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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Whitlock: The House That Glass Built

As we deftly pointed out earlier this week, Don Imus is once again on trial in the court of public opinion. A court better known as being at the mercy of Rev. Al Sharpton.

The good Mr. Jason Whitlock focused his latest column on Imus' latest crime against Adam Jones.

To sum up the piece, Whitlock essentially believes that the media is capitalizing on the controversy of Imus' mouth/remarks to get readers/viewers/listeners (ratings!) and hyping and sensationalizing the incident; rather than promoting an intellectual exploration of the roots of the problems.

The O.J. Simpson double-murder trial taught white television and radio executives they could attract huge ratings by allowing a white host to referee a simple-minded argument pitting opposing views on an alleged black-white racial dispute.

Certainly, some might say that white television and radio executives had learned this lesson of pitting diametrically oppositional views against each other from other topics (maybe, say....politics?) to highlight controversy, present conflict and get ratings. But, yes indeed, racial topics certainly do fold themselves into a neat package for such a possibility, as well.

Under the guise of promoting racial dialogue, the networks have created a collective talk-show hybrid, "The Mr. Gerald Springer III Show," a shirt-and-tie, race-based spinoff of "Jerry Springer."

Indeed, any outlet or programming (or writing) that would sensationalize race issues certainly walks a thin line; toeing the border between relevancy and side show entertainment. When one sensationalizes race dialogue or issues, the motive clearly is to get attention. It is obviously a desperate attempt to gain ratings. Or, to promote oneself. Indeed, many a career has been enhanced through self promotion. And more than a few of that many have been enhanced by attaching themselves to race, in a quest to get invites to speak in front of a camera.

It's no secret I like to write about and discuss race. The problem is I like to do it in an honest, intelligent fashion.

Agreed. We certainly have heard of better kept secrets. And the coining of the phrases 'bojanglin' and 'Black KKK' certainly lends itself to the sort of discussion generally reserved for academia. Certainly, not this sensationalistic type of race 'discussion' perpetrated by the ratings mongering white media. Indeed!

So the interview requests poured in for me this week.
No, sir. This was a full-blown racial controversy, a Nielsen-ratings-mover, a chance for white talk-show hosts to climb into the Octagon and let Kimbo Slice and Jimbo White Rice knuckle up until the viewers tapped out.
I took a pass.

A pass indeed!

What self respecting Negro columnist would allow himself to be a pawn in the white media's ratings game? A game which treats institutionalized racism as simply a topic to provide grandstanding guests to attract viewers? We are proud that Mr. Whitlock chose to avoid this ridiculous topic and sat out the effort to fuel the white media's ever consumptive fire for racial controversy fueled ratings by not giving Mr. Imus' remarks undue attention.

Huzzah! for Mr. Whitlock, with his fist held high in the air not so much as stopping to acknowledge this latest ridiculous controversy. Huzzah!

The networks don't want to really get into this issue, not in a substantive way.

For shame, networks! The networks are probably simply happy to coin sensational catch phrases and hope that other news outlets will mention them...and bring in more ratings. For shame.......networks!

I sensed that the TV networks (and hosts and regular guests) desperately wanted Obama to win because they realized he gave them an easy racial angle to talk about whenever there was no legitimate news to address.

These networks. And their laziness. We, like Mr. Whitlock, could never respect an entity that takes the easy way out and presents some sort of contrived racial angle at any opportunity. As Mr. Whitlock's column on the absurdity of the latest Imus controversy and the leeches trying to get readers/viewers off it so honestly points out, we believe race issues should be reserved only for those who have proven capable in addressing or discussing them.

My point is that what Imus said warrants discussion. We just don't need to discuss Imus. He is not our problem.

Allahu Akhbar, Brother. And, anyone who mentions Imus more than 14 times in one column certainly would be playing right into the evil white media's sensationalistic hands.

Mentioning him 14 times is just the amount to invoke the adequate intellectual discourse, however.

Pacman Jones, with his off-field antics and stupidity, has done more damage to the image of American black men than Don Imus could ever hope to do.

Way more!

So let's call Pacman what he is:

A bojanglin' member of the Black KKK...

...and let us keep it intellectual and thoughtful.

And let us avoid the white media's machinations of sensationalistic racial discourse in an effort to get people to notice Whitlock them.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Rick Reilly: ESPN's New Direction

As most sports media followers are well aware, ESPN lured writer Rick Reilly away from Sports Illustrated for a hefty paycheck and, most probably, a promise of TV stardom.

Bringing a big name such as Reilly to ESPN means that, unfortunately, other ESPN writers might be in danger of losing some positioning. As ESPN pushes their big investment down our collective gullet, other columnists and contributors will certainly be pushed to the fringes of the .com. Which also means less exposure for the issues that they address.

Reilly has written four pieces thus far for the WWL. The topics:

- his father
- rooting for Phil Mickelson
- Georgia high school baseball
- a sailing catastrophe

Notice anything?

We'll give you a hint: Clorox.

ESPN has given us such columnists as Jason Whitlock, Scoop Jackson, LZ Granderson, Jemele Hill, Stephen A. Smith, Bomani Jones and several other writers who have made and Page 2 the go to source for relevant sports commentary, insight and opinion.

But we get Rick Reilly's colorless take on his relationship with his father. His bleachified notion that we should root against Tiger Woods, in favor of the lumpy, white Mickelson. We get a preachy discourse about 'good sportsmanship' in response to the antics of some Georgian high school baseball players. And we get a tear jerking tale about a man who gave his life so others could survive a sailboat accident.

Sailing. High School baseball. Golf. His father.

Clorox. And not the color safe variety.

Not a mention of any of the issues, trials or tribulations faced by Negro athletes in sports in America.

Not an ounce of social conscience as we prepare for our first Negro President. (Clinton can have the title of 'first Black' President. Obama is the first Negro.)

Not an attempt to shed light on any of the myriad injustices being systematically perpetrated against the Original athlete on a daily basis.

Even the deplorable and hideously predictable Bill Simmons has made mention at times of the iron clad grip racism holds on sports.

But Mr. Reilly? Not one nod to the subject. Not so much as a word.

How does ESPN intend for Reilly to be taken seriously as a columnist if he continues to shirk the long standing ESPN tradition of racially commentary? How does Mr. Reilly intend to bring page views to his column if he continues to simply provide this laundry service-like pattern?

The only column this far that could even be construed to have any sort of racially implied undertone or commentary is the golf entry. Metaphorically speaking, Reilly seems to be saying that we should be rooting against ALL Negro athletes because they are better than their dumpy, white counterparts.

Obviously, some readers will contend that we are reading too much into Reilly's urging people to hate Woods; but what else can we do? Reilly didn't take the initiative to elaborate or introduce race (at least overtly) into his column. Therefore, we are left to do it on our own, and that is the only way his column CAN be taken. A modern soliloquy exhorting his fellow Caucazoids to unite against the only Negro golfer of consequence. Which, logically allows for the leap to rooting against all Negroes in any endeavor. And, since Mr. Reilly never bothers to specifically address race, we can only assume that is what was intended.

Reilly certainly has a literary talent. That can't be argued.

But, until he comes down from the Ivory Tower and begins to frame his commentary in racial terms and find (even search for, if need be) opportunities to discuss issues of race --the injustice, insensitivity and down right -ism -- so prevalent in sports....

We can't take him seriously as writer.

Mr. Reilly is certainly a fine storyteller. But, unfortunately, he falls short of the type of commentary and insight we are used to getting from' Page 2.

Clearly, Disney had $3M to burn.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Shaq Fu: Why Does Law Enforcement Despise Hip Hop?

The man has been a major proponent of support for law enforcement agencies for several years. He has championed issues which affect law enforcement, and has brought attention to the needs of law enforcement.

