Amidst the NFL’s evident intolerance of Black players who remain dedicated to the plights of their people, a Washington Redskins player has revealed the NFL also robbed them of another crucial component of Black culture.
During an interview with sports blogger Dan Steinberg, running back Clinton Portis shared that he and teammates Santana Moss and the late Sean Taylor established a tradition of taking a shot of Hennessy before games. The beloved cognac drink has been referred to as “the unofficial spirit of Black America.”
But all that brown liquor sippin’ came to an end after former Redskins coach Jim Zorn prohibited the ritual. The tradition garnered even more significance after Taylor, a former safety for the team, was killed in a 2007 home invasion.
“[Zorn] ruined that recovery trail,” Portis said about his former teammate’s death. “I think it’s known now — even if it’s not, I don’t give a damn; I’m grown — myself, Santana and Sean, prior to the game, we would take a little shot … [of] Henny, [cognac]. We were drinking Hennessy. Me, Santana and Sean, we did this for a year-and-a-half before anyone knew. It was never two, three- four shots… From that point, we did it every game…”
“All of a sudden Coach Zorn comes in, and [says] ‘Oh, yeah, guys are taking sips for Sean.’ What?” he continued.
Former Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss added that the players’ routine wasn’t bothering anybody.
“It was something that we just did,” said the ex-wideout. “We didn’t want it to be magnified. We didn’t want it to be about us, because we did and went out and played the game of football the way we know how to play…He just kind of lost a lot of us, you know. He said that and that kind of lost us together.”
What can we have?