“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.“
US Constition, 1st Amendment
The support and encouragement I receive from fans of high school and college basketball can be overwhelming sometimes. Walking into gyms in places like Reading, PA, Severna Park, MD and Piscataway, NJ, I am often greeted by people that find Black Cager Sports content informative and entertaining.
Just last week, one white woman who appeared to be in her 60s came up to me and said, “You’re Black Cager…”
“I read all of your stuff. It’s really good.”
“Thank you Ma’am. I really appreciate you taking the time to read my writing.”
“Your language can be a little ‘spicy’ sometimes, but I enjoy your stuff.”
“My Mom also tells me to cut back on the ‘spicy’ language… But I just write what I really feel at the time… I really do appreciate you.”
Over and over again, I meet and engage people that know of me as a result of reading or watching Black Cager Sports Media content.
For example, while covering the Wood game at Devon Prep, one of the Devon Prep students approached me and said, “Black Cager… you gotta show my man Lucas Orchard some love.”
You know what, he’s right… One of the top scorers in the Catholic League, Orchard deserves some coverage… It’s coming…
This happens almost every time I step into a gym. It’s really inspiring to know that people actually consume and place value on the content produced under the Black Cager banner.
Then there’s the other side…
On several occasions, some dear friends of mine have relayed concerning messages to me. On other occasions, people I considered friends have publicly attacked me.
It seems that some adult Black males are deeply offended and feel personally attacked when Black Cager Sports posts a final score, shares a boxscore or writes a recap about a game in which their team was on the losing end.
“Tell your man to stop coming after Player A.”
“Why your man gotta post the boxscore when Player A had a bad game?”
“Something’s gonna happen to your man, if he keep writing about High School A.”
“AAU coach A don’t fuck with you because you posted when they lost.”
These are all very real instances… I couldn’t make this up if I wanted to.
Each and every time, it’s Black men directing their ire at Black Cager Sports. I often wonder if Adam Zagoria, Paul Biancardi, Jeff Goodman, Dave Telep, Steve Keller and all the other white guys covering the high school basketball receive similar messages. But… we all know they don’t.
On a political level, freedom of speech and freedom of the press were core rights granted to white male Americans when this nation was founded. These rights and a host of other civil and human rights were fought for by Blacks for nearly two centuries. Eventually, about 50 years ago these rights were formally extended to Black Americans.
In many ways, things have gotten worse since then…
Today, we are witnessing to dissolution of the very fabric that has held urban Black communities together. Black boys and young men have literally embarked on a genocidal campaign against the Black community. Everyday the bodies pile up in the morgue… the blood of Black people endlessly streams down the streets of cities like Philadelphia, Chicago and Baltimore.
Less than 5% of students attending many urban public schools are able to perform at proficient levels on reading, math and science exams. There is an organized effort to suppress the right to vote in many predominantly Black districts. Laws are being passed that will allow right wing whites to toss aside electoral outcomes that do not go their way.
Black people in America are losing… across the board.
It is within this context that some Black men seek to control or even silence the reporting of basketball game results. Small minded, petty and woefully insecure men seeking to exert power they do not possess. Please stop! Cut it out… We need more independent Black media voices in sports and beyond. Even those saying and writing things you don’t agree with.