James Brown

When Kyrie Irving tried to defend himself over the promotion of an antisemitic film and Alex Jones conspiracies, he seemed unwilling to accept or understand the platform that he and its impact. On Sunday, NFL Today host James Brown used his platform to speak out against the things Irving seemed more than willing to stand with.

Between Irving and Kanye West, not to mention so much of the political rhetoric of this election, the sports and media worlds have been mired in dialogue around hate and antisemitism for weeks now. And while none of the aforementioned sources are directly tied to the NFL, the conversation has become so loud and ubiquitous that it called for a standalone monologue from Brown in the midst of Sunday’s NFL morning show on CBS.

“You know, all of my colleagues up here at the desk, we’ve all played for and coached sports and other good teams, and we have all experienced the truths and the beautiful outcomes that apply not just in sports, but they are applicable in the game of life. We all know that championships are overwhelmingly won by those who display teamwork and togetherness.

“But, there is a serious threat to that principle today with the frightening rise in antisemitism, in particular, hate, in general. And we’re seeing that contagion not just in sports but music, politics, and across society.

“Folks, hate is a disease. It is a virus that spreads and kills. Now, to cast doubt on, or state definitively, that The Holocaust did not happen, that’s as hurtful and wrong as saying the lynching of Black people didn’t happen or that being enslaved is a choice. To perpetuate hurtful and false narratives, to refuse to disavow bigoted messages, and to fail to take responsibility when one’s actions and words inflict harm, is simply unacceptable.

Words do matter. Especially coming from highly visible people. Their words influence people’s attitudes and behaviors. And I pray fervently that those with hearts of teamwork, togetherness, and love will speak more loudly and persuasively to prevail against this visciousness. No matter how idealistic this may sound, it is the truth because that is how we defeat hate.”

Well said, JB.

[NFL on CBS]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.