Antonio Cromartie, a three-time Pro Bowl cornerback now playing for the Arizona Cardinals, sent out the following message and accompanying image today via Twitter on the occasion of Mike Brown's funeral in Ferguson, Missouri:
It's a beautiful gesture, the type which professional athletes often refrain from making, not wanting to get embroiled in political controversies or hot-button issues (for fear of their own brand or that of the team for which they play). Perhaps Cromartie didn't think that such a moving display of empathy would elicit a stream of hatred. Perhaps he did.
Either way, that's exactly what has occurred. Below are three examples (as images, since I prefer not to link to them):
There have been supportive messages as well, to be sure. But the presence of such hatred – in this case overt, as opposed to being couched under the guise of supporting law enforcement – is another stark reminder of how deeply this country continues to be steeped in racism.
There have been too many reminders lately.
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, recently published by Oneworld Publications.