seemingly gifted speaker and well-educated African-American man. Some too may have immediately seen that Mr. Smith is a primary example of the systemic veiling of the populous, twisting of the black man’s mentality to continue to argue for inferiority, and the working of the very essence of the 400-year-old plight.

In “The Mis-Education of the Negro”, Dr. Carter G. Woodson said:
“If you can control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his action. When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do. If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself. If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door. He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one.”

Smith may believe that he represents the voice of the entire younger generation, but he does not. It is a known fact that many younger generation parents educate their children on the term and view it as a disrespectful profanity. The term is forbidden as everyday language in many Black households across America, and cannot be used—not even when one wants to use the term as so-called endearment or to cut down the confidence of anyone. Even further, many African-American children are taught to not only refrain from referring to anyone as such, but should also not allow anyone else to refer to them as such. Respect is a two-way street: it must be given and received.

To the contrary, Smith only represents that fraction of society that continues to lean in and remain shackled in the darkness. The ears of the enlightened have listened to that commentary and yelled at or argued back with the sentiments made. However, their voices simply cannot be heard because they do not have access to the news media to espouse their beliefs as does a Stephen A. Smith and some other proponents of the n-word (n**ga). And when they do share their views, they are considered troublemakers, too sensitive, or disillusioned; because they tend to be met with so much conflict from within and without the community, many times their arguments are suffocated or the cultural in-fighting takes center stage more so than the actual issue at hand.

Younger generation celebrities like Stephen A. Smith are to be applauded for their individual achievements; however, Black America’s paradigm should be to the commitment of the entire race’s preservation as a group, and not limited to the success of individuals, which unfortunately is the mindset of Black America. Until Black African Americans, as a group, can learn to separate themselves from the n-word the shackles of mental slavery will always remain intact.

Another thing: By saying the “young heads” vs. the “old heads”, Smith has promoted further separation within the Black community that is not going unseen—even Skip Bayless referred to this “cultural clash” within the Black community. The most unfortunate part is that, again, so long as the Black community remains divided, African Americans will never be able to re-unite, come together as a single being of force, and regain the cultural dignity and superior status divinely-granted upon the race. Instead, people like Smith continue to carry out the plight of White America ignorantly and unadulterated.
Now, truly, there is some agreement that a white-ruled NFL having to chastise black players for their use of the n-word is a bit brow-raising. The primary concern is that it should never have come to a white-run organization agreeing to help police the word if not for the Black community dropping the ball on this issue. Use of the n-word is a Black African-American issue, which should have been resolved within the community decades ago; instead, it has been allowed to fester.

By requiring the NFL or any other entity, organization or person outside of the Black community to regulate use of the n-word, smacks of paternalism. It is as if the Black community is unable to self-determine and self-regulate and, therefore, needs the white man to save them from themselves. Use of the degrading and demeaning term n**ga has grown far out of hand. In order for Black America to regain its full cultural respect and not have to expend its precious energy on such self-imposed issues—which in this case is really fighting over whose allowed to tell African Americans they cannot use the word (when NO ONE should need to be told because they should not be using the term in the first place), use of the term needs to be cut down dead in its tracks and buried by all.

Stephen A. Smith on a couple of occasions used the n-word on national TV and never got as much as a slap on the wrist for it. And as he openly evangelizes the support of the n-word, his spill is given full airtime—he’s allowed to go on this rampage campaigning for use of the n-word with not one cut or edit. Conversely, most recently when he slipped and used the word “provoke” relative to comments he was making about the Ray Rice case and domestic violence, white women were offended by it. As a consequence, Smith was suspended for seven days from his job.

But as Wooten goes on his rampage about using the n-word, Black America does or says nothing. However, Mr. Wooten recognized that, sadly, since the Black community refuses to address the matter themselves and hold all members within and without the community accountable to upholding and respecting Black Americans, he was required to approach the NFL to demand the respect many self-respecting Black Americans deserve. Had Mr. Wooten not taken this step, the blatant disrespect would have continued to fester at an even more severe rate. The reality is that Black America refuses to address the issue and does not want anyone else doing it either.

Unfortunately, Black America, collectively, just does not get it. The community refuses to remove the DO NOT DISTURB sign outside its door, refusing to WAKE UP.