The man has been active in supporting youth causes. He even provided a reality show to help motivate inactive and over weight children to become active and healthy.

He has put together a movement to help property owners salvage their homes during this most ravenous economic cycle in memory (for most).

He is also a multi platinum selling hip hop artist.

Seems that all the good natured interviews, necessary public service and support of important causes is cancelled out because the man is an artist. An artist who constructs and creates his passion through the medium of hip hop.

Law enforcement has been at odds with hip hop and the artists who etch their portraits using complicated beats as a charcoal pencil to construct the forms, and colorful rhyming patterns and word play to fill in the details, for as long as the Negro community has used hip hop as a means of unparallelled expression of hope, despair and unity.

And, now, when one of the most popular rappers of all time engages a friendly crowd in a round of artistic expression to convey the emotions he is feeling that are affecting his most recent reflections on hope, despair and unity; law enforcement desires to strip him of his honorary badge.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the Phoenix Suns center's use of a racially derogatory word and other foul language left him no choice.

"I want his two badges back," Arpaio told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "Because if any one of my deputies did something like this, they're fired. I don't condone this type of racial conduct."

This is a most troubling stance. If you have viewed the video, or if you have any common sense, you know the word in question is the 'n-word'.

But what does Arpaio mean by 'racial conduct'?

Is the insinuation that using hip hop as a means of expression, which is primarily a Negro activity, is the 'racial conduct'? Is being a Negro artist the type of thing that will get you fired by a law enforcement agency? Is the message here that one can't simultaneously represent the values of law enforcement and good order AND be a multi platinum selling wordsmith and artistic expressionist devoted to continuing the tradition of freestyle rapping?

Certainly, there is merit in each of those thoughtful rhetoricals. And there is probably a deniable truth in each, as well.

Many will make the claim that it was the foul language which repulsed the sheriff. They will say that it was inappropriate to verbally defecate on a microphone the way Shaq did in public. Some will even go so far as to suggest that the NBA should take action against Shaq, floating the racist notion that O'Neill should be fined for his medium of choice. Suggesting that his choice of words is so offensive that it damages the NBA's image.

We suggest that the man had no choice but to use the extreme language and colorful expression to convey his message. To emote his innerself. And to artistically further the message of hope, despair and unity that is a commonality in hip hop.

Indeed, it isn't the message of Shaq's art that offends; it is the medium he uses. It is hip hop. And law enforcement in this instance is a microcosmic delineate of white America. Law enforcement acts as white America's Gestapo in the never waning effort to control the Negro's thoughts and acts.

Who doubts that Shaq could have got on stage, had the DJ kick a funky beat and gone ahead and recited the rhymes of Dr. Seuss; and STILL have been demonized for rapping? No one with a clear conscience or sound logic doubts this!

This isn't about language. It isn't about word choice. It isn't about offending anyone. It is about white America's hatred of Negro art!

And, for proof, we direct you back to the conveyance of hope, despair and unity.

Anyone willing to decipher the MESSAGE of Shaq's freestyle, and not dwell on the language, would clearly see what we mean. Forget the words as individual entities. Find the message.

Check it, you know how I be/Last week Kobe couldn't do it without me

A reminder of the success the two had when they were together. A clear message of unity. A yearning for the carefree days of yester year when the two running mates ruled the NBA as one.

Kobe, tell me how my ass tastes.

A graphic reminder (an indicator of the importance of this particular emotion) of the fecal palate of despair. A cleverly guised assertion that despair within the Negro community can not be overcome unless unity is achieved. A wish of comfort for Kobe as he deals with the despair of the Lakers defeat.

And, of course the message of hope.

That's like a white boy trying to be more nigger than me.

A reflection on those that attempt to achieve the impossible. To dream the impossible dream. To allow for the hope of all hopes.

A tip of his hat to the great white hope.

And, an artistic expression of understanding of where the seeds of racism truly are planted.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Steven A. Smith: On Point

Stephen A's recent offering in ESPN The Mag drives home a powerful point. A point that has been lost, or at least misplaced, during this whole Tim Donaghy fiasco.

It's bad enough that a pathetic, disgraced felon like Tim Donaghy would stain the Finals with allegations that the fix was in on two playoff games in the past. But what really struck me is how fans and the media are so quick to believe the worst about the NBA and obsess over it.

Certainly, while we agree with the sentiment that Donaghy's timing and motives are questionable; we can't say it is overly unexpected that the media has picked up the story with such verve. Or that fans are willing to look back at those specific games and kind of say, "I knew it."

Sports fans are gossip hounds. Sports fans relish in controversies, drama and conspiracies.

Nothing terribly upsetting or questionable here.

"If this were happening in the NFL, where players hide their faces behind helmets, or in baseball—and let's be real, it isn't called America's pastime for nothing—the rogue accuser would be an afterthought the moment the games began."

Just ask Matt Walsh. He could hardly get any media, fan or league attention when he insinuated that he had proof the Patriots taped other teams practices. Image the lack of attention a whistle blower involved in fixing games would get.

Or in baseball. Steroid issues were so mundane and trivial that they were pushed off to be handled by a Congressional investigation. Again, imagine if a whistle blower involved in fixing games ever piped up about it. What would baseball do, demand the President himself get involved? Talk about an afterthought.

But even though Donaghy is white, the NBA always loses the benefit of the doubt in the court of public opinion because pro basketball is a sport dominated like no other by African-Americans.

Indeed. One would assume that Donaghy's light hue would mean that the NBA would get the benefit of the doubt. Just when we think we have this racism thing figured out, they go and change it up on us!

And now, because of Donaghy's cheating, and because of his snitching on others, the league suffers.

Corrupt referees attempting to alter the outcomes of games for personal gain certainly reflects poorly on the players. And, it's only natural that if one of the 'fixers' is white, that the fans and media would immediately transfer skepticism about outcomes to the Negro players. Regardless of whether there has been any insinuation that players have been involved.

In the mean time, players like Carmello Anthony do all they can to try to bolster the league's image by producing heartfelt apologies for DUIs and verbalizing their commitment to their city and team. Only to have some white game fixer tarnish their good work with accusations and innuendo that doesn't seem to implicate the players.

There's always an undercurrent of suspicion directed at the league and its players. It's as if Freddy Krueger is lurking in the shadows, ready to slice and dice at any moment.

And lest you forget, Freddy is a white guy.

This topic is rich with possibilities, and I'm going to get into it in greater depth as time goes on. The good news is, I have all summer to get on your nerves with the truth, just like I always do.

Indeed. The possibilities for, as Stephen Colbert would say, 'truthiness' are endless.

And if Stephen A. gets on your nerves this summer, remember what he told us in our interview with him:

I consider it my responsibility to express a point of view -- even one I may admittedly not necessarily agree with -- that echoes that of the disenfranchised, the individuals who feel passionately about something yet go unheard.

A responsibility which will clearly be met.

Imus: How Dare He!

The curmudgeonly, pale artifact that is Don Imus has once again raised the ire of enlightened minds the world over.

On Monday's show, Imus and Wolf were discussing Adam Jones' request Saturday that people stop using his nickname (Pacman). Wolf explained Jones was suspended from the NFL following a shooting at a Las Vegas nightclub, and he added that Jones had been "arrested six times since being drafted by Tennessee in 2005."
Imus' next words were, "What color is he?"

First of all, how dare he.

To pretend that he is not aware what race Adam (the artist formerly known as Pacman) Jones is, is perhaps the most indulgent pretence of ignorance that has been witnessed. The notion that anyone remotely attentive to the sports media would not be aware of Mr. Jones' heritage, through seeing his image in some medium, is simply not entertainable.

No, Mr. Imus was well aware of Mr. Jones 'race' when he put the question to Mr. Wolf. Well, well aware.

