How many of you remember when Ayesha Curry, wife of MVP Stephen Curry, tweeted that cryptic tweet after her husband’s team lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in game six of the NBA Finals?
The cringeworthy tweet alluded to the NBA being rigged, which of course left Curry to answer questions about some pretty strong allegations his wife just hurled.
Or how about when New York Giants Cornerback Eli Apple was left to answer questions about comments made by his mother Annie, who is a domestic violence victim, criticizing her son’s team on mishandling kicker Josh Brown’s domestic violence situation?
It’s always a gray area when an individual’s significant other or relative voices their opinions, no matter what they may be. On one hand the sole reason they have a platform is because of their affiliation with that particular person. On the other hand, we don’t want to come off as trying to govern what people can and can’t say. But it would be irresponsible if we didn’t encourage people like Ayesha Curry and Annie Apple to be cognizant of the things they say because they can be interpreted the wrong way and end up forcing their loved one to play clean up.
Since then, both Curry and Apple have recognized there’s a time and place for everything, but when it comes to Miko Grimes, the wife of Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cornerback Brent Grimes, she sees things a bit differently.
Now if you’re not familiar with Grimes’s history, allow me to refresh your memory. This past summer she used anti-semitic language to rip the Miami Dolphins organization, but now ESPN’s Sage Steele is the target of Grimes’s latest claim to fame attempt.
— Sage Steele (@sagesteele) November 14, 2016
To which Grimes responded:
— Miko Grimes (@iHeartMiko) November 14, 2016
The other tweets are NSFW, so we won’t run them here.
In Steele’s defense, Grimes’ latest Twitter rant (since deleted) was juvenile, unwarranted, and unsolicited. It’s a shame that you have to sift through expletives and a racial epithet hurled at Steele just to decipher what Grimes is actually trying to convey. As hard as it is, once you do that, Grimes actually makes a poignant point that Steele and a lot of others in this country seem to be missing.
Since Colin Kaepernick chose to take a stand by not standing during the national anthem, Pandora’s box was officially opened, as athletes across all spectrums faced internal and external pressures to pick a side: pro America or anti-military. Sounds a bit drastic to paint those as your only two options in response to the debate Kaepernick sparked, but that’s what Steele and a large vocal segment of our country have continued to perpetuate and it’s just not true. It’s the exact same thing we did last Election Tuesday. Those who were anti-Trump were automatically viewed as pro-Hillary and those pro-Hillary were automatically viewed as anti-Trump.
Steele implored Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans to look up the word democracy and took real offense because Evans chose to kneel during the national anthem in response to Donald Trump being elected president. I ask Steele what kind of democracy she is advocating for? True democracy embraces a difference of opinions and views. Modern-day democracy, which is widely practiced throughout this country, promotes the notion that you can say whatever you want to say and feel however you want to feel, so long as it falls in line with what I believe.
It’s that kind of narrow-minded, skewed way of thinking that hampers true democracy from existing. When you have some military personnel who have come out publicly and said they don’t have a problem with people kneeling, and they encourage people to exercise their own individual freedoms, those who continue to fight the argument on their behalf seem to have their own agenda working at hand.
Now I don’t agree with Evans’s stance because I don’t see how not standing during the national anthem and Trump being elected president are related, but I certainly respect his right to do what he did. Just because he didn’t stand doesn’t mean that he’s anti-American, unpatriotic, or disrespecting the military. It means he interprets the flag in a different manner than Steele and others do. We talk about democracy, but when it’s time to be about democracy it comes with conditions and stipulations.
The reality of the situation is that standing during the national anthem is a compulsory behavior. It’s always been tradition and customary for people to do it. Those who deviate from the norm society has set will be punished in the court of public opinion, as Steele did with Evans. But outside of sporting events when is the national anthem played? When and where is another venue that calls for such a display of “patriotism?” You’d be hard-pressed to find one.
If we always do what we’ve always done, then we wouldn’t be where we’re at today.
People feared a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton presidency was the biggest threat to our democracy. But they’re not the biggest threats to our democracy.
We ourselves are.
Marcus Lamar is a Washington D.C.-based sports journalist. You can check out his podcast “Marc My Words” on Soundcloud, YouTube and coming to iTunes soon. Follow him on Twitter @iam_marcuslamar.