Pro players who take on controversial social debates are gone, replaced by athletes whose goal is to not offend... There is no Muhammad Ali, who lost his heavyweight boxing title as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. There is no Jim Brown, arguably the greatest running back in NFL history, who found more meaning in bringing rival L.A. gang members together than in playing on the gridiron, where, he realized, he was just “a highly paid, over-glamorized gladiator.”Sports stars (and other pop culture stars) have clout, but what do they know about the political issues they could influence? Wouldn't the best, most ethical stance be to acknowledge their lack of qualification outside of their field of expertise?
There is no Arthur Ashe, the late tennis champion and civil rights activist, who in 1985 was arrested outside the South African Embassy in Washington during an anti-apartheid rally. There’s not even a Curt Flood, the St. Louis Cardinal who didn’t accept a trade to another team in 1969, appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court in a landmark case that paved the way for free agency.
“Have you thought about what it’s like to play for a team that’s named the Redskins?” I asked. “Because a lot of American Indians and others feel that’s a derogatory term.”Isn't that exactly right? Shouldn't more celebrities do that?
“I’m not qualified to speak on that,” Griffin said. “I didn’t even mean to stir up the other thing, so I’m not going to touch that one.”
(By the way, "the other thing" refers to that "down with the cause... cornball brother" business.)