Sunday, 9 August 2015
COURTSIDE COLUMN-Joakim Noah's Arc
Chi-city's leading rapper Common, an Oscar winning 'Glory' poetic spokesman for 'Selma' and his Chi-town even released an album about this harrowing problem. Last year 'Nobody's Smiling' was as classic as a record as the last one that spoke for Chicagoans in the B.E.autiful 'Be'. Making a stand west of Kanye, more than just this man in the entertainment industry is trying to do something more encompassing in the reality of everyday life.
This is because gun-crime in this city, just like its country is a critical issue that needs to be addressed yesterday and right now for tomorrow. It's bigger than hip-hop, sports or any other distraction that is welcome for only the short time it provides those suffering some solace. With that being said however one power player from basketball is using this perfect platform to make a stand with something to say. Abusing and plugging his position and celebrity the right way.
Noah's arc isn't a big wooden ship set to sail all species away from a biblical storm in double teams. Neither is it a magnificent monument back in his old family home of Paris, France. It is however a vessel for the people and arguably the former 'Defensive Player Of The Years' greatest triumph for a man who protects his community like he guards the paint. All in his arc foundation circled between court and the brushstrokes of art.
Basketball is a game that for a long time has transcended more than what happens on court. Off-court it is one that can bring people together from the school gyms to the playgrounds. It can even be used as a fit and well outlet for restless and eager for adventure youngsters. Luring them from the cruel temptations and the desperate measures of crime and violence. Not many sports can be used as inspiration and a positive influence for those isolated quite like this. What else could you expect from a game that can even be played on your own, but is even better when everyone is brought together?
Everything needs to be about more than just a game. Especially with the violence that is vice gripping not just city, but country to the fingers on the triggers of weapons that should be holstered and disarmed. A time and turbulent tide in Noah's city that couldn't be swayed to blissful ignorance or a real resolution without the right non-violent action, even if the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan was back in Chicago, six-peating with the Bulls. Forget another triple of Derrick Rose injuries this is the real problem of the city. And its going to take more than the silver service of Jimmy Butler to make it most improved.
That's why the passion and pride of the emphatic and epic dunking and blocking Bulls centre Joakim Noah is powering forward and marching like Martin Luther, until this city, not just its sports team can be crowned king once again. Putting a necklace round the city to 'Rock The Drop' with a tear drop pendant shed for every man, woman and child lost, with every cent sent to help those plagued by this problem with every jewel sold for charity. From the pain of another kid being shot for a chain, this piece means more. Peace needs to come to a place and time were we are left marred marking another commiseration anniversary of unnecessary tragedy. This is more than just wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt in stay strong solidarity and loving loyalty, this is making a statement more of a declaration. Making a trend, the end of all that needs not continue in a world that needs to stop killing and start living. It's the meaning of a movement that starts with the youth...and shouldn't end with their lives. TIM DAVID HARVEY.