There’s an episode of the television show M*A*S*H* during which a Black chopper pilot is about to deliver testimony in an insubordination trial but before he does, a mentally unstable general asks him to perform a musical “number”.
Now of course, the show M*A*S*H* was supposed to be set during the Korean war which took place between 1950-1953 so the gag was that even by those now ancient standards, the general’s racist request was antiquted to the point of being embarrassing.
Still, the fact that he’d asked more than suggests that there had been a time when no matter how intelligent, skilled or qualified, if you were Black and in any position whatsoever, you were expected, no, demanded to be able to entertain a little as well just to justify your presence.
And now the NFL seems like it’s ready to request a “number” from its niggas.
Make no mistake, with very few exceptions, I always hated end zone celebrations preferring, as I’ve written, that niggas follow the example set by legendary football stoic Barry Sanders who simply gave the ball back to the ref upon scoring.
I did, however, allow for the psychological warfare tactics of a Deion Sanders and maybe recently an Odell Beckham Jr. whose dances and celebrations always held a little bit of a menacing threat which implied that the next time you did whatever shit allowed me to get into the end zone, my routine’s gonna be even worse.
And I also didn’t too much mind the implied rebelliousness of niggas that, knowing the NFL was going out of it’s way to be straight-laced and appear to keep its niggas on leashes, acted a fool whenever they scored if only stake a claim toward freedom.
But now that the NFL is going to allow – perhaps “encourage” would be a better word – certain touchdown celebrations after years of levying penalties and sometimes even fines for some of the more excessive stuff, if I were in the NFL, I wouldn’t do shit after scoring a touchdown anymore except, like Barry Sanders famously did, give the ball back to the ref.
Understand that “going the extra mile” bullshit is only worthwhile if you’re in the service industry and might get a tip.
But if you’re in the NFL where your salary is set, you’d be not only a fool but a coon to be bucking, shuffling, and trying to out-dance some other nigga that you’d either seen highlights of or just seen score and dance in person.
Like I said, even considering the glamour of potential outlaw chic – I once had a friend that only smoked weed because it was illegal and said he would stop the moment it became legalized – now that the NFL’s tyrant of a commissioner, Roger Goodell, has gone on record as saying that he wants players to have “more room to have fun after they make big plays,” the paradigm has shifted and the true outlaw move becomes treating a touchdown with the same businesslike professionalism as reaching an agreement.
A handshake, perhaps?
I mean, we’ve clowned Bill Robinson to the point where his stage name “Bojangles” when pronounced with a “ing” affixed at the end has become a pejorative verb.
But at least he got paid for that shit.