“Doing It For The Love of The Game”
By Jeromyah Jones
My 3×4 ft. oil painting entitled, “Doing It For The Love of The Game” overlaps the grey and grim American Antebellum period with the racism hidden, entertainment driven society today. Prior to the recent media attention given to the frequent number of fatalities that black families have faced at the hands of those that don’t look like them, many (white and black) thought the 21st Century was a post-racial era. In this painting I used two men known for their degrading comments concerning African Americans as symbols for a scary reality for those who had believed that these perspectives were buried long ago.
The black athletes in the background represent any arena of affluent African Americans that is publicly esteemed but privately despised. My charge is for these talented individuals to be more than performers and open their eyes. This awakening must happen before unacceptable comments are made about them in their own stadiums of “security.” Can one not be so preoccupied with his own shaking, baking, and m
oney making, that he loses all consciousness of what those in the offices over him are saying about him and his people that pay to see him? Is it not possible that a man can lay in luxury for so long that he forgets those on the outside who are standing for survival? Could it be that the black players have become so accustomed to the white gatekeepers “protecting” them as property that they feel like royalty when disconnected from a once familiar, struggling community?
The corporate billionaire team owner and the vocal cattle rancher would seem to have little in common, but the words I wrote for each man based on the bubble they have put themselves in, makes this painting a catalyst for future conversations. A portrait painted of prejudice can cause others who are not being profiled for being so, to promise never to follow down that path. While some athletes have used their stages to speak up without worrying about their wages, too many have “picked” up contracts that contract them from making a difference throughout the ages.