With images of Colin Kaepernick kneeling throughout the realm of the collective cerebral cortex, thanks to Uncle Phil Knight, the once promising professional quarterback prospect, has transformed into a martyr of Che Guevara proportions, as Nike is exploring a commemorative tee-shirt design adorned with a silhouetted profile of the former San Francisco 49er.
The only question remains, will the polarizing shadow figure don a sassy beret to accent a series of neon base colors, perfect for crisp Autumn jogs through blowing masses of leaves?
The opening week of the NFL season arrived with the squeak of an exotic guinea pig and swiftly dissolved into the past with the enzymatic bubbles of the clown fish, as the detrimental tone from athletes turned social justice warriors combining controversial politics with the sporting world, welcomed a tepid audience response. Even in the wake of league commissioner Roger Goodell adopting a no-tolerance for shenanigans during the National Anthem policy, in giving players the option to remain in the locker room during the pregame tradition, fans cannot forgive the audacity of highly paid athletes last season, to utilize the spotlight in promoting a personal agenda. Unfortunately, the trickle down effect from the protests on the gridiron have ungraciously infiltrated the entire sporting world, including one the most prestigious tennis tournaments on the planet, and from an unlikely source of decrepit histrionics.
Enter stage left tennis legend Serena Williams in an attempt add yet another grand slam title to an already morbidly obese trophy case. The younger member of the dynamic family duo which has been the face of the women’s tennis circuit for a decade and a half, not only gave her best impression of John McEnroe, with a controversial and entertaining meltdown worthy of retro center court in the 1980’s, and even managed to overshadow the accomplishment of the ultimate underdog, by continuing the ceaseless rant and rave throughout the US Open awards ceremony, an overwhelming performance fueled by an idealistic and unruly New York mob and putrid excuse of a crowd. The same mentality of indifference displayed throughout the city on a daily basis, as victims of bold daylight crimes in progress are deliberately ignored in a nuclear holocaust absence of a single decent good Samaritan. Somewhere, Andy Warhol is smirking with an uninspired sardonic and insane visual commentary on delusion.
Willam’s theatrics on the court cost her an entire game in the match, and fired a neon outlined notice to societal trolls, that an eminent click-bait fest and heaps of cash and jewels were on the horizon.
Enter center stage, Naomi Osaka, appropriately representing Japan in an unprecedented run through the grueling tournament. The 20th seed, Osaka, managed to negotiate through the challenging rounds of skilled opponents in hoisting the championship trophy, only to find that she encountered her most difficult task after earning the crown. In a reprehensible and disturbing display of vitriol and group think, the unacceptable antics of Williams sparked a May Day style revolt, prompting an unabashed and everlasting boo-fest from the audience.
As Sarena vehemently blamed sexism for the decision of the judge to dock her points, Osaka sat courtside visibly ashamed, hiding her face beneath a damp towel. The insanity only continued, as the first time grand slam winner, broke down at the award presentations, while Williams incited the crowd in a “This is my party, I’ll cry if I want to moment. Ceremony host Tom Rinaldi did nothing to the squelch the negative intensity and detrimental environment on display from all sides.
While the captivating and improbable quality run by Osaka will forever be marred by a subculture motivated by assisting a bias, society must learn a valuable lesson that hypocrisy is unchecked and one cannot compete with a brand name. In this case, the William’s family stranglehold on the tennis world will be savagely defended.
The other eye-opening component in this crazed narrative, is the bizarre and irregular claim by Williams that she was a victim of sexism on the one of the iconic stages of professional tennis, and why she continued with her wayward crusade in completely enveloping Osaka’s moment of triumph in a toxic haze of rhetoric and gender-baiting. In the aftermath of the incident, the typical talking heads are screaming at a 747 jumbo jet decibel level of the grave injustices marring culture.
The reality that Osaka is in fact of Haitian and Japanese descent in representing a new and exciting hierarchy of tennis, was completely obscured by behavior worthy of a modern day university campus dystopian protest, and the majority of those present were to blame.
The women’s movement has a lot to explain in pandering to William’s incessant rant, over recognizing the strong concept of a role model that is Osaka. How is not a win for everyone, that a multi-cultural and gracious champion emerged on a global platform, or that the final match featured two amazing female tennis players representing a diverse and culture of freedom? The only logical assumption is that feminism and affirmative action has moved so far to the left (if that is even possible?), that the only alternative to justifiably accepting that a cultural icon finished as a runner-up, is the existence of a contrived poly-gender being of color possessing a mean backhand and known for single-handedly shaming and getting a fraternity disbanded from a Big-10 campus. Instead, Osaka appears in a world that has no viable answer for her brilliance.
Completely lost in this blizzard-link maelstrom is while public figures like Williams pound their fists in calling for change, despicable manufactured inequalities fester, including the prolific case of discrimination against Asian-American applicants at Harvard, which is currently in litigation- a testament to the notion that the narrative is only fitting if forwarding a one-sided agenda.
Sarena Williams should be and will mentioned in polite conversation with the all-time greats on the courts, but her hijacking of the US Open post-tournament festivities, will forever be filed under the “Why?” column in supporting the reasonable expectation that athletes should avoid exploiting the pageantry of an actual athletic event when playing politics. Unlike the NFL, professional tennis and other second-tier sports based on overall infrastructure size, walk a tight rope in generating revenue and maintaining consistent viewership. First Amendment rights non-withstanding, there is a time and place for debatable viewpoints, and industry leaders and public relation officials should do their job to address this and clean up the mess that is threatening the very fabric of professional athletic competition.
Blind activism has a limited shelf life, and this directly correlative to the tolerance of the audience, a resolve which is being perpetually tried by the cottage industry of hate, an epidemic threatening to engulf the entire realm of athletics. If this occurs, nobody is a winner.