By Our Ol' Comrade Matthew @My Planet, My Rules
Americans were always known for thinking Big Ideas and then going out and doing Big Things, and very often these Big Thoughts and Deeds were indicative of a culture that was serious, concerned, vibrant, dynamic, smart, motivated by a desire to do good. Examples abound. Americans have always sacrificed something of themselves (often, all of themselves) for the benefit of others.
Our Founders defied an authority that could have had them executed in the quest for Freedom for the individual. We have shed blood by the gallon on battlefields, most often for the benefit of others and for little other reason than because it was the right thing to do.
And so it is a great sin, a tragedy of our time, that at least some of the inheritors of these sacrifices, people have often done nothing in the slightest to validate or respect that noble bloodshed, nor earn the dividends it produced, should be given a public platform to do little more than to advertise their careless ingratitude and deliberately-cultured ignorance.
There are three varieties of these clueless, walking mouthpieces who have elbowed their way to a Prominence of Fucktard polluting our culture: the least-important (but loudest) is a new generation of leftist politician, usually the progeny of immigrants from all the waste places of the Earth, who befoul our public spaces with their unceasing whining about how hard it is to be them and how America could be made better by turning it into the Sudan or Venezuela (see: The Squad).
The second is a parade of even more-useless mouths who's primary (and largely unnecessary) function is the entertainment of the lowbrow, with names like DeNiro, Baldwin, Swift, or DiCaprio.
The last is a generation of "branded" (in the commercial sense) athletes who do things every society can easily do without, like catching touchdown passes, hitting home runs, or dunking basketballs.
The one common thread among all of these useless mouths is that they occupy a position -- socially, economically, culturally -- that is directly a result of the sacrifices of others, but disproportionate to their own, quantifiable contribution. The American Athlete, once great figures that stood for something, whether it was just the "integrity of the game", the idea that in America every little kid could be a slugger or World Champ, or something more-important, like a struggle for equality and freedom, has become, like the actor or the television "personality", not just a tragic figure, but a comic one. Because they have, just as their counterparts in politics and entertainment have, been given this stupid idea that anyone really cares what they think, do or believe when they aren't sweating in shorts for 20 or so minutes a night.
It's not as if we're talking about some of the real heroes in sports of my youth, here. The Lebron James' of the world did not have to struggle, and in the process, advance the character and quality of American Life by their example, like some of my childhood heroes did.
Lebron James is no Hank Aaron, suffering death threats for being good enough to threaten a cherished record, or being a -- maybe THE -- visible symbol of the pernicious, past influence of racism.
James wouldn't be judged worthy to hold Muhammad Ali's jockstrap, on his best day. He certainly couldn't make you think about a common humanity, couldn't be a universal symbol of hope, like Ali did and was.
Jim Brown would run Lebron James over and trample him into the dirt, demanding respect. Just respect.
James will never have the grace, the quiet dignity, or garner the universal love, of a Gayle Sayers.
In fact, James is most likely the visible symbol of the moral decay and decadence of the Modern Athlete, and symptomatic of the greater trend in society wherein people who obviously couldn't find their own asses with both hands and a road map consistently have microphones shoved in their faces with an expectation that they will -- as if by magic -- make some profound statement that will occupy the intellect and nourish the soul.
Because "they're famous", and the assumption is that fame carries with it some form of genius, some proof that by virtue of notoriety one vicariously ascends the intellectual and moral ladder until finding oneself upon the virtual Olympus of the Consequential with the likes of Einstein, Shakespeare, Lincoln, Archimedes, MLK, Hawking, Ghandi or Mother Theresa.
And so it was that Lebron James, inheritor of the sacrifices by which he is a free man, by which he has become the first "Billion Dollar Athlete", through which millions of young children dream of one day imitating his exploits on a basketball court, was somehow asked to make a comment regarding pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, the NBA's response to them, and his personal views on the entire smorgasbord of self-interested douchebag that surrounds the entire production.
James insists he stands with the forces of righteousness.
Until, of course, the circumstances of righteousness demanded that he make a sacrifice. With his wallet. And then he puked up a self-serving statement -- which cast him and the other NBA players as something of victims in this whole thing! -- and...came out against righteousness.
Which makes everything he's ever said on the subject of freedom and equality in other contexts completely invalid.
Society can survive without what you do, Lebron. It survived before Naismith invented your retarded game; it will continue without it. You add nothing to the fabric of life by tossing a ball through a hoop, and serve about as much use as a flea does to a dog. In fact, one could make the argument (I certainly am) that when it comes to parasites, NBA players are at the top of the list.
What you do is not important. Therefore, neither are you.