“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
According to former NFL player Marcellus Wiley in a recent episode of Speak for Yourself, that is exactly what we may be looking at with the NBA and NBPA’s decision to paint Black Lives Matter on the courts of the “Disney Bubble.”
“It’s not a good idea… I respect your space, I respect what you’re protesting for, but will you respect others who don't support that same protest?”
All of this derives from the idea that this entire move is going to aid in the growth of a society that is hyper-concerned with identity politics. A politics that Wiley, astutely, believes only leads to division.
WILEY: How much social space is allowed for those who don't support in that same space? And that's where I wonder where this is going to go in terms of identity politics. We know what identity politics does. It divides and it polarizes no matter how you want to look at it that's just the effect of it no matter how great the intentions are, and we all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions. So it's an interesting play right here.
I don't know how many people really look into the mission statement of Black Lives Matter. But I did. And when you look into it, there's a couple things that jump out to me – and I'm a black man who's been black, and my life has mattered since 1974 – and this organization was found in 2013. I'm proud of you but I've been fighting this fight for me and for others a lot longer.
Two things: my family structure is so vital important to me. Not only the one I grew up in but the one I'm trying to create right now. Being a father and a husband - that's my mission in life right now. How do I reconcile that, what I just told you, with this mission statement that says, ‘We dismantle the patriarchal practice. We disrupt the Western prescribed nuclear family structure requirement’?
When I know statistics, when I know my reality, forget statistics. I knew this before I even went to Columbia and saw the same statistics then I'm gonna read to you right now, that, children from single parent homes versus two parent homes the children from the single parent homes – this is in 1995 I was reading this: ‘five times more likely to commit suicide, six times more likely to be in poverty, nine times more likely drop out of high school, 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances, 14 times more likely to commit rape, 20 times more likely to end up in prison, and 32 times more likely to run away from home.’ I knew that. You know why I knew it? ‘Cause a lot of my friends didn't have family structures that were nuclear like mine, and they found themselves outside of their dreams and goals and aspirations…
The importance of a family structure is something that many people say that they believe in. But when it comes to affecting social change, many of those same people forget, or ignore, just how important that is.
So what is the NBA supporting here? Black Lives Matter the organization, or black lives matter the message?
By publicly supporting the organization, the NBA will ostracize much of its fanbase. And Wiley, for one, believes that is a mistake.
Full video of the segment can be found here.