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Richard Sherman—The DB, Muhammad Ali, and the NFL

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    by Reverend Reynard N. Blake, Jr.

    Sherman just made them see

    He revealed the fire in his bones

    Introduced us to the “Legion Of Boom”

    The LOB


    Richard Sherman—The DB, Muhammad Ali, and the NFL

    by Reverend Reynard N. Blake, Jr.


    “I shook up the world!”

    “There’s not a man alive who can whup me !”

    “If you dream of beating me, you’d better wake up and apologize!”

    “I’m the greatest!”

    Quotes from Cassius Clay

    Even more as Muhammad Ali

    Reviled then, loved now

    Reviled then because he told the truth

    Being the best at what he did

    Nothing wrong with that

    He backed it up


    So why can’t Richard Sherman

    A stalwart of the Seattle Seahawks

    A defensive back extraordinaire

    Limitless supply of confidence

    Says he’s the best at what he does

    Bold and fast

    Puts the “swag” in “swagger”


    He knows

    Offenses get more love than defenses

    So, when defenses make great plays

    They take the spotlight when they could

    As they should

    Love or attention for defensive squads

    Few and far between

    Especially, on TV

    Sherman just made them see

    He revealed the fire in his bones

    Introduced us to the “Legion Of Boom”

    The LOB

    Defensive backfield punishing opponents


    Isn’t this what the NFL wants?

    Fire in the bones

    Viciousness in the hits

    Controlled mayhem

    For 3 hours, at least

    Then, the NFL’s Roger GODell

    Expects the field hands

    “The property of (the NFL…or name a team)”

    Those “Type-A Personalities”

    Alpha males

    Mostly black males

    Turn off their fire and aggression

    At a moment’s notice

    Then, become humble and pleasant

    Especially with the white Press


    This brings us back to Mr. Sherman

    The smart, Stanford-grad Mr. Sherman

    Like Ali, bold and brash

    So what’s wrong with self-promotion?

    Peyton, Brady, and Brees

    NFL quarterbacks

    They self-promote

    They say, “I’m the best at what I do!”

    They just don’t say it out loud


    $20 million plus/year

    And, to boot

    The NFL makes them gods

    The NFL particularly likes white quarterback gods

    Messianic heroes

    “Peyton Manning versus Tom Brady”

    I thought it was the Broncos versus the Patriots


    So, what does the NFL and fans do

    With Richard Sherman

    Or, any defensive crew

    Tell them to play touch football?

    Have them say, “Jolly good show, old chum!”

    Have them share tea and crumpets after the game?

    Or, does America want to see

    A reflection of itself on the field:


    Intimidating, like Chris Christie

    Celebrating thugs like in “The Sopranos”

    If yes, then everybody needs to shut up

    Shut up, and enjoy the show!


    Reverend Reynard N. Blake, Jr., M. S. is an ordained Baptist minister living in East Lansing, Michigan with his wife Karen Kelly-Blake, Ph.D., Research Associate, Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences at Michigan State University (MSU). He earned his Master of Science degree in Community Development-Urban Studies from MSU and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the College of Charleston (SC). He has co-authored several articles on faith-based community development and is also a poet and hip-hop cultural analyst whose work have appeared on Black Commentator, Michigan Family Review,, the Online Journal of Urban Youth Culture and Black Agenda Report. He is putting on the final touches on a book of political parody and poetry; no publisher yet.  He would appreciate any input on where and how he can get it published. He can be reached at .

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    Can you provide a link to this info

    BSeale, I've never heard that Ali made such a movie for the military. I cannot find a link to any such information. Can you please provide a link.

    The Diversion Continues

    Rev Blake Jr wrote :

    Even more as Muhammad Ali

    Reviled then, loved now

    Loved now ?

    When Muhammed Ali's number was called in the Draft Allotment he promptly parked his braggadocio changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammed Ali professed his following of the Muslim Religion and sucessfully sought a Religious Exemption from Military Service. He would be stripped of his title because of this decision. Ali would succesfully fight the legal system in the US and get his Boxing License reinstated in 1971. And the braggadocio would return. But that's not the end of it ! In the 1980s Ali would enlist his services as a spokesman for the US Miltary in a promotion campaign to encourage the youth of America to enlist in the All Volunteer Military. And the job was an easy one. Back then the country was suffering the Reagan Recession with record high employment. This made youth from economically deprived environments begging for work exceptional vulnerable to the Siren's Song of a roof over their heads, job skill training and a paycheck. To set things right with The Man Ali would become part of campaign to get the youth of America to do what he was to afraid to do 15 years earlier. Ali would eventually be called for his duplicity and turn tail to withdraw from the campaign. But his efforts for the War Machine would not go unrewarded. On October 23, 1983 Ronald Reagan would invade the tiny Island nation of Grenada crushing the New Jewel Movement after Maurice Bishop was assasinated in the hours immediately preceeding the invasion. Muhammed Ali would say nothing about the matter.

    The prominent labor leader Sabina Virgo who was the president of the Los Angeles Chapter of AFSCME in the 1990s gave a public lecture in 1994. In that talk Sabina hit the nail on the head when she state that "Capital serves up MASSIVE amounts of entertainment in order to anesthetize the public from the pain its injuries produces". And the NFL is a very big cog in that Anesthetizing Machine. Holding up its players as gods amounts to little more than an exercise in false consciousness. Ennunciating the salary disparities between Black and White players in the NFL while condemning Chris Christie is an easy task, but it is a diversion.

    Let's stop glorifying the cogs in this machine and start calling out the Imperialist System. The same Imperialist System that Muhammed Ali ducked in the 60s and served in the 80s. Then our youth will get the message that men like Maurice Bishop are far more deserving of their memory than the guy on the football field, the baseball diamond or in the boxing ring.

    Dunno might it be time for


    might it be time for blacks to start encouraging a more collaborative style of masculinity,  that works collectively to apply its aggressive instincts in some enterprise which purpose is to empower the Black Collective -- rather than narcissistic black masculinity that revels in its capacity to win for white men and squander some of its best years making white men rich? 

    Not seeing anything to get wet over in Sherman's exhibition. I just see another confused hyper emotional black man who doesn't know what and whose interests his power should be used in service to.

    Like this guy:





    Asking for a beat down

    What was wrong with this black man?  Did he see how they beat Rodney King.  How can a black man challenge these people, unless you want to die.  Even if he had made one statement, which would have been enough, then he pushes his luck, standing there screaming at the killers of black men.  Lordy, lordy, give me a break.