Last week, New York Giants fullback Nikita Whitlock’s home was vandalized with racist graffiti on multiple occasions.
Police reports have shown that Whitlock’s house was broken into and then painted with racist graffiti that read “KKK,” three swastikas, and other racial language. In addition to this, the largest word written was “Trump,” which filled the wall leading up to his staircase.
This situation is being issued as a hate crime and isn’t the first time that the Whitlock household has been under target for criminal activity. Three weeks prior to these incidents, his home was attempted to be broken into as well.
Whitlock himself is obviously devastated by what has occurred and what this all means in the big picture, but his family was his biggest concern.
Via Andrew Wyrich/NorthJersey.com: “Of course there are common feelings you have being violated, feelings of hatred, feelings of ‘Why Us?’ which, it’s apparent why us”, Whitlock said, “I don’t think we felt ‘targeted’ at first… then as you see it and how specific some of the things are on the walls, and then we actually had an attempted break-in three weeks prior… it just felt like somebody was definitely trying to get us.”
Taking all of this into consideration, there are two big problems here that both equally make up the big picture of what some of American society has come to.
The first problem, and most important for Whitlock, is the danger he feels for his own family. The racial writing on the walls of his home, and the continuous attempts to break into it, show that this was clearly a hate crime and that he is clearly targeted. For Whitlock, an NFL player who is on the road for eight weeks out of a season at least, this means that his family now has to ultimately pay the price for the hateful beliefs of others with them living in the house. He has a son at home who now has to be told about what racism is and why people feel the need to do things like this. Conversations like these aren’t what any parent want to or should have with a young child who really can’t fully understand the gravity of it. Why? Because nobody, no matter what age you are, can truly understand why people have these feelings and decide to act on them in this terrible way.
This leads into the second problem in this big picture, in that now with Trump being elected, society is becoming more and more divided. Now, I am not one who believes in dumping everything that’s wrong with society and racism on Trump because I realize that everyone has the free will to their own beliefs and how to act on those beliefs. However, we cannot ignore the very real rise in hate crimes across the country since Trump’s campaign began.
This division in America has gotten to the point where nobody is truly safe, even who we consider to be the top of society like athletes. What happened to Whitlock shows how much more athletes are in the line of fire now more than ever, especially because many have taken the national platform they have to express their feelings on social issues. It shows how in a country that supposedly believes in free speech and that traditionally idolizes its celebrities, athletes and people who have a lot of money, all of it is going in the opposite direction. No matter is you make millions of dollars every year or you make $50,000, we all have to take extra precaution every day because anything can happen at any moment if someone doesn’t agree with who you are, what you believe or how you go about your life.
Do you feel that in today’s society, athletes are susceptible to danger more than ever? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.