The Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid’s Tweet in Retrospect
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has demonstrated that he has a social awareness based on his Tweets about the election.
Joel Embiid’s Tweets, in retrospect, could build major bridges, because he’s that good. Furthermore, always use history as a guide.
It’s been almost a month since Joel Embiid threw his hat into the national political realm with his three-worded tweet: “America is tanking . . ” Interesting observation after the season started with much political fanfare, or pretty close to it.
The Philadelphia 76ers are a great organization. They tried their best to support their players with freedom of expression in regards to the National Anthem. The anthem features a sympathetic verse on the institution of slavery, for which the author, Francis Scott Key owned, purchasing his first in 1800.
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Understandably, the league needed to act since the NFL experienced some revenue loss, or at least a strain in perception management, after Colin Kaepernick’s active dissent. This resulted in a front office PSA commercial with a decent and wholesome message.
Elton Brand attempted to act as the responsible adult to deal with the player’s union on the anthem matter. It’s possible that Brand ultimately decided against the protest and incidentally retired.
Also at the start of the season, The Philadelphia 76ers responded to the anticipated pressure and denied Sevyn Streeter the right to sing and wear a simple statement that’s twice removed from the actual message of Black Lives Matter. Her shirt read, “We Matter.” Unfortunately, that proved enough to cancel her appearance. The organization released a statement and later apologized to Sevyn, inviting her back to sing the anthem at a game of her choosing. And to the Philadelphia 76er’s credit, they made it right and felt obligated to heal the situation.
Meanwhile, during the Streeter affair on a national stage, was the continued promotion and sales of Yuengling beer at Philadelphia 76ers games. The quaint Pottsville, PA family owned company of considerable wealth drew criticism for backing the GOP presidential run that featured a host of social and economic concerns for some 65 plus million voters.
Interestingly enough was the measured tone and voice of the more well-informed portion of responsible coaches. Perhaps the Sixers can consider co-opting and embracing these voices the next time they see themselves in a quandary. People like the compassionate Stan Van Gundy, the worldly Steve Kerr, and the intellectual Gregg Popovich — all have questioned, and shown an open resentment for the less than mainstream third-position politics.
The NBA fosters a progressive mindset. Bill Bradley remarked how much he learned simply by participating in a diverse team setting in the NBA — different from playing basketball at Princeton. Not to mention additional players from the modern era like John Amaechi and Etan Thomas who possessed marginal views.
Additional opportunities will surface for the Philadelphia 76ers. Embiid is now famous for getting the endorsement of NBA legend Patrick Ewing and for tweeting out, “America is Tanking,” after the election result. Tanking means to fail completely with the hope it works.
Can Joel Embiid’s Twitter account foster a deep US commitment to the COP21? Can he secure diplomatic matters, important social spending, and a host of additional social sentiments that make us truly great? Perhaps this is a stretch, but it is possible.
For now, his talk on the floor is awe inspiring.
If Embiid becomes more and more engaged, and inevitably controversial, as the Sixers top talent and franchise player, it is my hope they let him be himself.