For those who don’t know…I LOVE THE SUMMER OLYMPICS! I absolutely love them. And like most American’s during these amazing two-weeks, I spend most of my time watching sports that I would never watch on a normal day, like beach volleyball, indoor volleyball, swimming, diving, track and field, fencing, judo, weightlifting, water polo, gymnastics, cycling, sailing – I would go through the entire list but I’ve determined that it’s easier to pick out the sports that I actually watch regularly: basketball, boxing, women’s tennis, and soccer (only during the World Cup). I watch the Olympics at times that would never be acceptable for me to watch TV (at work or when my wife is watching something I can get out of; for the sake of the country), and follow athletes that didn’t know before their NBC profile – caring about them like they were my own children, like Katie Ledecky, Claressa Shields and Laurie Hernandez. Honestly, the Olympic spirit is real with me and I catch every four years, sorry winter games – you are not the same.
And the Rio Summer Games have been amazing so far. The stories have been fascinating, heart-warming, hilarious, and even scary – thanks Locthe. Who knew SNL star Leslie Jones could put Ghostbusters behind her in just a series of tweets? She’s the best social media account of the Rio games, follow her @Lesdoggg. Even Black Twitter found a role in the Olympics – someone had to clap back at the Gabby Douglas haters – if not Black Twitter, then who?
I witnessed the dominance of Phelps, Bolt and Ledecky. Watched this year’s version of the Dream Team – clearly it’s on the women’s side (sorry Melo), and so far, for me, the story of the games has been the heat-warming and downright historic victories of Simone Biles and Simone Manuel.
At this point, it’s not speaking out of school to inform you that I, and I figure most of black America, watch the Olympics differently – and while I don’t speak for all black people, I will say that a large majority of my community watch the Olympic games and especially those who were crying and posting on Facebook #BlackgirlMagic after Biles and Manuel gold medals were not doing it just out of national pride but pride in our community to prove once again, that black athletes can do anything other athletes can do – often just as good or even better. The fact that we’re still breaking barriers and having commentators say, “this is the first time in Olympic history” when it comes to race is unbelievable in 2016. I won’t go into the phycology of systematic racism in the U.S. and all of that – just understand that a lot of Olympic sports are not mainstream and easily affordable to be played widely in urban communities so when I see a black athlete excelling in gymnastics or swimming or diving (I see you Jennifer Abel – Team Canada), there is a feeling of great pride in equality.
And seeing how America has embraced Biles, Douglas, Hernandez, Manuel, and the many other athletes of color representing U.S.A. in sports not basketball or athletes not named Venus or Serena, is truly awesome to watch.
And yet, while all of this Olympic love is happening all around me, I also find myself getting increasingly angry at one athlete that is not in Rio, not representing USA, not even playing his sport at this time — Yes. I’m talking about you Tiger.
I know what you’re saying, “Let Tiger live,” and I will – I don’t even know why I’m so angry. I mean it is 2016 and Tiger hasn’t been hot in a minute. I just see how Gabby and Simone instantly created an entire groundswell of young girls that want to be like them. I see how Venus and Serena have inspired so many, girls and guys, to find a tennis court and play with passion and pride. Hell, even Simone Manuel may inspire a young black girl to get her hair wet (just maybe), and then I think of all the little boys on the golf course saying they were going to be the next Tiger and how that all went away – not because he wasn’t good anymore but because he couldn’t control his personal actions. Damn shame. I’ll get over it one day – I’m sure I will but today is not that day Tiger Woods. Damn shame.
We’ll as the Summer games come to a close this week, there is still so much to see. Keep following Leslie Jones on social media and let’s pray now one else gets jacked at gun point. And let’s hope I don’t think of Tiger any more this week. #WESEEIT
Words by Cheats @CheatsMovement
Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones got a trip to Rio from her hilarious tweets
Simon Biles is one of the best stories of the Rio Olympics