There were two things that bothered me about the Wizards game yesterday, and neither one had anything to do with them winning.
First off, Nike sent some "MLK-day inspired shoes" to all of the players in the NBA (I assume players with non-Nike contracts didn't wear them). The shoes had traces of red, black and green in them, and the only assumption I can make is that Nike thought the colors of the Pan-African flag on shoes would honor MLK. Some of the Wizards players wore them, but I highly doubt they could make the connection between MLK and the flag--in fact one player said it didn't matter what the connection was, since the bigger point was that an effort was made.
Well it DOES matter to me that Nike took the the lazy route to celebrate MLK day. MLK day is about service, it's the about the sacrifices he made, it's about equality for everyone, and what the hell does that have to do with red, black and green. Actually, if I was asked to write a college paper about the red, the black and the green, as it relates to MLK, I could probably do it with a high degree of success, but it would be filled with bullshit, and I'd be stretching. If I was writing about Marcus Garvey, Kwame Ture, Public Enemy of the 80s or X-Clan, it would be right on the money. But Dr. King? Not so much. I think it was lazy of Nike to just throw some colors on there, and turn that day into a marketing ploy on the sly. I'm still doing research to see if they did more than that, but as of right now, I've found nothing.
The second annoying thing about MLK day was the halftime performance. There were 10 kids, ranging from ages 6 to about 13. All the kids were dressed in African garb, and four played the drums, while the other six women danced. It was actually pretty damn cute. The drums were on point, the dancers looked good, and I found myself getting into it. But seriously, what the hell does that have to do with MLK day? How do I know this was an MLK day inspired event? Because the announcer said, "And now, to celebrate MLK day..." to introduce them. Again, I love Africans (insert the some-of-my-good-friends line here), I love the dance, and I love the drums, and if this were February, I'd be more tolerant with this type of stretch. But its King day. Let the kids read a speech, or do a 5 minute play based on a sit-in, or ANYTHING with an iota of creativity. Its just lazy, and it makes me wonder who the hell signed off on this.
And now, the mighty X-Clan: