On ESPN's Page 2, LZ Granderson tackles a favorite conundrum of sports -- when is Michael Jordan going to put his celebrity to work for a cause beyond making money?
Granderson quotes the mayor of Newark, Cory Booker:
"I cannot discount the inspirational power of just seeing Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods achieve athletic greatness and the positive effect it has on the black community. But while it's true we live in a free democracy, we have to understand this democracy was born out of incredible self-sacrifice. It wasn't even a generation ago that you saw the extreme sacrifices made by people whose names we don't even know. Now we're in a state of crisis, and black athletes can help change that. The call is out there, but I can't be frustrated by those who don't answer the call."
But I can.
In 2005, we cheered Kanye West for saying George Bush didn't care about black people after he bungled Katrina relief efforts. Yet less than two years later we're wondering whether New Orleans is going to have enough police to contain all the violence and ghettofabulousness for next year's NBA All-Star Game. With disconnects like that, who needs the KKK? We're eliminating ourselves from the equation, and it seems as if our elite are too busy to care. I now understand what Marvin Gaye meant when he said "It makes me wanna holler and throw up both my hands."
I wonder if Jordan is ready to holler yet.
And if so, why can't we hear him?