*** Those who avidly read Detroit Bad Boys may be aware that I am a relatively new writer to this site who specializes in satire, absurdism, and humor (if my random musings can be referred to as such). I just want to preface this by saying I am going off-brand for this article. The following is meant to be neither satire, absurd, nor humorous. ***
As everyone with a radio, TV set, or an internet connection surely knows, this has been a tragic weekend with human-initiated violence leading to the death and injuries of hundreds of innocent individuals and scars left on the collective conscience of the world.
On Friday, November 13th, a string of attacks in Paris led to the deaths of 129 people and the injuries of over 350 more. Sports venues across the world showed their solidarity with France with a variety of tributes. The Los Angeles Clippers showed class with their playing of the French National Anthem before taking on the Detroit Pistons.
Less reported, was the suicide bombing in Beirut, one that killed 43 and injured 239. This was a similarly tragic incident claimed by the same organization as the Paris attacks.
Pages upon pages have already been written and read politicizing these events and discussing their geopolitical ramifications. That is not the intent of this article. The objective of this article is merely to offer a suggestion to Mr. Gores and the Detroit Pistons organization: Stand with Beirut. Stand with Lebanon.
The Detroit area has the highest concentration of Lebanese-Americans in the world. According to Crain's Detroit Business, 17,800 reside in the Metro-Detroit area, providing a cultural footprint unique to this great city. They are our neighbors, they are our friends and our co-workers and they support the Detroit Pistons along with the city of Detroit. Thus, we ought to support them in this time when they are affected by these senseless tragedies. Maybe they know someone who died or was injured in their home country. Maybe their family back home knows somebody. Or maybe their hearts are just aching for the victims in their homeland and they are nervous about the safety of loved ones still residing there.
Arn Tellem asserted when he came here that he wants to make a difference in the community. Thus far, the 2015 Detroit Pistons have done a fantastic job tapping into the essence of the city with their Detroit Grind campaign and sporting a team that shares the blue collar values of the city. What better way to show your support for the city than being there for the fans that are there for you night in and night out?
On November 17th, the Detroit Pistons will play their first game back at the Palace since the tragedies, against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Bring a Lebanese flag out to center court, allow some Lebanese-American members of the community to sing the national anthem before the game, or show a video tribute of Pistons players extending their hearts to those affected - something to show the members of your community that you are with them in this time of suffering.
As a final note, I should mention that a French tribute or Lebanese tribute does not have to be an either/or proposition. My mention of Lebanon was due to the way it was relatively ignored in the media and the constituency of the Detroit area. Doing some sort of tribute to both would certainly be appropriate.
Many argue that sports and politics do not mix, but these incidents extend beyond politics to greater issues of humanity. What do you think? Would you like to see the Detroit Pistons organization show its support to the Lebanese community? Let your opinions be heard here.