That means, that Mr. Imus asked the question with a specific agenda. And, as our readers would agree, asking about race in a veiled manner with a specific agenda, climbs the slippery slope that is racism.

The answer Mr. Imus received to his question:

Told by sports announcer Warner Wolf that Jones, who used to be nicknamed Pacman, is "African-American," Imus responded: "There you go. Now we know."

Now we know. As if we didn't know before the question was asked.

But, to what end this diabolical line of questioning?

"I meant that he was being picked on because he's black," Imus said in a statement released by his spokesman.

The incident becomes more offensive!

This response, calculated and after the fact, was clearly meant as means to throw water on the rapidly burning inferno.

How dare he!

How dare Mr. Imus pretend to be in a position to assume that an individual is being singled out because he is Negro. Are we to believe there is currency in Mr. Imus' statement just because in the past he expertly singled out the women of Rutgers Basketball because they were Negro?

We think not.

Clearly, Mr. Imus is attempting to sabotage Mr. Jones' image rehabilitation project by attempting to champion him. Knowing full well that his support will ruin Mr. Jones' efforts.

However, Mr. Jones can take measure and release.

Civil rights leader Al Sharpton, one of the chief critics who successfully pushed for Imus' firing from his televised radio show last April, criticized Imus' comments Monday.

"I find the inference of his remark disturbing because it plays into stereotypes," Sharpton said in a statement. "We will determine in the next day or so whether or not his remark warrants direct action on our part."


Mr. Imus' actions will be tried in the court of fairness and justice. The court of the National Action Network.

We anxiously await Rev. Sharpton's verdict on this case. And as we anxiously await, we reflect on some words Jemele Hill shared in her apology on (apology for using a Hitler reference that got her suspended):

When it comes to race, uncomfortable is best. How can we learn if we always feel good about where we are? The best checks and balances require that we re-evaluate, learn and grow.

Clearly, we get the best of both worlds awaiting Rev. Sharpton's verdict.

No on makes whites more uncomfortable than Sharpton; and no one makes it more difficult for Negroes to feel good about where they are.

It's win-win.

Learn and grow we shall.

Through yet another course designed by Imus and Rev. Al.

And, eventually, we'll get to the part about re-evaluating things.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Coach K(kk): Already An Apologist

The team has now been selected.

But, before even so much as an exhibition game has been contested, the US Olympic Basketball coach has already begun to set the groundwork for explaining not coming home with the top prize.

“It’s really the world’s game. We think we’re the best at playing that game,” said coach Mike Krzyzewski, warning that “unless we show the respect to the rest of the world that it is the world’s game” there will be no gold medal.

We wonder, how should the US team go about showing respect to the rest of the world that basketball is in fact the world's game?

And, we also wonder if Kryshevalski would have already begun a campaign of preemptive excuses if his roster included any caucazoidal players.

Certainly, sending the most evil, polarizing coach available; a coach renowned the world over for meticulously extracting and removing the NBA potential from his players, and letting him coach NBA one way of showing the world we respect the game.

This can't possibly turn out well for the Nation.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Duke Football: Legally Ruled to be Horrible

We have taken the initiative since the founding of this blog to shine our dark light on the most evil, horror filled and despicable institution known to the Nation: Duke University.

The athletic program operates under the powerful and misanthropic spell of the most evil creature known to college sports, Coach Krushalewshevoskosky. An earthly demon fully aligned with Hell and bound by contract with the devil to haunt the Nation with the most detestable basketball program conceivable.

A program fashioned from the tear filled cadavers of pale, flaccid 'hustlers' and 'on court coaches'. Players who sign their allegiance to the devil. And, in return, receive the chance to play for an ACC title; but, sign over their NBA souls.

Coach K(kk) has long plotted to ensure that basketball will forever be the straw that stirs the Dukies' drink. Usually a sugary, effete concoction, at that.

Now, a court ruling out of the Commonwealth of Kentucky verifies, through prolonged judicial process, that Duke football is a crime.

Duke decided to opt out of a multi game contract with Louisville. And the case ended up before a judge.

"At oral argument, Duke [with a candor perhaps more attributable to good legal strategy than to institutional modesty] persuasively asserted that this is a threshold that could not be any lower," Shepherd wrote in a summary judgment issued Thursday, according to the paper. "Duke's argument on this point cannot be reasonably disputed by Louisville."

Essentially, the judge ruled in favor of Duke's assertion that Louisville could fill the schedule hole by replacing Duke with a comparable team. And went on to define a comparable team as any team, because there was none worse.

Among the many positive outcomes from the court legally ruling that Duke is the lowest of the low: Ranking the 119 Divison I football programs just got easier.

Any D-I rankings now must legally place Duke at the bottom.

Where they belong.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Jemele Hill: SUSPENDED??!!

Some have said we have been hard on the City of Boston these past few days, exposing the rampant racist sentiment of its inhabitants. Demonstrating the effect playing in such an environ can have on rational, athletic Negroes.

But, now, further justification of our righteous profferings.

The Miami Herald reports that's Page 2 writer, Jemele Hill has been suspended for drawing a brilliant juxtaposition between the Celtics and Adolf Hitler. And comparing those that root on the Celtics to those hoping an enemy of America would drop a nuclear bomb on us.

ESPN suspended writer Jemele Hill indefinitely after she drew references to Adolf Hitler and nuclear war in a column. ''Rooting for the Celtics is like saying Hitler was a victim,'' Hill wrote. ``It's like hoping Gorbachev would get to the blinking red button before Reagan.''

Certainly, we don't bother to read Hill's work most days; but we feel that based on this capture from the Herald, we can effectively argue on her behalf. Regardless of context or intent.

Firstly, Ms Hill effectively used a comparative model to illustrate the distaste and grotesque inner self it takes for an individual to be a Celtics fan. This isn't a literal comparison. It isn't Ms. Hill definitively stating that Celtics fans are Nazi's. It is an indirect and clever way of saying rooting for the Celtics is akin to believe that the most prolific racist/genocide architect of our time is worthy of compassion.

While certainly there is a degree of hyperbole in the comparison. Is it really that far off?

Clearly, Boston's White Boston Sports Fans did not initiate the stereotype of Boston being a racist town on their own. They do their best to foster the image and propagate intolerance, but the stereotype clearly had more contributors than the Lower Middle Class white folks with nothing better to do than root for the Boston teams, and simultaneously make the Negro athletes uncomfortable living in Beantown. Think about it. No small feat.

And, just as that was no small feat, neither was bringing Europe to its collective knees while at the same time running a genocide machine that can only be described as 'Germanic' in its efficiency.

So, clearly, while some would take the association Ms Hill conjures between Celtic fandom and Nazi support as offensive; a more objective and emotionally removed (read: logical) assessment of the comparison can see the clear connection. It is commentary on fanatical devotion.

We've seen writers describe Michael Vick (a Negro) in various demonic terms. He was compared to an 'executioner'. An executioner! Yet, no suspensions were levied against the perpetrators of that particularly offensive statement.

But, Ms. Hill uses Hitler's name in connection with the Great White Sports City of Boston, despite the fact that various surveys of Negro athletes have definitively shown that they have an uneasiness about living in or being traded to Boston, and she may well lose her job.

The message this sends is that Michael Vick has done worse things than White Boston Sports Fans. A wonderful message to send to Negro youth!

But, all this is just the tip of the Iceberg.

As stated, Ms. Hill contributes to's Page 2. The home and kingdom of Bill Simmons.

A White Boston Sports Fan.

YOU do the math!

It's puzzling.

For generations, Boston has cultivated and fostered an image of prejudice and racial disharmony. It is a city that when mentioned to many Negroes, causes chills to race up and down the spine. Now, when a high profile and decidedly objective writer grants the collective desire of the White Boston Sports Fan to be characterised as, and placed next to, some of the most fanatical of fanatics: they balk.