Use of the n-word today is trans-generational and is the one and ONLY reason why the term still flows from the lips of contemporary Black African Americans. Black users of the term are allowing themselves to be defined by a racist term as opposed to defining themselves, for the reality is that the term n**ga is simply ghetto vernacular for n**ger, obviously there ISN’T any difference between the two.

h-lewis-smith H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc., author of Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word, and the recently released book Undressing the N-word: Revealing the Naked Truth, Lies, Deceit and Mind Games

The NFL’s Proposal to Penalize Use of the N-word

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Racism with tags , , , , , on March 6, 2014 by Gary Johnson


By H. Lewis Smith

Last season, Washington Redskins’ tackle Trent Williams was accused of directing use of the N-word toward a referee during a nationally-televised game. His action is just one of the many instances that the term tends to be thrown around freely in the face of self-respecting Black/African-American sports fans and America on the whole. In attempts to combat this blatant and far-reaching disrespect, in March 2014, the NFL Competition Committee will convene to consider instituting an automatic 15-yard penalty for on-field use of the N-word, with a second infraction resulting in ejection from the game. This ambitious, respected, and well-intended effort will be led by Mr. John Wooten, Chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance; the alliance monitors and promotes diversity in the NFL, and advocates for completely eliminating use of the word in the league.

The naysayers, proponents of the n-word, “puppets” and elites that work day and night to maintain the systemic are going to have a field day with this one. Even in light of this possible heckling, it’s refreshing to see a black organization initiating this pursuit and actively working to restore ethical, moral and civil principles and values in the collective society. Such demanding of self-respect within and without the Black community is a matter that should have been undertaken arbitrarily by the Black community years ago. Although the alliance’s efforts are applauded and great admiration is paid to see someone willing to stand up against the racial indignities, personally, the gravest concern and bewilderment is that such an act even needs to be suggested in the first place. Why is it that a group of people need to have rules, regulations and laws in place to protect them from themselves? Why have individual African Americans failed to be accountable to self on a morally-enriched level and demonstrate that they are more than capable of policing self?

This time last year, United Voices for a Common Cause (UVCC) which is a black non-profit organization that promotes societal progress and anti-n-word use, at least approached the NBA to turn their attention to and take some sort of intervening action regarding NBA players’ open, uninhibited use of the vulgar term. UVCC and any other self-respecting Black/African American knows that there is ABSOLUTELY nothing endearing or accepting about the term; only a mentally-enslaved sycophant is going to be fool enough to expend any amount of energy into attempting to transform the term or approve of its use in any light. Hopefully, The Fritz Pollard Alliance’s efforts are a sign that the Black community is finally willing to stand up and take back its self-respect, dignity, pride and honor from elements in the community who are all too willing to trample on and disgrace the sacred and hallowed memories of their beloved ancestors by using the n-word in any fashion. To consider embracing the n-word as symbolic of the Black culture—and especially as a synonym in reference to a black man—is outrageous, contemptible and unacceptable.

John Wooten

Several years ago, Damon Wayans applied to trademark the name n**ger so he could use the name for a clothing line. The system magnanimously denied the request in a seeming effort of, once again, saving the Black community from itself. Though a minute section of people in the Black community were appalled at Damon’s request, the majority of the community was unmoved as they generally are when it comes to internal usage of the n-word. Thankfully the trademark was not approved, however, for entertainment purposes, consider the opposite effects of such a trademark: if it were able to be trademarked, it would have potentially limited use of the term at least in mainstream media as before the term could be used, one would have to obtain permission to use it. The systemic realizes that if the word is “seen” less, it may become one of those “out of sight, out of mind” situations; ultimately, this may result in Black Americans no longer associating with and living as the n-word, and eventually rising to their true “place” in society. At any rate, the systemic’s purpose is to keep Black America in its man-made position. The larger question is when will Black America realize this plight being played against them, and stop voluntarily falling in line with such a sad affair?

Many pro athletes, be it football or basketball, refer to one another as the n-word (n**ga) just as naturally as breathing the Almighty’s clean air. It must be pointed out that not all African Americans disrespect themselves by assaulting and ravaging the memories of their ancestors through invoking the anathematized word into their vocabulary; however, far too many either use the term themselves and/or will, nonetheless, tolerate use of it by others in the community and even some outside the community—this is mental weakness unencumbered.

