Robert F. Smith
Robert F. Smith

I have never met Robert F. Smith, billionaire. In fact, I probably never heard of him before 2020. I am amused because the wealthiest Black man in the United States has become a parody, before he’s even been on TV with Oprah.

Whenever I see his name mentioned in news stories or on social media, he is always now referred to as “Robert F. Smith, billionaire.” It reminds me of the farcical references to the Batman TV series character, who is always referred to as “Millionaire Bruce Wayne,” who resides at “stately Wayne Manor.” Always.

I guess it makes sense to always identify Robert F. Smith, billionaire, as a billionaire, because what else is he known for. He does philanthropic things with his money, and that’s a good thing. But otherwise, what is Robert F. Smith, billionaire, good for?

His latest gambit is to become an owner of a National Football League team. Ha!

The NFL is now a TV-sports-gambling-honeys-on-the-side franchise comprised of 32 teams. It’s flashy. It gets lots and lots of public attention, but the NFL is a corrupt and dying brand.

Each team now plays 17 regular-season games and two exhibitions per year. Almost half — 14 teams — qualify for the postseason, leading to the Super Bowl, which decides the league champion. If, after 17 games, almost half of the league qualifies for the playoffs, any given team that doesn’t qualify has to be pretty raunchy. It’s a scam.

Ownership. All of the teams except the Green Bay Packers, which is the only community-owned team in any of the four major sports in the US — football, basketball, baseball, and hockey — has an owner, a “Big Cheese” (pun intended), or a Big Chief” (no insult intended). Instead of having one owner or a small group of owners, the Packers are owned by thousands of fans — 360,584 stockholders, to be exact. None of the stockholders is allowed to hold more than 200,000 shares, or approximately 4% of the total.

All 31 of the remaining “major” owners, and 31 of the 32 head coaches are white guys. But, more than 70 percent of the league’s players are Black! Explain that, please.

For the life of me, I can’t understand how any right thinking Black person, let alone a super-rich (and presumably intelligent) Black person like Robert F. Smith, billionaire, would want to pay millions of dollars in order to be able to smoke cigars in some fancy lounges with those corrupt team owners who — like the owner of the Washington Commanders has shown — treat their franchise like a cash cow, their players like stud animals, and women (cheerleaders) in their organizations as their private brothels.

One of the two Black NFL coaches — Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins — was fired at the end of the 2021 season, despite the fact that he had a winning record in each of the past two seasons. Flores was hired not to break a corporate glass ceiling, but to walk over a corporate glass cliff. That is, he was hired to fail.

That’s what kind of club Mr. Robert F. Williams, billionaire, is proposing to join. Why, Flores says his upper management even offered him as much as $100,000 per game to intentionally lose games, so they would gain a higher pick in the coming player draft!

The league is rife with reports of cheating, spying on teams, illegally and purposefully under-inflating the footballs to advantage a particular player; sex-merchandising the women, such as the woman who recently testified before Congress that Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder — who once boasted that he would “never” change his team’s name, an offensive, dictionary-defined racial slur — that at a dinner once, she had to physically remove his hand from her thigh, under the table.

So, what would having a Black owner with a reputation as a decent, honest person change among those 32 grimy sleazeballs? Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

What would be changed would be Robert F. Smith, billionaire. Or maybe that’s the kind of guy Robert F. Smith, billionaire, really is in his heart of hearts — a bottom-feeding, Trump kind of dude who belongs in the NFL shark tank as the token Black owner.

Maybe he intends to have a franchise like the “Soul Plane” movie, where rappers abound, and hoochies are aplenty — oh, my bad, most of the teams are like that already.

So, I’ll advise Mr. Robert F. Williams, billionaire, paraphrasing the words the boll weevil in Brook Benton’s song told the farmer: “Robert F. Williams, billionaire, I’d like to wish you well.” After reading this, Robert F. Williams, billionaire’s admirers will likely say to me, what the farmer told the boll weevil: “I wish you were in hell.”

Did you like this story?
Would you like to receive articles like this in your inbox? Free!

Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *