Our Voices

Pub Owner Reinforces Racist Trope

Regarding, “Delhi Township, Ohio bar: No NBA games on TV until LeBron James ‘expelled,’” (April 25): A Cincinnati bar’s public pronouncement that it would not show NBA games over LeBron James’ statements about a fatal police shooting of a teen in Columbus has drawn comment from many corners of society. What is missing from the conversation is how Linnie’s Pub owner Jay Linneman is perpetuating the “shut up and dribble” trope that has deeply racist roots. Railing against the racial justice activism of legends Jackie Robinson, Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and, more recently, Colin Kaepernick and James, mostly white men are reinforcing the notion that athletes of color should focus exclusively on their sport and keep us all entertained. Racism is baked into our criminal legal system, with Black people targeted, tortured and killed at the hands of police on a daily basis. Shutting off the television, is, in Mr. Linneman’s case, akin to shutting off reality. Hearing the anger of Black Americans, like James, is essential to increase awareness, build understand ing and generate outrage that leads to change.