This is a LONG winded breakdown of my thoughts on the state of myself and our country right now. If it weren't for both a public AND private convo with White Sox ace Lucas Giolito, I wouldn't have put any of this in print, but he opened my eyes after shooting the shit with him for a couple hours last night, so here we are.
Over the last 4-5 days I've tried to keep my mouth shut. I have a TON of thoughts piping through my brain but I don't know whether or not it's my place to speak on anything that's going on. I wasn't sure that it was responsible to speak my mind and loathed that people were telling me that I have to solely because I have a platform.
Like Dan at first, I didn't think posting a black box on Twitter or IG would do much and I didn't want to pander. I equated the black box to a salary floor in MLB; should the league tell teams they have to spend X amount of money, you bet your ass that 90% of teams not spending a cent more than that floor, and I felt that 90% of people wouldn't do anything more to combat America's race issues than post the black box. They wouldn't get out and fucking vote (a right in which I'm incredibly protective of, at both the municipal and national levels) and it honestly kinda pissed me off. That people would post their boxes, everything would be happy go lucky a day or two later, and in 6months we'd see another atrocity like that of George Floyd.
I watched this video Kirk Minihane put out and sent it to dozens of people. I felt that he PERFECTLY encapsulated my feelings. Like Kmarko phrased it, Kirk said everything I was too afraid to say:
So I didn't say anything or do anything for the most part. No black box, no nothing. I felt defeated as an American because there wasn't a doubt in my mind we would see another racially charged cop slaying again however long down the road, followed by larger riots and more looting.
That, and I'm not Dan. That goes without say. To me, I'm the exact definition of someone who I'd tell to "stick to sports". I'm an idiotic baseball blogger and I don't see people looking up to me like they do, in fact, look up to Dan. Many of you don't give a fuck what I think about this situation and if I know anything, I know that. To an extent, I still believe that.
That said, I have been stressed the FUCK out. I lost sleep multiple nights in a row and for the first time in my life I was embarrassed for our country. Do NOT take that as I'm embarrassed to be an American because that's not what I said. I am embarrassed that George Floyd was murdered by a racist, piece of shit cop in the year 2020 and I am embarrassed that people were using his death as a guise to loot a Gucci store and pop a purse on eBay. To me, all of them are pieces of shit and I think the majority of people agree with me there.
But I didn't say much of that out loud, other than arguing with a GOOD friend of mine back and forth on Twitter Monday and Tuesday which I'm sure many of you saw. I eventually took it to text message with her because I was IRATE and didn't want to say something out of frustration to her on a public forum. She retorted. But we did also did manage to keep things civil, there are no hard feelings and each of us learned a little bit.
But she did keep telling me I was missing the point, which I refused to believe. Then I read Brandon Newman's blog. And Kmarko's. And had a long conversation with Giolito last night. And have tried to listen my dick off to black people both publicly and privately.
I was missing the point. I won't go into further detail, but it finally clicked just a little bit.
On Sunday I was saying that the rioting was only going to drive a wedge further into our country, since then I have done a 180.
This time feels different. It feels like for once, in spite of our lack of leadership on both the red and blue sides (they're all scum too, but I'm not going to talk too too much here...) we're unified. We DEMAND change and I personally am somewhat optimistic we will see change. It looks like it's already starting in Chicago:
Now I'm a pretty emotional dude believe it or not. I'm not going to talk about this anymore after this blog and that's not because I think justice is served or anything. It's because I'm an idiotic baseball blogger that should stick to sports on his very public, very popular forum. I don't think that just because I have a platform means I need to shove rather uneducated and ignorant takes down everyone's throats.
But know that I want change. I want change in the justice system and I want to eradicate racism in our country as much as we possibly can. The actions I take personally will be private from here on out though. I'll let the smart people like Dan and Keith and others do their thing and speak on Barstool and use this platform.
Me? I'm going to vote my dick off and follow the leaders like Dan and the ATL Mayor - never forget she gave the best pump up speech of all time outside of President Whitmore in Independence Day the other day:
And if you're looking to get to where I am, go and listen to our podcast with Lucas Giolito. He helped get me over the hump and I'm exponentially happier for it right now. Perhaps he can do the same for you.
Oh, and we talked about how the White Sox are going to win the World Series this year. Mark our words