If there is one thing the Ryan Moats incident reminded us of, it is that meetings between men of color and men of the law are generally of dramatically different tenors. Dismiss that if you want. Charge that those of us of color are just paranoid. But you'd be hard-pressed to find a black man in this country who hasn't been treated -- and I use the word loosely -- by the law as Moats was despite his quite honest and understandable protest.
A recent series on race in America by The Chicago Tribune quoted Reggie Shuford, a senior attorney with the racial justice program at the American Civil Liberties Union: "All the anecdotal information demonstrates that African Americans are the most frequent victims of zealous, inappropriate police activity that often winds up in a shooting. It's a shoot first, ask questions later approach to policing."
The story went on to say: The evidence is not merely anecdotal. The most recent national analysis from the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that blacks and Hispanics were nearly three times as likely as whites to be searched by police -- and blacks were almost four times as likely as whites to be subjected to the use of force.
More than once I've felt the fear of cold steel pointed at the back of my head by police, most infamously in the wedding party of one of my best friends in New Jersey. The Moats' affair is common, though the tragic reason for his being pulled over is not.
It was good to hear Thursday that the Dallas officer, Robert Powell, who detained Moats was put on administrative leave and Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle (pictured above) apologized to Moats and his family.
"His behavior, in my opinion, did not exhibit the common sense, the discretion, the compassion that we expect our officers to exhibit," Kunkle told The Associated Press.
Moats wasn't the first football personality in Dallas to be detained on the street by some of the Dallas area's finest. But one of the others didn't have a gun pulled on him.
Kevin B. Blackistone is a panelist on ESPN's Around the Horn, the Shirley Povich Chair in Sports Journalism at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, and a frequent sports opinionist on other outlets. A former award-winning sports columnist for The Dallas Morning News, he currently lives in Silver Spring, Md.
While rushing to see his ailing mother-in-law before she passed away, NFL running back Ryan Moats was detained in a Dallas hospital parking lot. The officer, who has been placed on administrative leave, threatened to arrest Moats while his mother-in-law died inside the building. Click through to see other athletes who have faced tragedy in their careers.
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Just six days after the unexpected death of his father, Matt Cassel turned in arguably his best game as a pro. The Patriots quarterback threw for a career-high four touchdowns as New England beat Oakland 49-26 in Week 15.
Former U.S. men's volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon ran the emotional gamut during the 2008 Beijing Games. During the Games, McCutcheon's father-in-law was murdered and his mother-in-law seriously wounded by a knife-wielding attacker. McCutcheon briefly left the team, then returned to lead the U.S. to a gold medal.
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Matt Bryant played the hero for Tampa Bay on Sept. 28, 2008, but did so with a heavy heart. Four days after Bryant's 3-year-old son Tryson died in his sleep, Bryant kicked a trio of field goals -- including a go-ahead boot late -- to help the Bucs beat Green Bay.
Reinhold Matay, AP
Two months after his beloved father Earl died, an emotional Tiger Woods won the 2006 British Open with a score of 18-under. After tapping in for par on the final hole, Woods broke down and was consoled by caddie Steve Williams (left).
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Tony Dungy won the Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts in 2007, but only after enduring a painful and trying 14 months. Three days before Christmas in 2005, Dungy's son James committed suicide -- a moment that nearly led Dungy to retire after the 2006 season ended. On January 12, Dungy announced his retirement from the NFL.
Chris O'Meara, AP
On Dec. 22, 2003, one day after the death of his father, then-Packers quarterback Brett Favre wowed a Monday Night Football audience. Favre threw for 399 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-7 rout of Oakland.
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Before his 1995 Australian Open quarterfinal, Pete Sampras learned that his coach and friend Tim Gullikson had terminal brain cancer. During the match, a fan reportedly yelled out "Pete, do it for your coach!" -- a cheer that left Sampras weeping during a change-over, and again after his come-from-behind win over Jim Courier.
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Five days prior to Tampa Bay's appearance in the 2003 NFC title game, the wife of receiver Joe Jurevicius gave birth prematurely to son Michael. While Michael fought for survival, Jurevicius led the Buccaneers with 78 receiving yards in a Super Bowl victory over Oakland. Michael eventually passed away in March that year.
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Mike Piazza hit maybe the most emotional home run in baseball history on Sept. 21, 2001. In the first sporting event held in New York after 9/11, Piazza blasted a game-winning two-run homer in the eighth inning against Atlanta. The blast sent Shea Stadium into a frenzy and provided a welcome moment of excitement for a devastated city.