We can only assume that if the Sports Guy had given the type of props which fully conveyed how devoted they are as fans, that would have received thousands of emails of approval.

But, when the compliment on the level of blind faith the fans have comes from a Negro.....well, that is unacceptable.

It's all too clear.

This suspension has nothing to do with Hitler imagery or the message.

It's all about the messenger.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More Celtics: Players Forced to Acknowledge Scalabrine, Pollard?

As we related a few days ago, the Boston Celtics faced formidable opponents to win the NBA title. The Lakers. And White Boston Sports Fans.

Now that the Celtics have won, the rhetoric coming from some of the most significant contributors to the title makes us wonder:

Are the Black Irish being forced to acknowledge and laud the contributions of the white players at the end of the bench?

“It’s not going to be the three of us that are ultimately going to win the championship,” Ray Allen continued. “It took all 15 players. Scot Pollard contributed before he went down, and Brian Scalabrine was big, stepping up when we needed him. The things guys like that did for us as a team allowed us to shape this team.

Are we to believe that Allen, who tied a Finals record for most 3 pointers in a game and broke the record for 3 pointers in a series, spoke this propaganda on his own accord? Are we to believe that any of the top 10 players on the Celtics believe that Scalabrine or Pollard played any larger role on this team than simply appeasing the White Boston Sports Fan base?

Perhaps the most revealing indicator of the Scalabrine/Pollard factor is this:

Though he (Scalabrine) sat on the bench in street clothes, the forward ran into the locker room just prior to the end of the game and put on his uniform for the postgame celebration.

Certainly, the White Boston Sports Fans needed at least one pale skinned, Lurch-like 'hero' to be in a Celtics uniform when photographs were taken for posterity.

“I’ll tell you, it’s not that difficult to do,” he said. “Guess what? Maybe you could say I didn’t play a second, but in five years you guys are going to forget. “In 10 years I’ll still be a champion,” said Scalabrine. “In 20 years I’ll tell my kids I probably started, and in 30 years I’ll probably tell them I got the MVP. So I’m probably not too worried about it.”

So, the White Boston Sports Fans will get their wish. And another unathletic white guy will be added to the legend of the Boston Celtics greats: Havlicek, Cousy, Cowens, Heinson, McHale, Bird, etc....

And now, Brian Scalabrine. MVP of the 2008 NBA Finals.

Yet another example of revisionist, 'American' history...and the quest to erase the accomplishments of the Negro.

UNC: We May Never Know

Great news for Tarheel fans.

Lawson, Green and Ellington are all coming back to Chapel Hill. That, coupled with the return of Tyler Hansbrough allows the Heels to be the prohibitive favorites next season.

It also allows the rest of us to wonder:

How good is Tyler Hansbrough. Really.

We were looking forward to the departures of Lawson, Green and Ellington. Not because we wish ill will toward the Heels. But, we wanted Hansbrough to have the opportunity to prove to the world that he is one of the greatest collegiate players of all time.

Unfortunately, now he has so much returning support, that we won't really know if all the awards and praise are truly his.

Last season, Hansbrough was the Heels standout. The heart and soul of a talented team. But, certainly the leader.

We had hoped that Hansbrough would be given the opportunity to take his leadership ability and his relentless effort to the next level. To be put in a position in which he was the only option for success. To have the chance to prove once and for all that if he goes down as the greatest Heel of all time...that it is he, and not those other players, that deserve immortality.

Unfortunately, if he has a huge season and wins a title; we will be left forever to wonder:

Is Hansbrough that great, or is it those 5 or 6 athletic Negroes that make him seem so good.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Boston Celtics: A Tale of Two Battles



A city that loves its sports teams. A city that loves itself.

But, also a city stigmatized for generations by the perception that it is not Negro friendly. Which, for any large urban environment in the 21st century is certainly out of the ordinary.

Rich in basketball tradition, the Boston Celtics built a dynasty through the leadership of a short, bald white coach riding the back of a tall, athletic Negro center. A thoroughbred doing most of the work. A little jockey getting all the credit.

The next Boston Celtic run was led by a brilliant Negro coach. He used his brilliant strategies, basketball knowledge and motivation techniques to somehow coax greatness out of some tall, gangly white fellows with little athleticism and even less tenacity. His run, turning these players into recognizable talents, was perhaps the greatest coaching job in NBA history.

And now, Boston makes another run. With a ten man rotation made entirely of Original cagers. And a tactical field general of the Zulu Nation calling the shots. Certainly, this is not what your average Bostonian has in mind when he envisions the Celtics.

Nonetheless, without the advantage of having the best player on the court. Without the benefit of having a tall, ambiguously Euro-femme Caucazoid to appease the 'fans'. The Celtics' general has outmaneuvered the Lakers' egocentric coach.

As the series returns to Boston with the Celts leading 3-2, victory on the court seems all but asured. But these Celtics have banded together to try for another victory.

A victory over the stigmatism of representing Boston fans, while being a Negro.

Certainly, it can't be easy night after night to take the court in the Garden. Knowing that while the fans cheer for your Green uniform, they detest your Negro skin. That while they stand and applaud your baskets. They loath your speech and values. That while the front of your jersey reads Boston, they'd prefer you lived elsewhere.

It's a two bladed razor upon which these valorous Celtics walk.

Not only must the players somehow fight on knowing the fans love the Celtics, but hate Negroes...they must also somehow justify representing the Celtics' fans to the Negro community.

No amount of money could ever alleviate the pain that these players must endure. Branded by the sinister 'shamrock', these men are paraded like animals night after night in front of the Boston fans. And then shipped off for trips, forced to fight for the honor of Boston elsewhere.

Clearly, it is love for each other and love for the game which spurs this Boston team to great heights. Bonded together by the on-court combat. Listening to the coach during time outs as he highlights the battle plan. And seeing the two pale roster quotas in suits at the end of the bench. No, money could never spark the fire required to light this flame.

Pride. Unity. And righteousness. Those are what this is about. The opportunity to win a championship. To hoist a trophy.

And to set themselves free from the oppression enacted upon them by the ghosts of Red Auerbach and the Boston sports fans.

So, Boston fans, remember this:

When the Celtics win the championship, they will have beaten you. The franchise will claim that this is the 17th title in their history. But that is wrong.

This is not Boston's title.

This, much like Obama's victory over Hillary, is one step closer to equality and absolute freedom for Negro America.

This title is Negro America's first.

This title is symbolic of the change being brought by Obama.

This title is the emancipation of the Negro athlete from the shackled existence provided by the apartheid like environment of Boston.

And, the MVP of this championship is the inevitable president, Barack Obama.

His victory over the political machinations of White America supplied the impetus for this Celtic victory over the White Boston Sports Fan.

Every cheer for the Celtics, is a vote for Obama!

More NASCAR: Lawyer for Harassed Negro Speaks

Benedict Morelli, the lawyer for Mauricia Grant (former NASCAR official), allowed for an interview with

Mr. Morelli shed some light on the highlights of the law suit, and candidly stated that NASCAR would have to pay a lot of money. A bit unusual not to wrap his client strictly in the 'I am trying to change the world' banner. But, he did go on to voice those intentions as well.

"It's appears to be an old boys' club with a lot of people who have known each other for a long time," he said. "Some of the executives have people working for them who they've known for 20 years and they used to race cars together. This isn't a sophisticated operation; this is a bunch of nudniks hanging around together who just happen to be onto something because they were enterprising what is now a billion-dollar business. And they haven't caught up with the fact that America actually has laws protecting women, people of color, people over 40 years old, etcetera."

Certainly, our more enlightened readers will notice that this is not unlike what is going on right now in Washington. A broken system that is designed to benefit the chosen few being met head on by a dark cloud of change.

