To cancel, or not to cancel? In this ‘cancel culture’ that we live in, that is the question.
For those of you who do not know what cancel culture is, it refers to the popular practice of withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive.
In the days after the George Floyd murder at the hands of Minneapolis police, there has been a sense of awakening in this great country. More and more protests have been going on in ALL 50 STATES. And HUGE number of those protesters are WHITE (FINALLY!).
We have also seen prominent sports figures stepping in it.
Grant Napier, former voice of the Sacramento Kings, was fired after an “All Lives Matter” retort to DeMarcus Cousins’ “Black Lives Matter” tweet. Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney continues to turn a blind eye to the issues while saying a whole lot of nothing. Buffalo Bills rookie QB Jake Fromm said in a 2019 text that guns should only be available to “elite white people”.
Should we forgive those people who, in the case of Fromm, apologize?
I tend to believe that people like Fromm only apologizing after the fallout of getting caught. Hell, I’m one of those people. It may be that people may be more amenable to forgive popular sports figures, celebrities — or even a friend — if they are likable.
Mark Wahlberg, one of my favorite actors (few may remember him as rapper “Marky Mark” from the 90s), recently tweeted a tribute to George Floyd. Wahlberg also had a past which included a couple of hate crimes when he was a teenager (he is 48 years old now). To his credit, he owns the hell out of those actions whenever asked about it.
Suffice it to say, I had forgiven Wahlberg a long time ago largely because he didn’t run from his past and the good he has been doing since. So maybe it is possible to not “cancel” folks and give them a chance to make things right after apologizing?
Which brings us to Drew Brees.
We all remembered him stepping in it when he reiterated his stance that he will “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America”. While Brees did say the following, “I love and respect my teammates, and I stand right there with them in regard to fighting for racial equality and justice,” he followed by saying, “I also stand with my grandfathers, who risked their lives for this country, and countless other military men and women who do it on a daily basis.”
A lot of black folks and our non-black allies were angered and hurt by Brees’s comments. I, myself, was incensed. I was ready to write his ass off as a rich, privileged white dude who just didn’t get it, despite all the work he put in the New Orleans community with most of the beneficiaries being poor black people.
When the blowback reached epic levels, the eventual apology came. I didn’t really accept Brees’s apology because it was like apologizing only after getting caught in the act so many times. It was more or less HAVING to apologize rather than WANTING to.
But then something else happened. He double-downed on his apology when President Donald Trump got involved.
Here’s an excerpt from Brees’s Instagram post:
“Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities.
“We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform. We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when?”
BOOM! That retort hit Trump right between those racist-ass eyes.
On the strength of that, and his conversation with FS1’s Shannon Sharpe from ‘Undisputed’, I whole-heartedy accept Bree’s apology.
Maybe more will accept his apology? Some may never forgive Brees because of what he said the first time.
All Brees can do is move forward and do good deeds. Maybe we should move on as well?