MARCELLUS WILEY: It’s not a good idea. I do want to give players credit for their flex to even get this to be more than an idea but something that is going to be in reality. I give the players that. There’s a problem when you start to go down this road of freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and 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. We all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
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 of things that jump out to me. And I’m a black man who has been black and my life has mattered since 1974. And this organization was founded in 2013 and 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 vitally important to me. Not only the one I grew up in but the one I am trying to create right now. Being a father and a husband, that’s my mission in life right now. How do I reconcile that with this, the 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 these same statistics that I’m going to read to you right now.
Children from single-parent homes versus two-parent homes. The children from the single-parent homes — this was 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 to drop out of high school. Ten times more likely to abuse chemical substances. Fourteen 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? Because 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. So when I see that as a mission statement for Black Lives Matter, it makes me scratch my head.
When I also see their mission is to eradicate white supremacy. In 2020, white supremacy is the mission. That’s a lot of digging through minutiae right there. I’m on a show that I’m hosting with another black guy who is hosting with me who replaced another black guy, and that’s just one example of it. So, I understand, I respect your space. I respect what you’re protesting for. But will you respect others who don’t support that same protest?
Retired NFL defensive end and host of “Speak For Yourself” on FOX Sports 1 Marcellus Wiley explains why he thinks it is a bad idea for the NBA to paint “Black Lives Matter” on the floor of basketball courts.