I joined Twitter for the first time last week.
Well that’s not 100% true. I first created an account in 2017 and posted a haiku about Teddy Bridgewater after I lost a bet to my wife. Since then I haven’t been back until this past week.
I was inspired when I heard that Stan Van Gundy had recently joined.
I’m not always crazy about how often politics come up on Twitter, but I do think it’s necessary a lot of the time. I only follow a few people. Some sports radio personalities from the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, the Twins, the Vikings, a buddy of mine, Bob Ryan, and Mike Wilbon are all the people I’m following that are sort of in the background, or that don’t post as much.
But I’m also following Bomani Jones, Jemele Hill, and Stan Van Gundy.
These three post a lot (sometimes too much in Bomani’s case) and everyone should be following.
Hill is a former ESPN reporter and Sportscenter anchor who became controversial, and ultimately was let go by the network, for her early-on harsh public stances against Donald Trump. Bomani is another ESPN personality commonly seen or heard on Around The Horn, the Le Batard Show, and Highly Questionable. He also has his own podcast. Stand Van Gundy is a former NBA coach turned tv analyst for TNT. He coached the Heat, Magic, and Pistons.
It is strange and odd…but this threesome, through Twitter, has helped put things in perspective for me.
It’s hard to get educated on social issues from just inside the family. In my case, marrying a strong black woman, being a father and husband in a mixed raced family, and being a more laid-back type personality…I can sometimes get uncomfortable with some of our conversations we have in today’s climate. Sometimes I don’t say what I’m thinking or won’t ask a follow-up question because I’m afraid it will come off as insensitive, or maybe worse.
My wife helps me out a lot in these situations, and 90% of the time it’s not an issue. Ironically Twitter has helped me out with the 10%.
Reading Jemele Hill’s posts and responses to some of the ignorance that follows her around is always impressive. And Bomani is brilliant beyond his years. He always has a fresh approach and solid realistic perspective on things, usually while mixing in a little humor. Stuff that’s so simple and effective, but somehow it never entered my mind before. This shines through especially when he’s on the mic. One guy posted ‘Bomani working at ESPN is like Einstein working at Best Buy, I don’t get it.’ And that about sums it up for me too.
Both of these two, in one short week, have helped me see things better from the minority point of view. The strong black man and woman with a platform in today’s society is power. These two have earned it 5x over and it’s been a long time coming. And, like I said before, everyone should read/listen/follow these two on all their platforms.
They have helped reaffirm things my wife has preached about around the house, and have validated many of her stances as well. It might seem like a small thing, but it’s helped me out. I’ve never thought my wife was crazy or anything like that, but again, I’m a privileged white male, and I need to hear as many stories from others as possible to better serve my wife and raise my kids…who the world will no doubtably see as black. And it’s nice to have many of the things we believe reaffirmed by others I respect.
That being said, when I see another headline on Yahoo about social injustice and hate, or see another Twitter thread of ignorance or bigotry against Jemele Hill or Bomani Jones…I make sure to read it all. Even when I’m tired and I’m not in the mood.
I was raised as the youngest in a middle class white family. I was raised the right way. But not everything about how I was raised, and what I know, think and perceive about how to be a good parent, can be applied to the way I handle my kids going forward. It’s a different world for these kids growing up than it was for me. My kids might not be able to make some of the same mistakes I’ve made. So I need all advice on from all channels when it comes to fatherhood and raising black children.
Stan Van Gundy recently wrote, and I’m paraphrasing, that he’s been active everyday in all things for justice everywhere, and it’s gets so tiring for him sometimes that he just wants to take a day off, which he can if he wants to, and that’s his white privilege. Black people can never take a day off.
As with everything Stan Van Gundy does and says, whether it’s on Twitter or behind a microphone, I agree.
Bomani Jones can be pretty out there sometimes, but Jemele Hill and Stan Van Gundy…literally I haven’t disagreed with one thing they’ve ever said or posted. It’s amazing. But it also makes me sad to see some of the individuals they have to respond to or other stuff written about them by faceless cowards and haters.
I strongly encourage anyone reading this to get on Twitter, find Stan Van Gundy, follow him, scroll back as far as you can go with his posts, and read them all. He hasn’t been on Twitter for a very long time but he has plenty of posts. Put aside an hour or two if you have it, and do nothing but read the stuff he has written.
He’s so damn right about everything.
And his non-political posts are hilarious too.