Thursday, January 5, 2017

Op-Ed Nunes vs Rousey

In all competitive sports, there is a winner and a loser. Winning, like losing, requires respect for the opponent because the opponent has prepared and sacrificed, both mentally and physically. Two star athletes of our time familiar with this process are Mr. Lebron James and Mr. Kobe Bryant.

In my opinion, Ms. Ronda Rousey showed no respect to Ms. Amanda Nunes, before or after her recent resounding loss. Rousey did not show the least bit of courtesy or sportsmanship, i.e., she did not shake the hand of Nunes after Nunes kicked her ass within 48 seconds of the first round!

The sound bites of sports pundits, which include some professional athletes, were over the top and favored the loser, Ronda Rousey. Rousey’s purse for this fight included a guaranteed take-home of $3 million, as compared to Nunes’ $200,000. If the reversed had occurred and Nunes had lost, imagine the sound bites she may have heard – Racist, Homophobic, Slanders, Taunting  "Go back to Brazil, Maybe she is a man, What is a lesbian doing in this sport, etc." The media once suggested that Rousey could match with Floyd Mayweather, Jr., the former men's boxing welterweight champion of the world, which is utter foolishness.

Imagery plays a significant role in today's discourse perpetuated by our commodity of culture, the cult of self in what has become and viewed as popular entertainment. As we have moved from a print-based to an image based society, our ability of serious inquiry has become distorted. No longer seeking depth of knowledge or investigate journalism, but the latest event of convenience and glorification. We have suspended all acknowledgment of the importance of the concept of humanity and egalitarianism, for a disjointed concept of fantasy, the zeitgeist of the times. Best expressed in the idioms, “We have been led astray, we run amok and we have been bamboozled.”

Nunes referred to herself as a simple girl, who prepared and won by a technical knockout. She deserves respect and all the accolades of her unquestionable triumph. Anything less is wrong and a real reflection of the underbelly of white supremacy that is intrinsic in our values. As an African American male witnessing, Nunes’ show of courage, class, intelligence, love, honor for herself and her partner, Brazil, America and the sport of MMA and UFC.  I believe both women deserve the utmost respect for their dedication, diligence and hard work in their sport. Respect is a two-way street. Basketball players, in particular, understand this and are aware of the importance of respect in competitive sports and life. The best prepared team and individuals in any given game will prevail, and in this regard, Nunes was that person without question!

Quoting the Irish Nobel laureate, avant-garde novelist, playwright, theater director, and poet Samuel Beckett, "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."

James H. Williams

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