Queer Majority

REflection: EXcellence Ain’t Equal

I have always striven to be excellent. As a Black man in America, it seemed like the best way to be seen as equal. I attended one of the best universities. I played in the NFL. Then and now I give back to my community, embrace my artistry, vote, etc. Still, when I see a cop, I fear for my life. 

During my years playing professional football in Tampa, Florida, anytime I got pulled over I always found some way to tell the officer I played for the Buccaneers within the first sentence. 

“I’m sorry, officer. I’m just coming from practice, and coach killed us today getting ready for Seattle this weekend.” 

The officer’s eyes would light up, and then he or she would ask me my position, number, and name—always in that order. As this happened, I could feel my shoulders relaxing, knowing I had bought myself another day. Yet, in those moments after declaring myself a player in the NFL, I was deemed innocent and excellent—but not equal. Perhaps I was a fool to accept this designation as good enough, but when you are a Black man going through your day to day, avoiding death often seems that way.

To read the full piece click the link here: Reflection Ecellence Ain’t Equal