Sunday night, while most of America celebrated, Douglas-Roberts tweeted, "It took 919,967 deaths to kill that one guy. ... It took 10 years & 2 Wars to kill that...guy. It cost us (USA) roughly $1,188,263,000,000 to kill that guy. But we #winning though. Haaaa. (Sarcasm)."
(WHAT A BUZZKILL, AMIRITE?)
When his account got flooded with negative feedback, he asked, "Whatever happened to our freedom of speech? That's the problem. We don't want to hear anything that isn't our perspective." Then he clarified his perspective, "What I'm sayin has nothing to do with 9/11 or that guy. I still feel bad for the 9/11 families but I feel EQUALLY bad for the war families."
All while his account was bombarded with reactions like this one:
All of which is to say... I have a newfound respect for Chris Douglas-Roberts today. You want to talk about keeping it real? Well, he went out and broke the real-o-meter on Sunday night. With most of America celebrating in the streets, CDR wasn't afraid to play the skeptic.
And regardless of whether you agree with his perspective here... Isn't this exactly what we want out of athletes? He handled himself with dignity, didn't stoop to his critics' level, and never backed off his opinions. Isn't this that NBA Cares ad campaign in practice?
Or do we only want NBA players to care about what the NBA asks them to care about?
As for the news itself... 65 years ago, on May 1st, Hitler's death was announced to the world. Eight years ago, on May 1st, George Bush gave his now-infamous Mission Accomplished speech. And yesterday, on May 1st, we got news that was somewhere in between.
For instance, the world's definitely a better place without Bin Laden, but is it definitely safer? This isn't Hitler's death, because our world war isn't over. Instead, Bin Laden now becomes the greatest martyr the terrorists have ever had as a recruiting tool. The symbolism of yesterday's news works both ways, you know? Bin Laden's the 2Pac of terrorists now, and in death you'd have to think he becomes a lot more dangerous than he was toward the end of his life.
As for the people celebrating in the streets all over the country, I don't blame them for any of that. Watching Americans celebrate anything as a group is always awesome, because it reminds you of how much fun this country can be when everyone's on the same page. It's just... CDR wasn't totally on the same page.
Anyway, nobody has any right or wrong answers here (especially not me). But watching Twitter explode in celebration Sunday night, it was kind of surreal to see the best questions coming from an athlete I started following because of his jokes about some chick's gigantic chin.
And you can say what you want about his Bin Laden sentiment, but it's pretty encouraging that, even at a time when everyone in this country seems to agree on something, an athlete like CDR can speak his mind without fearing repercussions. The news Bin Laden's death and how we should feel is still pretty confusing, but that last part's definitely worth celebrating, I think.