Good morning. Hope you are all well and having a good week. Today’s MI Memo will not be about ABA Initiatives, Keys to Success, stats, schedules, Aribiter, ABA news, expansion and the other regular subjects..but instead, the subject is America and the ABA’s position as relates to the recent controversy as relates to kneeling for our National Anthem. This will be posted on the ABA website and you can feel free to post it or any part of it on your website or social media. This could be a long MI Memo.
America is not perfect..
There is discrimination, racism, bigotry, economic imparity,
education imparity and other issues that must be addressed and remedied. And the ABA motto is S=e+dgu…success equals effort plus don’t give up…will work as relates to these issues. Our country has come as long way, it does still have a way to go.
The Star-Spangled Banner, our National Anthem…
was written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships…and the flag was still standing above the fort during the American victory there. It was made the national anthem over 100 years later.
And since, Americans of all races, creeds, backgrounds have stood voluntarily when the anthem was played.“Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleam….”
Among the reasons the Civil War was fought
was to abolish slavery. Hundreds of thousands of Northern white Americans died to make that happen; Abraham Lincoln was assasinated because he helped make that happen. Did the Civil War eliminate the injustices of slavery, racism, bigotry and the other evils? Of course not. But it was a good start. S=e+dgu. “My country ’tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty, of Thee I sing, Land where my fathers died, Land of the pilgrims pride, from every moutainside, Let Freedom ring.”
The 1964 Civil Rights act..
was passed by a white American President and a white
Senate and House. Did this eliminate the injustices of prejiduce, racism, bigotry, economic and educational impartity? Of course not. But it was a good move forward. S=e+dgu. “O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties, Above the fruited plain. America. America. God shed his grace on thee…”
And along came Dr. Martin Luther King…
who looked back and looked forward and said, “…I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of the creed: We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal…” Has that happened, that the entire nation has risen up to abolish racism, bigotry, prejiduce and other evils? No. But have their been great moves forward since Dr. King uttered those historic words? Yes there have. S=e+dgu.
I think about 9/11, Katrina, Harvey,
Maria and other natural disasters. The 1st responders, police, firefighters, those who donate to relief efforts don’t act based on color, creed, nationality, but on human compassion for their fellow men and women. To have America judged by the few who don’t is not the America I know and love. Our military, made up of all races, creeds and religions stand side by side protecting our freedom and those across the world. Our police and firefighters who provide safety and security are of all races, creeds and religions and they don’t risk their lives based on race, creed or religion. To have America judged by the very few who don’t is not the America I know and love. S=e+dgu.
I see an America that honors Barak Obama,
Muhammad Ali, Clarence Thomas, Thurgood Marshall,
George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, Ben Carson, Joe Louis, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, LeBron James, Jamie Foxx, Morgan Freeman, Tiger Woods, Jennifer Lopez, Sidney Poitier, Beyonce, JayZ, Denzel Washington, Sammy Davis Jr, Oprah Winfree, etc, etc. Are there those among us who don’t? Yes there are. But to have America judged by the few who don’t is not the America I know and love. S=e+dgu.
The ABA is not the NBA or NFL…
the similarity is that the 80-90%of the players are African-American. The difference is that 2% of their ownership is African-American, 75% of the ABA ownership is African-American. What we do, how we think, what we present to the public is important. The ABA represents what America could and should be..and will be. S=e+dgu. And there are ways to achieve those goals. Kneeling for our National Anthem is not one of those ways though every American has the right to do what he or she believes in.
About five weeks from now…
100+ ABA teams will take the court for Opening Night…50 National Anthems will be played. What message will the ABA (the American Basketball Association with its red, white and blue ball) present to the public? Well, here it is…the Official Policy of the ABA. And the reason for this MI Memo.
All people on the court, including owners, coaches, players, staff will stand for the National Anthem. All who choose not to do so for any reason, can step off the court, go into the stands or locker room and not participate in the National Anthem. That will be their choice. “America, America. God shed His grace on thee. And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.”
If you have any questions or problems, please let me know.
I hope you are as proud to be a part of the ABA as I am. We, as a league, have proven that diversity, opportunity, inclusion works…and let us set an example to the rest of the sports world..let’s Stand Up for America…and keep working to rid our country of the small few that have continue to operate in the past, a past filled with hate, racism, bigotry,
prejiduce…let’s show them that we are “one nation, indivisable, under God, with liberty and justice for all.
Have a good day. S=e+dgu.