We foresee many of the barriers in NASCAR that are confronted by Ms. Grant as being similar to those that are awaiting Halfrican-American President soon to be elect Obama. Well, minus the genitalia being exposed.

But Brother Obama certainly will be the punchline to many racist jokes. His accomplishments will be diminished, and his shortcomings certainly accentuated. And the good ole boy insiders will certainly do their best to make him uncomfortable.

"It only takes one woman with courage to stand up and say this is unacceptable," he claims. "I said [to my client], she's going to have to have a lot of courage, because this is going to get very intense before it ever gets resolved. I explained this to her and she said she understands; but I swore to her that she really doesn't understand ... she really doesn't."

Again, a not dissimilar characterization also of that which Brother Obama has undertaken.

We're in a world -- 2008 -- the first time a woman ever came close to getting the nomination for the presidency," he said. "And a black man did. [With that in mind,] it would probably behoove NASCAR to really be into diversity. We know that America is changing, but we have to change all the important institutions within America for us to have respect not only for ourselves, but for other people to have respect for us. And we have to do it with a real eye toward doing the right thing.

Indeed. Mr. Morelli has found wisdom in his suggestion for us to do the right thing. And the right thing is normally to diversify. Those ironclad institutions, guarded so closely by the persecutorial powers so desperate to maintain their deathgrip control over freedom and civil rights, must be overwhelmed by a tidal wave of diversity. Day after day goes by with a large segment of the population's need going unmet. Needs that must be addressed. Needs that hold the future of our country in the balance. Just as Obama intends to meet the variety of needs that can be addressed from the Oval Office, Mr. Morelli will take the baton being passed by Ms Grant to meet the needs of the disenfranchised and under served minorities so desperate to be fans of and play a role in NASCAR.

"I'm a lawyer approximately 31 years; this case will not change my life. But I want to change the culture at NASCAR. And so does my client. You can't just hire women or people of color and not change the culture. You just can't get Magic Johnson and put his name to [NASCAR's Diversity Programs] and say you're diversified. You can't get one black woman, give her a job, and say you're diversified. You can't have five black officials out of 200 and say you're diversified. It doesn't make sense."

And, what about the damage done to Mr. Johnson. Misleading him into believing he was a part of true diversity program. Attaching his name to NASCAR under the guise that the intention was to develop and invigorate a robust and meaningful plan to provide for the opportunities for Negroes to be employed by NASCAR; and then eventually watch NASCAR.

Mr. Johnson may well be as much a victim in all this as Ms. Grant and Brother Obama.

"You know, when people have already said to me and to her: Well, you probably knew what you were getting into when you went to NASCAR; you have to have thick skin and all of that. And you know what my response to that is? No and No. You don't have to have thick skin when someone's calling you 'Nappy-headed Mo.' You don't have to have thick skin when someone says, 'You're on colored people's time.' OK, you don't have to have thick skin when someone pulls their pants down and shows you their penis. You don't have to have thick skin. What you have to do is tell these people that are doing these outrageous things -- can you imagine that one of these officials said to her that [his buddy's daddy] is high in the KKK and he wanted her to know that. And I don't believe that she has to have thick skin. I believe they have to abide by the law.

Here, Mr. Morelli speaks directly to NOIS. We were those people who said Ms. Grant should have not been surprised by what happened. We were those people who still counsel the Negro to run the other way when they hear KKK, NASCAR or FBI.

We agree that, regardless of history or image, the individual can not be faulted for attempting to chase a dream or to help in the diversification process. We also agree that those attempting to thwart the increase in diversity should abide by the law.

The notion that it is fair or just or even reasonable to attempt to stall the winds of change by illegal action is simply misguided.

Clearly, this will all be addressed in court. The evidence will be brought to view. And a decision will be reached.

NASCAR could avoid all this by doing the right thing. By being more diverse and providing Ms. Grant with funding to begin her initiative.

Or, NASCAR could tarnish its image and fight diversity. Alienating a large segment of the population in the process.

The winds of change are upon us.

America is at the cusp of putting a Negro in the White House.

It's time for NASCAR to step into the same century.

Pay the lady.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Orlando Brown: Life After Football

Congratulations to Orlando Brown.

You may remember Brown. He is a former NFL offensive lineman. When he was a member of the Cleveland Browns, he was viciously assaulted with a weapon by an official. The official used a loaded penalty flag to attempt to rob Brown of his eyesight, and his career.

Brown battled back. Fighting through the extensive rehab and psychological damage inflicted as a result of the attack. He even was picked up again years later by the Ravens.

Unfortunately, what seemed destined to be a long and successful career never panned out.

But, Brown has moved forward and is setting a prime example that life can begin after football. Even if that life after football is prematurely forced upon a player by a Caucasian referee with a 'weapon'.

Congratulations to Orlando Brown as his career as an entrepreneur kicks off with his opening of a Fatburger franchise in Columbia, MD. It is slated to open in August.

We wish him the greatest of success as he continues to attempt to recover his life from those that would have held him down.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Writer of the Day

We scoured the internet to find the most word-smithy characterization of a sports related event or topic.

Today's winner: Bucky Brooks of

Another team with an unsettled quarterback situation is Baltimore. Troy Smith's surprising development over the offseason has changed the complexion of what was supposed to be a two-man race between veteran Kyle Boller and rookie Joe Flacco.


Nothing else needs to be said.

Runner up: Frank Deford, also of SI.

You see, at the end of the day, for golf to go green and accommodate itself to the real world, it's simply going to have to be much more brown.


We have been saying this for years. Tiger needs company.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Breaking News!!!!: Racism in NASCAR

Born on the rural roads of the Carolinas as a way for bootleggers to measure their back roads driving skills and prowess, stock car racing is as ingrained in the Southern rural culture as grits and red eye gravy.

As the decades have passed and NASCAR has become a billion dollar industry with fans in areas of the country known for things other than the 'Stars and Bars' and pickup trucks, the spinsters and marketers of the organization have tried hard to change the image.

We've been led to believe that watching men drive in a circle for 5 hours on a Sunday is 'mainstream'. We've been told that the thrill of the race isn't just the speed (which is debatable, if you have been to Martinsville or Bristol, anyway), but the strategy. We've been told that these men who sit in a car turning left for 5 hours are 'athletes' and that it takes measurable stamina and strength to perform as they do.

We've been told that it is an American sport, through and through. The NASCAR crowd is middle America. It is hot dogs, Mom and apple pie.

Well, now it seems that this may not be the case. It seems that the sport that originated in the South and is now revered by some as a means to uphold and propagate 'Southern' traditions, may be a hot bed for.........intolerance.

The 32-year-old Grant, who is black, worked as a technical inspector responsible for certifying cars in NASCAR's second-tier Nationwide Series from January 2005 until her termination. In the lawsuit, she alleged she was referred to as "Nappy Headed Mo" and "Queen Sheba" by co-workers, was often told she worked on "colored people time" and was frightened by one official who routinely made references to the Ku Klux Klan.

For the uninitiated, 'colored people time' (or cpt) is meant as a disparaging reference to insinuate that Ms. Grant didn't work full days and was not punctual.

Despite this culture of intolerance, prejudice and out right antagonism, Ms Grant liked her job.

"I loved it. It was a great, exciting, adrenaline-filled job where I worked with fast cars and the best drivers in the world," Grant told The Associated Press. "But there was an ongoing daily pattern [of harassment]. It was the nature of the people I worked with, the people who ran it, it trickled down from the top.

Some of the allegations are astounding, if not unexpected.

Grant was forced to work outside more often than the white male officials because her supervisors believed she couldn't sunburn because she was black.

While riding in the backseat of her car pool at Talladega Superspeedway, co-workers told her to duck as they passed race fans. "I don't want to start a riot when these fans see a black woman in my car," she claims one official said.