Any attempts of dealing with n-word usage by the black community is always met with a chorus of people believing there are more important, prevalent issues to which the community’s attention should be turned. In so many words, these people are saying that use of the n-word by Black African Americans is off limits and untouchable. It matters not if one is an elementary school student, drop-out, college graduate or PhD holder, the sentiments are generally the same; proponents of the n-word say turn a blind eye to the term—or, table or completely disregard any types of effects the terms manifests upon the Black psyche—and do not disturb them and their use of the n-word.  They would much rather go through hell wearing gasoline underwear than let go of their 18th century slave mentality use of the n-word (n**ger/n**ga). They simply do not have the mental strength to live without it, and this is the crux of the entire matter: Black America refuses to face up to why the community is so captivated by use of a word that dehumanized and still dehumanizes their enslaved ancestors and selves.

From slavery to the present, Black African Americans have undeniably borne an unprecedented amount of suffering and mental abuse. Their insistence upon embracing the n-word (n**ga), and refusal to correct the matter, serves as confirmation that the chains to mental enslavement were never broken. The inability to break the chain and experience true mental liberation—which is available and free for the taking—make Black America its own worst enemy. Thus, to be saved from themselves, actions must be taken by other individuals—whether they are within or outside of the community—to police African Americans; this unfortunate scenario is presently demonstrated with the case of the NFL and The Fritz Pollard Alliance pending proposal.

Should there be any red-blooded, self-respecting Black African Americans reading this commentary who are fed up with the asinine use of the n-word and conduct unbecoming that of proud, honorable, dignified people, please share your feelings and concerns with UVCC at UVCC will respond to your inquiries and offer useful insight as to effective actions that can be taken to once and for all cure the Black community of its most deep-rooted and far-reaching problem: the inferior mentality watered by use of the n-word.

h-lewis-smith H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. (; authors of “Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word”, and “Undressing the N-word: Revealing the Naked Truth About Lies, Deceit and Mind Games”

Follow him on Twitter:

Michael Vick: Right Owner, Right Coach, Right Team, WRONG CITY!

Posted in Black Men, Guest Columnists, Sports News with tags , , , on August 20, 2009 by Gary Johnson

PhiladelphiaEaglesLogoVick Reinstated Football

By Harold Bell

August 19, 2009

Football players and real sports fans across America are wondering why would Michael Vick chose the worst sports city in America to try to re-start his NFL career.

Philadelphia is called “The City of Brotherly Love.” It is anything but a city that loves brothers!

Racial profiling among the city’s police department is on par with the LAPD and NYPD and the Prince George’ County Police Department in the state of Maryland.

Michael Vick’s first appearance in a home game in a Philadelphia Eagle football uniform will set American sports back 52 years.  Remember 1947 and Jackie Robinson?

Don’t be surprised to see a black dog instead of a black cat released on the field of play.  The number ONE played song on radio in cities that the Eagles visit will be “Who Let The Dogs Out.”

Vick and his family will need an armed escort to and from games.  The best advice his legal team could give him would be:  “Tell your family and friends to stay home and watch the games on television.”

Vick’s #7 jersey was the biggest seller in the NFL before his dog conviction.  It has sold out in Philly but don’t be surprised to see his jersey being used to start “Barn Fires” at Eagle pep rallies and tailgate parties.  Racial tensions will run high in the city during the season.

When the “Race Card in America,” is played it is clear that there are no ‘Good Sports.’

When a man serves 18 months in jail for making a “stupid” mistake and lost $113 million dollars in salary and says ‘I am sorry’ who are we to say in America You don’t deserve a second chance?” How many times must Michael Vick say I am sorry?”

Baltimore Raven LB Ray Lewis got away with murder in Atlanta and WR Donté Stallworth of the Cleveland Browns was suspended indefinitely by the NFL in June 2009 after pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter charges.  Stallworth has been subsequently suspended for the 2009 season without pay.

Brendan Haywood of the NBA’s Washington Wizard’s said it best.  “When is a dog’s life worth more than a human life?”

The reason Michael Vick chose the Eagle was, the owner wanted him, the coach wanted and last but not least, the first string quarterback Donovan McNabb wanted him.

The city is another story.  Philadelphia sports fans are known nationally to be the worst in America.  Their sports history speaks for itself.  Ask the guy who played Santa Claus.  While he was being parachuted into the stadium, his arrival was met with a barraged of snowballs from every corner of the stadium.

