Dallas Cowboys player Dez Bryant is one of many professional athletes using his platform to comment about race in America, but some are taking issue with his recent comments. The sharpest critique has come from Fox Sports analyst Shannon Sharpe.
The wide receiver shared his thoughts about race and individual accountability in a series of posts on Instagram Monday.
“We focus hard on fighting the realities that exist instead of creating our own reality,” he says in one such post. “It is not our job to carry the burden but it is our job to lead by example.”
You can read the rest of his posts here.
Sharpe criticized Bryant’s comments on Fox Sports 1’s “Undisputed.”
“I think Dez’s heart was in a good place, but because he hasn’t read up enough on the race relationship and the history of racism in America, it came out totally wrong,” Sharpe said.
“Dez, when you say personal accountability — okay, so I’m supposed to hold me accountable for slavery? What about Reconstruction? What about the Jim Crow South? What about segregation? What about the violation of my civil rights and my voting rights? So who do I hold accountable for that?… Dez, I can’t get ahead if someone is constantly keeping me behind.”
He continued, “Dez, you’re not even the 2 percent. You’re the .01 percent of black Americans that makes millions, but there’s so many that don’t. Dez, do you realize that you’re still black, [that] they still view you as black even though you catch touchdowns for the Dallas Cowboys? Do you realize that? You think they view you differently? They applaud what you do, Dez. They don’t applaud who you are.”
Read the full transcript of Sharpe’s comments here.
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