When packing up a dark garage at Texas Motor Speedway an official told Grant: "Keep smiling and pop your eyes out 'cause we can't see you."

"Does your workout include an urban obstacle course with a flat-screen TV on your back?" she claimed Balash asked her during the week of July 28, 2007, while working in Indianapolis.

Now, all this would be funny in a Dave Chapelle sketch.

But, when it happens while you are at work, there is nothing funny about it.

Certainly, we recognize that Ms. Grant has been wronged. And, more certainly, punishment must come to the offenders.

But, common sense and righteousness must prevail.

We would proffer that Ms. Grant should never have taken the job in the first place. Clearly, a Negro woman working in what is essentially a large scale KKK meeting is not a good idea.

When one accepts employment, one also accepts the certain obvious dangers involved. If she had been hired by a circus to walk a tight rope, and fell and broke her legs, would anyone be the least bit surprised?

That is essentially what happened here. Ms. Grant picked up a stick and poked a bear.

We are talking about NASCAR! What sane Negro would accept employment with them and not expect to be maligned, mistreated, harassed, shamed, whipped, shackled and eventually lynched?

While we do support Ms. Grant's request for over $200M, we must admonish her for her lapse in reason, judgment and understanding of human nature.

And, while we know that her treatment should have been expected; we also know it was not right.

Therefore, NOIS announces that for the rest of this season, we will not be making anymore NASCAR posts.

Additionally, we will be organizing a Nation-wide Negro boycott of all NASCAR events. It will be called the Great Oh Eight NASCAR Black-out.

Together, we can hit them in their wallet and make it hurt.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Nick Kaczur: When Will He Be Suspended?

You have read the story.

New England Patriot busted for possession of pharmaceuticals to feed his habit. Patriot cooperates with law enforcement to help sting dealer. Patriot admired by all and hailed as hero. Patriot attending OTA's and team says any punishment will be handled 'internally'. If and when charges are filed.

Quick question: Who believes charges will be filed?

We don't either.

And, the reality is that it shouldn't matter.

The NFL has set a precedent that it is willing to suspend players prior to convictions or charges being filed.

Pacman Jones was barred without major charges. And there has still been no conviction. Michael Vick was long gone before he was cuffed and stuffed.

Both Pacman and Vick, when it became clear that it was to their benefit, cooperated with law enforcement. Just like Kaczur. Yet, their cooperation hasn't brought them accolades. Or hastened their return to the field.

Why is Kaczur at OTAs? Why is Roger Goodell not summoning him to NYC to plead to stay in the league? Why are the Patriots not turning their backs on him?

Is it simply that he cooperated with the police? Is that why this is going to result in more than likely no major charges and no punishment? Does his turning over his drug dealer absolve him of his crimes? Does it make it ok that he tarnished the image of the NFL?

The NFL and the Patriots are walking a slippery slope. Regardless iof whether charges are even filed.

Clearly, if Kaczur had a drug dealer to inform on....he bought drugs from the guy in the past. It doesn't take Columbo to figure that out. And the NFL has shown in the Pacman case that it is not compelled to wait for the judiciary process to mete out punishment.

So whats the hold up? Why are neither the NFL nor the Pats moving on this?

Cedric Benson recently was the recipient of a DUI. A few weeks ago he had a run in with the police also. Neither incident has been fully investigated or resolved, yet the Chicago papers are reporting that his days on the team are numbered.

Maybe if he had divulged to police who sold him the liquor he drank, he'd be off the hook?

We take a lot of heat on this blog for pointing out the injustices and double standards in sports. Our righteous preachings are often met with the obstinate and blind rebuttals of those that live in a world in which equality reins.

Clearly, Nick Kaczur lives in that world. A world which allows for redemption (see Josh Hamilton). A world governed by a certain compassion.

In our last post, we asked the question: Is it easier to be more compassionate to one of your own?

Ask Nick Kaczur.

The NFL and the Patriots have answered the question.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Josh Hamilton: Caucasian Love?

As we conducted our daily perusing of the internet to find injustice and topics for our educatory offerings; we came across a post on The Big Lead which got us thinking.

The post covered a discussion that took place on a radio show (on 850 the Buzz) hosted by former ESPN page 2 contributor Bomani Jones (Jones is hosting the show in June and July on weekdays from 3-6PM live_feed) . During a discussion about the great first two months of the season by baseball's Josh Hamilton (Hamilton is the former #1 pick turned drug addict, turned recovered potential superstar), Jones wondered if the press was particularly enamored and receptive to the story of Hamilton's redemptive quest and success because of his pale hue and rekindled devotion to Christianity.

Certainly, a fair question. And one that, we at NOIS had discussed amongst ourselves in the past.

In an effort for further clarification, we decided to ask Bomani Jones a few more questions about his take on the subject. And, we also decided to get the opinion of other another prominent Negro sports columnist, Scoop Jackson.

First, our discussion with Bomani (edit. this was a discussion format, so please, those of you that love to send us grammar and spelling corrections...this is unedited/as save the the Ms. Crabapple act):

NOIS: First, there have been black athletes that have fallen, obviously, into a world of drugs. Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden come to mind quite quickly. And, both of those guys went thru periods in which it seemed like they had recovered. Was the media as supportive? As applauding? Positive? I seem to remember the media being skeptical....but that's my memory. The possibility of relapse to addiction is staggering. Is it not odd that the media isn't skeptical about what the future holds for Hamilton? That everyone is so sure that he is on the right road forever?

Bomani: I don't remember Strawberry receiving the same treatment, nor do I remember Gooden throwing a no-hitter for the Yankees being treated as a tale of triumph over adversity. But, I'm also young enough that someone could prove me wrong by doing the LexisNexis search that I'm too tired to do myself right now. The saddest thing about Strawberry didn't come from the media, though. It came from Tom Lasorda, Straw manager when he relapsed in Los Angeles, who refused to acknowledge addiction as a sickness and went out of his way to call it "a weakness."

What's striking to me is the humanity that Hamilton has been afforded the last couple of years. It's a humanity he absolutely deserves, mind you. I've never met a single person that wanted to be strung out, so I'm not about to wag a finger at him for getting hooked on drugs. I applaud him for rising up and reclaiming his life. The baseball thing is secondary to me. I'd be thrilled for him if he was working on a garbage truck and just quit smoking cigarettes.

I can't say for sure exactly why Hamilton's story has been treated as it has. I just know I've never seen a former crack smoker get this much love from anyone, and the sports media hasn't earned the benefit of the doubt on this thing (or much of anything when it comes to race, quite honestly). Never.

In Hamilton's story, he is the protagonist, and addiction is treated as the villain. The dragon isn't slain, but it's a beast that we're made to root against (as we should). In most cases, however, it is the addict that is treated as the villain. That is where this case is different than most i recall seeing.

Check the SI piece (which is well-written, I must say). Hamilton's father-in-law talks about how aware Josh is that "the devil" isn't far away. The Rangers have Jerry Narron with Hamilton as "a friend" and "a precaution," according to Hamilton. All very human stuff.

That's also stuff that, depending on who's behind the keyboard and who's under the microscope, could have been written differently. Narron could have been cast more as a supervisor, someone to make sure he behaves himself. I already talked about stuff like the addiction as "the devil." The question is simply this -- why does Josh Hamilton get such treatment and others don't?

Race certainly isn't the only factor, but you have to consider it. This country has put a black face on it's nonsensical "War on Drugs" from Day One, a strategy that is certainly more about being "tough on crime" than it is about helping anybody, considering that drugs aren't any harder to find than they used to be but these policies haven't undergone much change. Check the history, and you'll find a significant reason that cocaine was made illegal was to protect society from "cocaine crazed Negroes." Policies and perceptions, when it comes to drugs, have always had a racial component.

