6 Reasons Why Black People Hate the Patriots
When I began thinking of writing this article, I considered is "hate" too strong of a word? Especially in the today's toxic political climate, heinous words are often thrown around, hotly debated for a few days, and then forgotten as we move onto the next unforeseen crisis. But after reflecting on it, "hate" is the only word that truly embodies the deep-seated disgust we reserve for New England. Not to be confused with "hating on" the Patriots, for that carries an entirely different meaning. No, Black people hate the Patriots and we hate them more than any other team in the NFL, perhaps any professional sports team in America. Don't believe me? Here's why.
1) They are the definition of white privilege.
The hate goes way beyond football, but since that's the game they play, we'll start there. As a home grown North Carolinian, we all know too well that the Patriots have played it loose and fast with the rules as Panthers officials alleged that the Pats taped their practices before their matchup at Super Bowl XXXVIII, a claim also made by the St. Louis Rams before their Super Bowl loss to the Pats. And let's not forget the NFL literally created the "tuck rule" on the spot against the Oakland Raiders in 2002. We can even look to more recently during this football season when Rob Gronkowski came from the top rope and elbow dropped Tre'Davious White in the back of the head while he lied defenseless. Black people saw this play and knew that if it had been the other way around, the backlash and punishment would have been even more severe and damaging to White's reputation for years and year. But if we look at Gronk, it's viewed as a temporary lapse of judgment and not a character flaw, distraction, or dirty play which it would've been labeled as if he were Black. Add in historically controversial on-field calls and penalties which always seem to benefit the Patriots, it looks as if they are the team who always gets a break, no matter how hard the other team may play or how qualified they may be, Patriots always seem to come out on top.
2) Where's the Melanin?
Let's also look at their rosters at wide receiver in the recent past, while most teams understand that having a prominent wide out is critical to their success, especially when it comes to making big plays, the Patriots have in recent history forgone that philosophy as they make ordinary and undersized receivers like Wes Welker, Julius Edelman, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, and a slew of other White receivers their number one options. Now granted, you can't argue with their results, but it does seem a bit odd that they've never had a great Black receiver in their prime, unless you count when they had Randy Moss, and went you know, nearly undefeated. In a league which is over 70% Black, it seems as if they out of their way to find the best White talent, even running back Danny Woodhead got to relive Rudy's final play for a few seasons with the team, and in a position historically dominated by African Americans, we see this pattern and know it's anything but coincidental.
3) "Only Christopher We Acknowledge is Wallace"
And how could we forget the grown men who play dress up and pretend its 1776 at Patriot home games while firing fugazi muskets whenever the home team scores. What's worse is that there always seems to be one brother in the mix too - as if he had a seat at the table back then. The Patriots, like most corny and outdated sitcoms, fail to recognize the formula of having an all-white cast with the one "Black friend" is not only antiquated, but insults the intelligence of the viewer. I don't know about you, but the last thing I want to see when I'm trying to kick back and relax are men dressed in the same garb as those who once stole my ancestors, committed genocide, and created laws and ethos that continues to stifle generations of people who look like me.
4) We see through the fog.
Then there's the team's motto, whatever you do, do it "The Patriot Way," which essentially translates to sacrificing your body, your ego, and your personal goals for the betterment of the organization. Now, I know on the surface, it seems innocent and it's clearly been effective, but as a Black person, think about what that slogan means to us. Whether you're employed in corporate America, a city worker, an educator, or a member of their team - "The Patriot Way" is code for stay in your place, don't think for yourself, keep your head down and your mouth shut. The last thing you're going to convince Black people of doing is not speaking their mind, especially after we've been told for centuries not to do or act anything less than what we were instructed to. Beyond the historical realm, let's just consider the entertainment value. Who on the New England Patriots has a personality besides the 28 year old "lovable" goof Gronk? When they score a touchdown, who has the creativity and gall to do an end zone celebration? No one! Black people are an expressive and emotional people, from Billy 'White Shoes' Johnson to OBJ, Black NFL'ers have made it a staple to showcase not only their athleticism, but their soul in the end zone. Playing "The Patriot Way" removes all passion, ingenuity, and soul from the game in the same way that University of Miami sanctions did in the 1990s, which was nothing if not racially motivated. We know that if the New England Patriots were not a football team, but an ordinary small or medium sized business, they would likely not employ people with natural hair, cultural names, or have the day off for MLK Day each year, and that'd call that "The Patriot Way."
5) They Want to Make America Great Again.
During the last Presidential election, it was clear that quarterback Tom Brady and team owner Robert Kraft were supporters of Donald Trump. Kraft even went so far as to appear at the inauguration. If this were a normal political candidate and eventual President, this wouldn't be problem, after all, public figures are free to vote and support whomever they like; however, things haven't felt normal for quite some time. With the overwhelming amount of offensive and blatantly racist statements spewed by Trump, many of his once staunchest public supporters have denounced his comments or refuted him as a person altogether. Yet neither Kraft nor Brady have done no such a thing which makes us wonder if they are in agreement with Trump and how he feels towards anyone who is not a White man. Do they too think our motherland is a shit hole? Can you imagine President Obama making such inflammatory and dimwitted comments about White people as a whole? The media would be hounding ever Black athlete that ever showed an iota of support towards him and would make them say something - anything! But as we already knew and as the Patriots keep proving, there are rules for us and rules for them.
6) We'll never forget what they did last year.
There are perhaps no two more polar opposite cities in America than Atlanta and Boston - one represents the embracing of Black innovation, vibrancy, and culture and the other is stuck in the past and literally reminds you of it with each historic walking tour of accomplishments that don't necessarily instill pride in African American culture. I, along with so many others, were ecstatic for three whole quarters in last year's Super Bowl and knew that finally the wrongs would be righted. All that they represented would finally be humbled and lowed as the Atlanta Falcons put a thumping on them throughout the game, only for the Patriots to come back and win yet again in a historically disappointing fashion. We just knew Atlanta would come through like no other team had, I mean sure the New York Giants beating them twice was nice and all, but for a team and city like Atlanta to topple the Patriots, it would have represented so much. It would've been the slave snatching the whip from the master and whooping his ass, it would've been Black people being paid equal to our White counterparts, it would've been a third Obama term that freed all non violent drug offenders, but sadly it was none of those things. Instead, it was more of the same - it was us getting our hopes up only to be let down yet again, which we swore we would never do again.
And that's why we hate the Patriots.