We talk about our 'football family', going to war with our brothers, of being there for our teammates. But what does that mean to all of us?
What does family mean?
There are the textbook definitions of family, consisting of parents, children, and sharing common ancestors.
A 'Football Family' is one of many families coming together with a common love of our game, Football. But do we represent what a family truly is?
In looking for other examples of family I came across this,
"A family is a group of people who want as well as choose to be together embraced by a bond so powerful and strong that not even the slightest test of trials or troubles can breach. I think Lilo got it right when she said, "Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten."
We wouldn't leave a brother behind on the field would we? Of course not.
But being family means we are there beyond the lines, as our brothers go about their lives outside of the game. Are we there for our football family there too?
Before writing this I was planning on reaching out to current players, coaches, alumni and extended BCFC family to get their thoughts and experiences when it comes to discrimination and racism in our world, both on and off the football field. One response stopped me in my tracks, like walking into a glass door.
This is what my friend said,
"Reach out to white people. Leave the black people out of it, it's a discussion amongst yourselves, its not our burden to bear and i wish people would stop making us carry in these times”
If change is to occur we need to take this burden off of our football family that have been carrying this their entire lives, both on and off the field.
That friend showed me that we can say we are not racist but we need to stand up against racism and ensure we all feel we matter. Until each brother feels they are treated as an equal in life, we are still fighting for our family.
It’s our turn to take responsibility and effect change.
We haven’t been in this together but we must.
Educate yourself, and be the change for OUR family.
Family means nobody gets left behind.
BLACK LIVES MATTER.