So today I was surfing the web perusing through my normal websites and I came across this article on hiphopdx.com about the rapper The Game. Apparently The Game decided to support rising NBA star Lonzo Ball’s pricey sneakers. People have taken issue with the fact that Ball has decided to charge in excess of $500 per pair of his signature basketball sneakers. I do not see anything wrong with the price point especially when we as The Game pointed out are so willing to fork over hundreds of dollars on Italian designers, but when it is an up and coming brand, which happens to be Black owned and operated we take offense to the asking price. Former NBA legend and Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal took offense to and criticized Ball for the price of his sneakers. I do not recall a time where Shaq was so outspoken about another legend and fellow Hall of Famer, Michael Jordan’s signature shoes.
We must get out of this habit of having selective outrage. We pick what we perceive are soft (easy) targets and berate them boisterously, but when there is a real issue we are not as loud and we find ways to channel that rage and angst away from it and on to something that we feel we can annihilate. For instance, white supremacy! You can always find someone blaming the atrocities of the police on the victims the cops have brutalized. “Maybe if you pull your pants up the cops won’t stop you.” This way of thinking sets up a false equivalency that equates styles of dress as justification for why one can be followed, harassed, and far too often murdered by the hands of police officers. Those who think like this are either cowards or scared. Sometimes I have a hard time distinguishing someone who is being selectively outraged out of trying to make sense of the senseless or if they are indeed too scared to speak truth to power. I cannot stand people who are selectively outraged because they often look for a scapegoat instead of meeting the issue head on.
When Reebok decided to re-release Shaq’s signature shoes he didn’t make the price point that much cheaper than Jordan’s signature shoes. In fact, Shaq’s Reebok’s are comparable in price point to the Nike’s that are “acceptable” and “cool” to wear. I commend Shaq for having shoes that are priced cheap enough for working parents to be able to afford!!! What I cannot condone is the fact that he wants to be selectively outraged when he could use that same energy to show the Ball family how to navigate their way through superstardom and all that comes with being an NBA player like how to save money etc. I think Michael Jordan is far more deserving of the wrath of the likes of someone of Shaquille O’Neal’s stature than up-and-coming Lonzo Ball. For damn near 30 years Jordan has been raping the Black community with overpriced camps and sneakers and it goes largely unchallenged by high-profile NBA players. Moral of the story is to save your rage for the real issues you wish to tackle and not deflect your views onto soft targets or easy prey.