Civil rights leader Al Sharpton took a stance on the “knockout” game trend that might surprise many. The knockout game, which involves trying to render unsuspecting victims unconscious with a single punch, has quietly been reaching the front pages of various media outlets after numerous communities have been affected by the game. In Sharpton’s hometown of NYC, several Jewish people have been assaulted in knockout games by teenagers.
Many of the games have involved black teenagers attacking white victims, but Sharpton has become the first prominent black figure to label the knockout attacks as intentional racism and “insane thuggery.” In his column for Huffington Post, he wrote that the games are “unequivocally wrong. These kids are targeting innocent people, and in many cases specifically targeting Jewish folks. We would not be silent if it were the other way around, and we will not be silent now. This behavior is racist, period. And we will not tolerate it.”
The civil rights leader also called for community leaders and citizens to help put a stop to the problem. “This is not a ‘game; it is inhumane behavior that has no place in our country or the world,” he wrote. Diversity is one of the greatest strengths of this nation, and we must respect one another in a way that preserves and further develops this diversity. Therefore, when an injustice happens to anyone, it is the duty of all to speak up. Silence is akin to tacit acceptance.”
Bill O’Reilly also spoke about the knockout game trend with Bernie Goldberg on The O’Reilly Factor. The conservative TV host said that “angry” black men who “didn’t have a father” were largely responsible for the games and said that it amounted to blacks “whacking whites.”