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Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was accused of not being Black enough and essentially called an ‘Uncle Tom,’ within the confines of his own locker room. It’s unfortunate that every person in that locker room that looks like Wilson doesn’t see him a as a brother because Wilson embodies everything that is Black and everything that is American.

He is the great-great grandson of a slave to a Confederate colonel, who was freed after the Civil War. His grandfather is a former president of Norfolk State University, a historically Black College who played basketball at Kentucky State, also an HBCU. Wilson’s father was a lawyer who played sports at an Ivy League School. Both of his parents are African-American, which again begs the question, when does one stop being Black?

Wilson is not the first and definitely won’t be the last Black person accused of not being Black ‘enough.’ Most of us, who grew up in poor, working or middle-class households, who are first generation college graduates, who leave home and experience life outside of the neighborhoods we grew up in return home to much a different reception – perceived or otherwise.

“It’s complicated but it’s wrapped up into basically they see him as kind of a teacher’s pet,” said Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, who appeared on The Dan Patrick Show to discuss the widespread reports of friction in Seattle and the players’ opinions of Wilson.

“From talking to some of these guys, they think he’s just too close to management. They think he’s too corporate. They want him to be more like them.”

How Black Do You Have To Be To Be Black Enough?  was originally published on

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