The Starting Five for 1/5/12: Message to the Messengers: Hannibal Ante Portas!

Poet Langston Hughes, sociologist Charles Spurgeon Johnson, historian E. Franklin Frazier, doctor and author Rudolph Fisher, and legislator Hubert Delaney

If you followed my twitter feed last evening (scroll up from that tweet in my time line), you will see I had some things to say about the state of Black journalism. This is an important year personally because I must decide what type of writer I want to be moving forward. I’ve spent a lot of time over the years combating negativity in a sense of wanting to change a narrative not inclusive of Blacks writing of themselves…

Honestly, I was a little affected that writers such as David Leonard (who wrote the piece on Mark Sanchez) and Dave Zirin have basically become go to guys regarding race. I have the utmost respect for those two of a lighter hue but what the hell are Black writers doing to shape Black sports history?

When D.K. Wilson and I formed TSF, we had a vision for this site to become a proving ground for young writers looking for traction and eventually use our professional sports credential to gain experience in reporting. That’s still in effect, and any writer needing to get a footing, hit me up.

I wanna be clear. It honestly pains me this society doesn’t choose to respect the words of anything but the mainstream unless it’s personally relative. It’s missing out on a unique perspective of encapsulated wisdom that will help society see Black athletes with more lucidity. You must educate yourselves in a more well rounded fashion. I can’t write to what you want to read. It fires against my soul. I must write what I feel is best and hope you judge accordingly. I’m honored that my profile is growing and it’s only because readers of this site and others choose to read my work.

Where is the pride? Writers influence opinions and shape history if allowed to be. In 2012, I must do a better job of marketing TSF. It’s as simple as that. I was hoping to become a unifying central figure showing Blacks we don’t have to be so fragmented. I don’t understand why folks don’t pull all this talent together and form something spectacular. It’s frustrating to see writers do other things appearing to almost be a hobby instead of seriously taking advantage of a very fruitful sports landscape. There is room for everyone and nothing has to be monolithic, but isn’t it time to have a more prominent Black voice given the majority of athletes are Black?

Does everyone want to work for ESPN? That’s all there is?

There’s no disclaimer here. I’m not going to sugar coat this for others because if you don’t know by now that I do this for everyone, that’s your misguided prerogative. If any young Black writers are taking this personally, that’s on you as well. I’m not offering any more of my professional contacts unless I see something in you. I want to be accessible to those needing tempered wisdom through the blood of my experience but I’m no sucker. I don’t understand why folks clamor to outlets making millions off negative stories of Black athletes. I don’t understand those same folks defending these outlets as if they are their own soul.

Quit fighting me please. I have no quarrel with you.

Be who you want to be but don’t fight me for knowing and writing that my people are never inferior and our words are just as important as anyone writing anything ever. I’m willing to work with everyone transcendent of race to get this right but young Black writers who don’t know shit about life step the hell back. I guess the huge disparity in median income means nothing to you huh? Why do you think there is a disparity? Is it something explained away with ease?

You can be replaced just as fast as the next and when this happens don’t be confused why you were in fact…replaced.

I’m challenging you all to make this a year of written versatile prominence that adds to whatever is out there. Stop following and mimicking whatever is popular and write your own opinions of current sports events. When I say this I ask to dig deeper and allow readers to distinguish what is real and what is bogus through the creation of new and refreshing stories.

Am I naive to think America wants more than titillation? Is it all about comedy with big teeth glaring for others to laugh and love your ignorance? Is that all there is? For example, do we want to know why a special student athlete like Robert Griffin III isn’t a consensus alternative to Andrew Luck given his accomplishments and next generation talent? Are we cool with experts saying it’s Luck and no one else? On the same vein, how are these people proclaiming Luck to be the best prospect since Elway when RG3 more resembles the Hall of Fame quarterback and Cam Newton set records never before touched in the air and on the ground in his first NFL season?

I’m no teacher and I’m certainly no preacher but godamn ya’ll let’s go!

Keep the nerve
Keep the nerve
Keep the nerve
…I’m talkin’ about peace

To the links.

Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph to miss up to 8 weeks with knee ligament tear. (Commercial Appeal)

Warriors’ Stephen Curry suffers third sprain of season. (Yahoo)

Sophia Young added to USA National Team. (Baylor Bears)

Los Angeles Sparks hire Atlanta Dream assistant Carol Ross as new head coach. (

Basketball factories taint game. (The Daily Republic)

Relationship with Cousins will get attention, but lack of results ruined Westphal. (Sporting News)

Two other Kings links from Tom Ziller (written about the Kings for years).  Here and here.

Talk host sorry for anti-gay remarks. He called two WNBA teams the “Los Angeles Lesbians” and the “Phoenix Dyke-ury”. Oh oh. (Times Union)

Shit White Girls Say…to Black Girls. Read the comments.

Video of flagrant foul no-calls at basketball game goes viral. Look at these hackmaster Jakes as well call them in PA. (Yahoo)

Speak it like you think it radio. Give it a listen. Features a funny ass comedian named Baracka Flacka Flames . Hahaha. (Talk Shoe)

Here’s dude here starring as The Black Mamba. Eagles fans will dig his last words.


7 Responses to “The Starting Five for 1/5/12: Message to the Messengers: Hannibal Ante Portas!”

  1. HarveyDent says:

    Good to see the passion is still burning, Miz, but I understand your frustration. I’m going to tell you something that I know you already know and that is your words and your works are being read and noticed because as long as you reach just one you’ve already accomplished something. You’re going up against fifty years of monolithic sports reporting and commentary and unfortunately some of US even in the 21st century still think the white man’s ice is colder. Truth is truth no matter it’s color, texture, or flavor and you along with Dwil, RG, Okori, and other contributors speak the truth. That’s why I come here DAILY because I need my fix so I can at least know that I’m not the only one seethes at the institutional racism of these sports leagues and the willful ignorance of our fellow fans aided and abetted by a mainstream media that is too happy to keep us stupid with made up statistics and simple narratives of good and evil.

    You guys keep doing what ya’ll doing and that’s BANGIN’ AND SCORIN’ EVERY TRIP DOWN THE FLOOR!!

  2. Corin Brown says:

    “It’s frustrating to see writers do other things that appear to almost be a hobby instead of seriously taking advantage of a very fruitful sports landscape.” I don’t know what this means. Explain, please?

  3. Writing great stories about Black athletes instead of everything being contentious.

  4. Corin Brown says:

    Got it.

  5. Temple3 says:

    I feel you — and I feel that it’s worth saying that if Hannibal had not stayed outside of the gates, but had in fact proceeded to enter Rome, his world and that of the Carthaginians would have been vastly different.

    Sometimes mercy and inclusion are not the path forward. If this is your moment, don’t sit outside the city waiting for the Romans (or ESPN or whomever) to do the right thing. They will act according to their nature…and so must you…no matter how distasteful.

  6. Ryan Mishap says:

    I imagine there are more than a few of “lighter hue” like myself out there hungry for more realistic insight into the world of sports and how sports intersects with our lives, politics, and cultures. Speaking for myself, I truly appreciate the folks on The Starting Five for their work, willingness to tackle racism, and enthusiasm as fans as well as journalists. Love just about everything on The Starting Five (with one exception). While I wish I still had Sports On My Mind to peruse each day, you all keep it going.

    Thank you.

  7. You’re welcome Ryan. With the NBA getting in swing, TSF is about to explode with it.