How can Washington Redskins fans ever forget that their NFL Hall of Fame mascot Chief Zee was almost killed when he was attacked after a game in Philly in 1983?  He has not been back since and refuses to even fly over the city. Zee said, “I would not put it pass them to shoot planes down.”

It has been proven that most Philadelphia sports fans are not as smart as a “fifth grader.”

Philadelphia is the worst among major cities in America when it comes to college educated adults, less then 21% are college graduates.

They are definitely not playing with a full deck.

The Eagles were the first team in professional sports in America to have an on-site jail for rowdy and drunken fans.

Despite the first black President in the history of the country, race relations are in a sad state.  Before Barack Obama, U. S. Presidents usually received on average of 3,000 death threats a month.  Obama receives 12,000 threats monthly.  In Philadelphia there is a possibility that Vick death threats might just surpass the President’s.

The Southern Poverty Law Center which has a long history of waging legal battles on behalf of civil rights warned, “There is a rise of violent and well armed White Militias.  They are driven by the recession and hatred of Obama.”

The center concluded, “There are at least 50 new militia groups in the nation over the past two years.  They are mostly located in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest and the deep south.”

A spokesperson for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) added, “You are seeing the bubbling right now.  You are seeing people buying into what they’re saying.  It’s primed to grow.”

In the meantime, CBS News carried a lengthy report on the groups last week which concluded, “The right-wing extremists, historically motivated by a distrust of government, are now especially angry about the election of America’s first African-American President.”

Last week during one of those public forums on Health Care, a woman yelled “We must take back America.” My question, “Take it back from whom?”

Dog fighting in America is American as Apple PieMichael Vick didn’t bring dog fighting to America.  It was here when his ancestors got off the ship.  It is still a thriving business today.

Thanks to the overkill in media and its double standards, the Vick conviction opened up “Pandora’s box.”

I was watching the popular “America’s Got Talent” show on NBC television last week.  The show is one of my favorites.  The show has moved into the semi-final round.

The winner will receive one million dollars and will headline a show in Las Vegas.  What happened next really confirmed my fears that Vick is in real trouble in Philly.

The host is Nick Cannon (Mariah Carey’s husband), Judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff.

A national television audience voted the first four contestants into the semi-finals.  The last two contestants for this segment was a man and dog act against a talented brother that sang and played a mean piano.  Their fate would lie in the hands of the judges instead of the national television audience.

The man and dog’s performance was mainly the dog running through the owner’s legs chasing Frisbees.  The dog missed 7 out of 10 Frisbees thanks to his trainer.  He tossed the Frisbee as if he was drunk.  The brother’s performance was flawless.

Sharon Osbourne was asked to vote first, but she claimed she was in such a dilemma.  She begged David Hasselhoff to vote first instead and he voted for the man and dog act.

Piers Morgan could not believe his ears and he said, “If this man does not win this competition the show is a joke.” He voted for the brother and Sharon voted for the dog.  Piers sat in stunned silence and disbelief.  This was a sign of the times and a warning to Vick to watch his back in Philly.  It is definitely dogs over black men.

This whole issue of White America and dogs cannot be laid at the feet of all white folks.  There are some blacks in America that are just as dangerous.

In media there are Juan Williams, Roland Martin, Armstrong Williams, Tavis Smiley, James Brown, Eugene Robinson and the NABJ (The National Association of Black Journalist).

In the case of Michael Vick, these brothers and sisters are sounding more like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Pat Buchanan and last but definitely least “Mr. Pitiful” himself, Michael Steele.  He is Chairman of the Republican Party (Designated go-fer).

For example; there was an e-mail exchange between Jamie Zalac who is the media liaison for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and Barbara Ciara, a black television reporter on WTKR News Channel TV3 in Norfolk Virginia.  Ms. Ciara carries the titles, President of the National Association of Black Journalist and Vice-President of Unity Journalist of Color.

In the exchange Ms. Zalac thanks Ms. Ciara for contacting her about the despicable acts of Michael Vick as it relates to dogs in America and asking for a statement from the group.

Ms. Zalac tells her new friend that PETA and millions of decent football fans around the world are disappointed that the Philadelphia Eagles chose to sign a man who hung dogs from a tree!  I wonder who took the world wide poll, Rush Limbaugh?

Where were Ms. Zalac and PETA and her parents when black men and women were being hung from trees all over America from one decade to another?  Where was she when law-enforcement blew up a whole city block in Philadelphia killing innocent women and children while looking for a cop killer?  Where was she when the city bulldozed an entire city block to destroy any evidence to hide this despicable act?

Where was she when white cops in New York City were frequently using black men as target practice?  Where were Ms. Zalac and Ms. Ciara when a young black man named Ronnie White was denied his right to a judge and jury here in Prince George’s County, Maryland last year?  He was accused in the hit and run death of a police officer.  He was found in his jail cell dead of a broken neck.  No one has been brought to justice and the cover-up continues.

This hideous act took place in the shadows of the Nation’s Capitol and PETA Headquarters in downtown Washington, DC.  There was no outcry from PETA or the NABJ!

Then there is the cheerleading e-mail from Bob Butler a reporter at KCBS Radio in San Francisco.  His credentials read, Vice-President of Broadcast for the NABJ, President, Bay Area Black Journalist.

Mr. Butler’s e-mail read “You go Barbara.” I had to go back track and double check the e-mails to make sure I had not missed any earth shattering developments that Ms. Ciara had uncovered, like a formula for preventing teenage pregnancy among black girls in our community or breaking news of the first black owner of a NFL team!  No such luck.

Mr. Butler thought congratulations were in order because on Aug 13, 2009, at 7:42 PM, Ciara, Barbara wrote:

NABJ Family,

“At this hour, PETA (homebased in Norfolk) has not issued a statement regarding the signing of Michael Vick. However, I would like to note that I along with NABJ member Jummy Olabanji broke the story of Vick’s contract with Philly at 7:25 on WTKR Newchannel 3 a full hour and five minutes before anyone else.  We got it first– and we got it right.”

Ms. Ciara, I will be sure to nominate you and your station for the next Emmy Award.

You really must have some slow news days in Norfolk.  When I was an on air personality I broke community and sports stories days before the Washington Post.  It got so bad George Solomon the sports editor assigned his reporters to tune into my show “Inside Sports” for breaking news.

This dog charade took a turn for the worst when CBS Sports and NFL Host James Brown sat down last Sunday with Michael Vick on “60 Minutes.” If you missed the Vick interview with James Brown you can watch it here.

Last Sunday was also a bad day for Tiger Woods and Michael Vick fans on CBS (I am sure the ratings went through the roof).

For the first time in his professional golf career Tiger Woods lost a tournament going into the final round leading the field.  The number one golfer in the world lost to Y. E. Yang ranked 155.

Since the death of Ed Bradley60 Minutes” has yet to find another black man capable of filling the void left by Bradley.  He was in my opinion “The Black Walter Cronkite” of television news.

Ed, like Mr. Cronkite had an air of honesty and integrity, something rarely found in the news media today.  You could carry what they said to the bank.

James Brown was like a bump on a log during his one-on-one interview with Michael Vick. He sat there like he had no idea what it was like to be black in America.  The whole interview was well rehearsed.  Former NFL coach Tony Dungy, who was assigned by the league to be Vick’s mentor was the only believable voice during that entire segment.

The “race card” never came up during the entire interview.  It was like it never existed.  It was obvious they were told not to mention race as being a factor for all the hate being shown toward this young man.

What was the purpose of showing Vicks’s legal team (Billy Martin, et al) without them uttering one word?

The bottom line is this: Instead of Michael Vick being a spokesperson for PETA he should be going around visiting schools, playgrounds and youth facilities in our cities talking to black youth.

We have issues to deal with such as black-on-black murder and a high drop out rate.  Over half of minority students in America are dropping out of school.  The youth facilities and prisons are busting at the seams with minorities.  Black youth are “fouling out” of the game of life at record rates.

Here’s my advice to Michael Vick.  Save a child’s life and let PETA and the National Association of Black Journalist save the dogs.

Harold Bell Harold Bell is the Godfather of Sports Talk radio and television. Throughout the mid-sixties, seventies and eighties, Harold embarked upon a relatively new medium–sports talk radio with classic interviews with athletes and sports celebrities.  The show and format became wildly popular and the rest as they say is history.

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