So people are going to try to tell me that Josh Hamilton, a middle-class white guy, isn't getting different treatment than a black person would? Anyone that says that white drug addicts are not treated with a different level of sympathy than black ones is either stupid, or must think I am, if I'm expected to believe that. If you don't question whether race had something to do with how a story of a white drug addict is reported vis-a-vis a black one, it's only because you don't want to.

Now, as for media skepticism about Hamilton, I'm sure it's there. It has to be. I haven't seen it vocalized much, and maybe that's because doing so interferes with the story (I was accused by many listeners of tainting the story, one I praised on air a few dozen times). It's expressed when you see people talk about all the steps Hamilton takes to avoid temptation -- not going out with teammates, not taking per diem money, etc. -- but that stuff seems to be framed as a testament to his dedication and to the power of the devil.

My frustration, however, is not with how Hamilton's story is being treated. It's the stories that don't get this treatment that make me scratch my head. The depths of Hamilton's addiction, considering that he emerged from them, were unique. Addiction, however, was not, nor is overcoming it.

I can think of addicts with backgrounds that made it far more likely they would get strung out than Josh Hamilton The sordid tale of Chris Washburn, who was shamelessly used his whole basketball playing life, immediately comes to mind. Washburn is a punch line when people talk about cocaine-addicted basketball players, and that's foul.

I just don't think stardom or whiteness or anything else need be coupled with a neat story should be required before treating a recovered addict with respect and humanity.

NOIS: Forgotten in all of this is the fact that Hamilton DID what he did. Certainly, we are a very forgiving society. Do you think that young black athletes, like Pacman Jones, who has been reckless and a poor decision you think that if he is able to make better decisions, mature and become a solid citizen, that HE will hailed by the media as a 'hero'? Or can he look forward to people saying that the only reason he stopped his reckless behavior was the money?

Bomani: As a hero? Hell no, he won't. Pacman's haunted by demons, and we all know it. It's also worth noting that Pacman hasn't talked to many people about said demons (through a mutual friend that I've known since I was 16, and that he's known his whole life, I was turned down for an interview last year). Would he receive such treatment if he was more open? Mayhaps.

Another part that can't be ignored is that there hasn't been a line of people running to say what a great guy Pacman is or was before. Again, I know people that will vouch for him, and they're people I trust for totally non-business reasons. Most people don't. If people thought he was a bad guy before -- and most did -- then they won't be but so happy to see him succeed. On my show, I had all kinds of people that knew Hamilton from various points in his life talk about what a great guy he is. That is a significant point if Hamilton and Jones are going to be compared with one another (something I did on my show, and something a few of my listeners astutely pointed out, though I don't think this is the only real difference between these two guys).

I know this, though -- a storyline of training camp and beyond with Pacman will be whether he falls back into his bad behavior. It will come up early, and it will probably come up often. Hell, he isn't even really reinstated yet, as they make sure he can get through training camp without sneaking strippers in or something. Can't blame anyone for that, either. It's hard to stop being a knucklehead, even if we're dealing with a knucklehead young enough to grow out of a lot of his problems (like Josh Hamilton did).

If Pacman has four interceptions and a return touchdown in his first five games -- which, ballparking here, is an equivalent start to Hamilton's torrid pace -- you will not see "The Redemption of Pacman Jones" on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Of that, I can guarantee you. But, how much of that will be because Pacman won't be talking? Or because he's not as magnetic as Hamilton? Good questions.

I think Pacman's as haunted by his past as Hamilton was by whatever told him to keep getting high. If he succeeds, he's overcoming, too (and honestly, some would argue that Pacman overcame just by living this long). How do we decide whose triumph over adversity, whether self-inflicted or not, is noble and whose is just a matter of cleaning up his own mess? By whether we like them or not? There's got to be a better standard to use than that.

NOIS: From all accounts, Hamilton came from a fairly solid, stable background. Yet he fell into drugs. No one blamed his 'culture' or background for what happened. Yet, when a black athlete makes poor decisions, many in the media want to drag his 'culture' down with him. No one says, 'josh hamilton fell victim to the ills of his middle class white upbringing...and that is why he had those horrible few years'.....yet, regardless of the background of a black athlete who makes bad moves, 'black' culture is called into question...when a white athlete falls, it is simply an indictment of the white athlete....when a black athlete falls, it is an indictment of the athlete, his upbringing, black society and anything else that can be thrown in.....(I guess that wasn't a was just a

Bomani: The curse of blackness is as follows -- nothing good you do represents anyone but you, and it barely does that much. The bad you do represents every single black person on this side of Senegal AND the culture they subscribe to. Now, the killer is that black culture is treated as separate from this larger culture that is America.

Michael Moore did a movie called "Roger and Me" a long time ago, a film about life in Flint, Mich. after a plant closing. Long of the short -- General Motors did those hard-working Americans dirty, and leaving town was part of why crime began to skyrocket. It's a fair point Moore makes.

When I think of Flint, I think of some hard ass ghettoes and gangs. I know black folks from Michigan, so I think of the things they tell me about the place (I've never been there). The way I see it, gangs thrive in situations of poverty, the kind of poverty that comes when a blue-collar industry that employs vast swaths of people goes away. In other words, I doubt the gang situation in Flint would be what some say it is had automobile industry not pulled out. It's the same way Baltimore wouldn't have become what it is now -- now that, I've seen -- had the shipping industry not died.

Dollars to donuts says when people see those boys bangin' in Flint, they blame black culture, the same way they do when they see boys selling dope in Baltimore. If they see struggling white people in Flint, they want to spit on General Motors.

See what I mean?

I personally long for the day that I am afforded my God-given American right to not give a flying fuck about anybody else when I do something, whether it be good or bad. I long for the day when my mistakes are my own, and I'm not expected to represent 20 or 30 million people with every word I say. That's a luxury white folks have that other groups don't, and it's something they should feel really grateful for -- the comfort in knowing that the behavior of people you've never met has absolutely no effect on your life. I really wonder what that's like.

Certainly, some folks who listened to Bomani's show, or have heard others mention that Hamilton is getting more positive media support because of his sun-starved skin naturally jumped to the prerequisite conclusion that Jones and others were simply playing the 'race card'. Complaining and mentioning race as means to gain attention for themselves. Or, are so race fixated that they see racism at every turn.

If you read Jones' comments here, you would understand that it is much deeper than race. It is respect and humanity. It is compassion. The question is, is it easier to be more compassionate to one of your own?

As we mentioned, we wanted other thoughts on this topic. So, we turned to's Scoop Jackson.

NOIS: Any thoughts on whether the feel good buzz and attention on Josh Hamilton's rise from the ashes would be as closely covered and widely applauded if he were not of a pale hue?

Scoop: i just read the SI joint and WAS THINKING THE EXACT SAME THING!!!!

Again, The question is, is it easier to be more compassionate to one of your own?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Chad Johnson: Weighing His Options

The on field antics and wild style off the field certainly bring him attention. But, sometimes, all the focus on those things causes us to forget just how productive and talented Chad Johnson is.

Johnson's discontent with the lackluster management of the Bengals is no new story. Rumors abound that he will hold out or engage in crazy 'look at me' antics to try to gain his freedom from ownership.

But, certainly, reality is different than speculation.

"Am I coming back?" he asked rhetorically. "Of course I am. I told my coaches I'm going to California to act, but the truth is I may come back to the Bengals as early as June. I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid."

And, what if Johnson's desires were entertained? What if the Bengals did the right thing and allowed Johnson to pursue his dream of playing for an organization that appreciated him and cared about his future?

"If I can get out of Cincinnati, the sky's the limit," Johnson told ESPN the Magazine. "What could I do in a place like Philadelphia or Dallas? It would be ridiculous. It's gonna be like a whole new me, like Ocho Cinco 2.0."

