former nba player etan thomas endured a typically racialized encounter while looking for a seat on a crowded train. thomas, a 6'10, 260 pound black male, asked a white female if he could sit next to her, and later posted her response (and the unfolding incident) on facebook:
"i ask this lady if i could sit next to her (very politely and i soften my voice as to not frighten her) and she says someone is sitting here. so i go to the next seat. now, less than 2 mins later a man (who happens to be white) asks if he can sit there and she says why sure let me move my stuff."
"i ask ummmmm did you just not want me to sit next to you? were you scared? not comfortable with a black man sitting next to you? and she says lol smh don't pull the race card stuff with me i dated a black guy in college."
at that point, the white man she obliged the empty seat to offered to get up, but thomas was unwilling to accept his gesture. in fact, thomas decided to take a picture of her, despite the obvious discomfort on the faces of both of the white folks.
thomas said, "i said no need i'mma just take this pic and make a facebook post about it. so then she says did you just take a pic of me? well i'm going to tell the conductor that you're over here illegally taking pics of ppl without their consent."
"so the conductor came up and said hey etan thomas love what you're doing in the community loved you with the wizards big 'cuse fan man the knicks sure could use you...and i said was there something you wanted to tell my man? and she rolled her eyes smh some people i tell ya."
thomas retired after the 2011 nba season. he spent most of his career with the washington wizards, and played at syracuse university. thomas is married with three children. he's an activist, author and poet whose outspoken about issues of manhood, race and the environment.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.