Think About it

For some of you who may not know I am a football coach in Pine Bluff. Yesterday afternoon we asked a police officer to come in and speak with our team (99% African American) about the proper procedures when you are pulled over by a police officer. While I do feel this talk was completely necessary for the safety of our boys, I had a bunch of mixed emotions around the situation. As the officer spoke about complying and being respectful my mind wandered and I thought of all the incidents that have occurred over the past few years. Numerous African American males have complied and their parents still were forced to bury them after their encounter with officers. What do we tell our children? Just comply and everything will be fine. Well society has proven that even this is not a fire proof way to make it home to your family. If I completely comply with the officers every request and demand but am still looked at as inferior to him or beneath him does it really matter if I comply or not? While I feel this talk was necessary, I pose a question to you. Do coaches at a predominately white school have to have a officer come in to have this same talk with his players? Think about it.




  1. Brother, I love your heart in this matter! I praise you for going up and beyond to ensure that your boys can survive in the 21st century! Like the gospel song states, “I need you to survive.”

    Would a coach at a predominantly white school have to bring officers in to teach these young men to comply? My answer is yes if the coach is aware that some coos were football or basketball players to before making the huge commitment to the community. By introducing your boys or their boys to these men and women of service, it rehearses our young men for the real encounter with an officer. While a black player attending one of these sessions will be loaded with “extra” preventative measure tactics, the white player will be able to recognize when he should be advocating for his black teammate.

    Notice the University of Missouri (Mizzou) hunger strike involving Jonathan Butler. The football responded to that by forfeiting their right to represent Mizzou on the gridiron by refusing to play. It’s team consists of multiple ethnicities. When the football got involved, when blacks were articulately verbal about their oppression, when white teams were able to process this oppression or even witness this oppression, these actions made the difference in the outcome that has emerged from the peaceful protest.

    So back to your question, “Does a coach at a predominantly white school need to bring the officers to speak on how to comply?” Yes, however the intention behind that meeting is for awareness rather than for preventative measure.

    In a black or white setting, I feel strongly that officers are needed to communicate how consumption of any drug conflicts with the narrative and justice you want to see at the end of the day.

    The nugget I would leave with my black boys would be this, “2010 and onward, best preventative measure tactic of being harmed by a coo or being misunderstood by a cop is to use every opportunity when interacting with people whether that be at school work church etc to develop high quality listening skills when you are alright when you are sad when you are heated etc. Lastly, “Black man, you can’t have drugs in your system” is what I tell myself after learning that a slain unarmed black man’s autopsy report indicates that he was under the influence. Just as a diabetic has to eliminate the consumption of sugar or reduce their intake of it, this is a need for all men and women around the conversation of complying. If we don’t want anyone to not face justice because of an excuse, then we as a people need to stop giving me excuses to misunderstand us.


    1. My brother you couldn’t have said it better. It is sad the way things are today but all you can do is try to adapt and give our children everything they need to be able to survive in these type of situations. Survival is the key, make it home to your family at all cost. Thank you for that insight bro.


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