While we are big fans and believe that he is being fair and honest in his desire to pursue employment in an environment that would be conducive to his being able to further his personal growth and expand his ability to contribute to a team that understood what team means; we do question his judgment.

Certainly, the desire to play for Dallas is self evident. Dallas brought in a similarly, intentionally misunderstood and explosively talented WR. And Dallas treated him with the dignity and respect his past performance and personal character warranted. They demonstrated their respect and passion for said receiver by giving him a big contract this off season. So, obviously, the prospect of playing in Dallas would be something a team oriented guy like Ocho Cinco would be desperately interested in pursuing. Particularly after seeing how Dallas compensated TO for his team first, locker room presence.

But Philly?

Clearly, the only attraction would be the chance to be the main target of one of the most successful Negro QB's of all time. The opportunity to play a role in the career of a future Hall of Famer who has been instrumental in the ongoing evolution of the NFL QB would be the type of thing one could hold on to long after one's playing days were over.

However, we warn Johnson: Learn from the past.

Philly showed that it has no respect for a sensitive, relationship oriented player. Rather than understand that certain players, because of their commitment to excellence, fair play and team, require closer relationships and better communication with management than others; the Eagles closed the door and cut off their last great player that fit this description.

If Johnson didn't learn from TO's experience in Philly that his desire to win a championship, be a team leader and further the character of the organization won't be met in Philly; well, we can only suppose that that means his desire to be part of the historic career of the groundbreaking Negro QB has somewhat skewered his judgment.

While we understand that the chance to be part of history is compelling, we would hope that Johnson would at least seek counsel from other great players who were in a similar situation to his own. Players locked into mediocre contracts with teams that weren't interested in building the character and requisite relationships to win championships. Players like Randy Moss. Like the aforementioned TO. Guys, who when nurtured with respect and care, showed the world that they were team players first.

And they did it despite carrying the albatross of a new, monster contract around their necks.

We only hope that Johnson can find the relationship he so desperately needs to fulfill his self worth.

Straight Macking

For years we have watched the media glorify the lifestyle of the athlete. We have seen the professional athlete presented as being larger than life. We have witnessed the abject worship of the might dollar, as the pro athlete is marketed and his image is carefully constructed to differentiate him from the average person.

Is it any surprise that the professional athlete generally lives life by a different set of rules?

Is it any surprise, too, that the average woman would pull up her skirt, drop her bloomies or do whatever else it took to land a professional athlete?

Resoundingly and without debate, we can all in unison exclaim, 'By the Grace of Allah, it is NO surprise!'

Also, without surprise, we understand how this idolatry and blasphemous worship of the athlete can cause weaker men to perpetrate. 'I played ball in college.' 'I played minor league baseball.' 'I had a tryout with the Giants.' And on and on. We've all heard these words pushed from the forked and weak tongue of individuals who clearly haven't the athletic prowess to cross a street.

But, occasionally, when one casts enough lines in the water. A fish bites.

"For months, a Boston-area woman thought she was dating a Sonics front-office employee and former NBA player named Jeff Turner, a handsome, 6-foot-8 40-something who was polite, compassionate and respectful. She thought she had scored a figurative slam-dunk in the Internet dating game."

Ahhh, yes.

The internet. The greatest mask one can find. The great equalizer. The opportunity to be what you want to be. Or, to be what you are not.

Conversely. The internet. The greatest escape one can find. The great optimizer. The opportunity for the naive to visit their fantasies. Or, lose touch with reality.

The man's real name is Ronnie Craven, and he had been telling friends and even his hometown newspaper that he was the Sonics' player development director. In an April 9 story in the Somerville News, he told the paper he had known Sonics general manager Sam Presti since coaching Presti and Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck at a Boston-area basketball camp in the late 1980s.

Certainly, it is sickening to think that a man could be pushed to such extreme dishonesty in his quest for attention and acceptance. It is also disturbing to think that the mainstream media has had such an impact on our sports culture that it drives people to such measures in their quest to experience what the athlete experiences.

That is, until one considers the reality of this situation. The impetus for what pushed this man to live a lie....

""(The situation was) all brought on by an online dating thing. Craigslist. I lied to her. Does that mean I can go out there and represent the Sonics? No. Does that mean that I did it to get some (sex)? Absolutely."


Perhaps the least surprising aspect of this story is the appearance of the culprit.

A middle aged white man.

Why is this not even surprising?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Stephen A. Smith: Falling In Line

Not long ago, Stephen A lost his newspaper writing gig. A little while before that, he lost his TV show on ESPN.

For a while, Screamin' Stephen wasn't particularly visible. One can imagine that losing outlets to 'perform' would certainly weigh heavy on the ego.

Now, as Smith is contributing more to ESPN magazine, one wonders if the fear of losing this position is forging his views and formulating his opinions.

On Willie Randolph: The Mets' own cable network was covering him negatively because he's black? The suggestion seems the epitome of stupidity.

The notion that Willie Randolph was the victim of a concerted effort by team controlled media to shed a negative light on an effort to turn the public against him to provide ownership a smoother avenue to dismiss him is stupid? Really? The notion that management wanted him gone because it had little patience for a struggling Negro is that far fetched, Stephen?

From them, we can glean another rule: Always come across as one who appreciates your good fortune, especially in front of media members who don't share your hue. Only then will fame arrive, along with wealth and a favorable image. Forget to do this, and you will become extinct.

Smith essentially is saying that Randolph would have been better served to shut up, repress his inherent need to expose the vicious racism that was being perpetrated against him and collect his paychecks.

If only it were so easy. For minorities in sports, paranoia is grounded in a reality that cannot be ignored. You can't ignore the paucity of African-Americans and other minorities in high-profile positions of authority. You can't ignore that even reporters who recognize this feed the impression that minority managers and coaches and GMs should be more grateful for their jobs than their white contemporaries. And you can't ignore that minorities in these positions may interpret a reporter's body language or facial expression or comment as betraying something more insidious—a questioning of the legitimacy of their accomplishments.

And, certainly, falling into the trap of allowing paranoia to move ones lips would only further the harm of the situation in general.

It (paranoia) is what caused Willie Randolph to show such faulty reasoning as he broke the unwritten rules. Paranoia does funny things to a man.

Indeed. Paranoia exposes faulty logic, irrational thought and poor judgment. To wit, Smith's reaction to being fired by the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith, fired a week ago by the Philadelphia Inquirer for job abandonment, shot back at the newspaper on Friday, saying in a statement, “What they have done to me is malicious, intentional and vindictive.”
"I put my life and all that I have into the Philadelphia Inquirer first as a reporter and then as a general columnist. I was raised to work hard and play by the rules. That is what I have done. I’ve worked hard and earned every single promotion and accolade that I received while at the Inquirer.
“No one did me any favors or gave me anything, nor did I expect them to. What’s fair is fair and what’s right is right. What they have done to me is malicious, intentional and vindictive. They want to ruin my reputation and all of the hard work that I have done over the years.
“I have never abandoned a job in my whole life. I wasn’t raised that way. The Inquirer forced me out and smeared my name and credibility.
“My family always said that your name is all that you have, and they have tried to destroy it.”

Out to destroy his family name?

A need for Smith to explain how hard he has worked and that all accolades and promotions were earned? No one did him any favors? One wonders why those comments are necessary.

Yes, paranoia can certainly do funny things to a man and cause faulty reasoning.

Perhaps even cause him to change his outlook on the situation of others.

Seems Stephen A's advice to Randolph about always coming across as one who appreciates your good fortune, especially in front of media members who don't share your hue. Only then will fame arrive, along with wealth and a favorable image is a reflection of the lessons his own paranoia taught him.

And a reflection of what we can expect in his future ESPN columns.