How sweet it is, y'all. How sweet it is.
To say I'm hyped to be back writing again after a COVID-19 furlough would be an understatement. I hope you guys have missed me as much as I've missed you all because things have been odd, to say the least.
To think we all thought quarantine would be over by the summer is laughable; "we'll be good by the Fourth of July" is all I heard. How ignorant could we have been? I'm including myself on that because I drank the Kool-Aid too.
The world as we know it may be behind us for the time being, and obviously on the sports side it's been a mess. High school kids missing out on seasons. College seasons being canceled outright. I mean, the pro ranks are still in doubt at this point (fingers crossed on the NFL season happening).
A pandemic is an awful thing to look back on, but when I think of 2020 I'll think of all the change that came about. Seeing people of color and allies band together against racial injustice is tremendous. The groups of people in our country that felt voiceless for so long — whether they were discriminated against due to race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. — finally seem to have the support they need to speak their truths.
That's such an empowering thing to see. No longer will people remain silent and I applaud them for building up that courage.
To hear all that people want to accomplish is one thing, but seeing it in action is another. Kudos to the NBA for the social justice jerseys the players have worn and discussing the daily challenges people of color face. Seeing the NBA, WNBA, MLB and even NHL and NASCAR — two predominantly white leagues — conduct Black Lives Matters demonstrations is beyond encouraging.
Colin Kaepernick may be divisive among the masses, but we finally see people understanding what his message always was. Whether you kneel or not, the fight to end injustice in this country is an "us" thing, not a "you-versus-me" thing.
I've shied away from this type of message in years past due to having a public platform. Not to hide myself or anything; I'm proud to be a Black man and I'm proud of my heritage. And moving forward, I hope to use my platform to shed light on the people of my community.
That's what Kap would want all of us to do.
But whether its Black, white, Hispanic or Asian, I'm rooting for everybody here in Western New York. Sports have seemed to be the thing that always brings us back together around here, so I'm looking forward to being part of that as athletics reconvene.
The sports world may be giving off weird vibes at the moment, but we'll get through this time together. Half seasons, whole seasons, whatever the case, I'm excited to be back sharing your stories as we go through these unprecedented times.
With so much uncertainty about the high school and collegiate levels, though, I'm just as eager as you all to find out what 2020-21 may bring. It sure isn't something we can prepare for, but I promise I'll do my due diligence to keep this community as informed as possible.
One thing of which this time has reminded me is how gracious we must remain and not to take anyone or anything for granted. I can't wait to share more experiences with you all, and let's hope we have some games to talk about this fall.
Let the good times roll folks. Stay blessed and I'll chat with y'all very soon.
Respond to sports reporter Khari Demos on Twitter @riri_demos or at email@example.com.