Racism in Sports?

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Lord Sun, May 18, 2004.

  1. Lord Sun

    Lord Sun New Member

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    Racism in Sports? It's Checks, Not Balances

    Tuesday, May 18, 2004

    By Chris Sprow

    Don King, who has spent time in prison, has had bullets nestled comfortably in the back of his head for over 30 years, has been in court more than Judge Judy, and has made millions by “promoting” boxing events for decades, is fond of saying “Only In America!”

    He’s halfway right. He should have said, only in American sports. King is often barely coherent, but his success is not debatable.

    King promotes blacks, whites, Latins, or Asians with equal vigor. Take your race card elsewhere. This is economics.

    Checks, (cashable ones) not balances.

    How about Jamie Foxx? Foxx, on the eve of the 50th Anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education, reminded us why sports may always be the peaceful eye of any racial hurricane.

    On a Sportscenter segment called the “Budweiser Hot Seat” (read: useless filler for cash) yesterday, Foxx answered this Jay Harris question: who should start next year for the Dallas Cowboys?

    "I love Quincy (Carter), he's my boy and all and he's black, but I got to go with Drew.” Said Foxx. “Quincy's had his shot but it's about winning, race has got nothing to do with it."

    Try that phrasing in any other segment of society and eyebrows get raised. In sports, it drew laughs, or more amazingly, no attention at all.

    Why? We don’t care about diversity, we care about title delivery. Quotas? Give us quality starts. You may think racial balance is vital, but you would know better if you were writing the checks.

    Sadly, it took the courageous Jackie Robinson for the world of money sports to realize its potential. However, since his arrival, and the slow process of full integration that followed, we have in many ways achieved the true American dream, but for a different reason than we think. Let us not forget, Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers president who so “courageously” signed Robinson, made an economic decision just as much as he made a social one.

    It was about the color of money, not the color of skin. It was performance, not an attempt to pacify critics, or infuriate bigots.

    While other realms of a free society attempt to manifest a semblance of equality through point systems and quotas, squirming while forcing a twin sheet onto a queen-size bed, the world of sports simply asks, “You any good?”

    And with a “Yes”, they say, “Fine, prove it.”

    So if you’re white and you want to cry foul at Foxx like the Democratic senate screeched at Trent Lott last year for a far more ambiguous statement, go ahead. But don’t expect results. Expect laughs.

    In sports, the message is clear, you produce, you play…and you get paid.

    The University of Michigan last year successfully upheld key tenets of their entrance policies, which recognize ethnicity as well as test scores in their quest for diversity. Fine. However, if you see a paid scout adding a few integers to a white player's free throw percentage, or a few points to a black player's batting averages, you are delusional. The world of sports is still ruled by the only sane social science: economics.

    And that, incredibly, make Foxx’s comments laughable. Root for blacks if you want. Root for whites if it feels good. In sports, you had better root for their stats. In sports, the term “millionaire” knows no skin color.

    Make all the arguments you want about how there are not enough blacks driving stock cars, not enough whites on basketball courts, or not enough of either on the table tennis circuit.

    This is not racism. This is America. Land of the free…free to get rich.

    This is economics. People have the choice and incentive to pursue the sport, or “avocation” as the NCAA calls it, that not only gives them the greatest opportunity to date the head cheerleader, but in some cases, to get paid millions and sit the bench in any number of pro leagues.

    The NBA does not have time for affirmative action. They have a product to sell, and 147 more Steve Kerr clones won’t get shoe companies drooling. Major League Baseball has seen a decline in the number of African American players in recent years. I would bet a Jackie Robinson autographed bat to your John Rocker signed glove that no quota will be in place to fix it. Blame it on an influx of Latin American players. Blame it on basketball and football and even soccer, sports that statistically have drawn a great deal of blacks away from the diamond. However, blame will never be placed on the people writing the checks.

    Acknowledging the shortsightedness of Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Donovan McNabb in the fall, we must remember, perhaps his greatest error was not seeing see his own fallibility. He never donned a pro jersey. So to even toy with racism, he needed to come from within sports. Instead, he was seen as an outsider perpetuating the idea that the social problems of the real world, a place where racism does exist, could actually be plausible in sports.

    It does not work.

    Sure, there is racism in sports. Comments are made. Battles are fought. There have been those to help break the mold. Branch Rickey, Don Haskins, even the great Bear Bryant, who in 1970 took African American running back Sam Cunningham into his own Alabama Crimson Tide locker room after they were thrashed by USC in front of their home crowd and said, "This is Sam Cunningham. This is what a football player looks like." They all helped bring us to where we are.

    And now, where we are, it really comes down to this: Who’s good? Who stinks?

    As Bobby Knight used to say, “If I listen to the people in the stands, pretty soon I’ll be sitting with them.”

    Funny, too. Some critics once foolishly called Knight a racist. That is laughable, because if anybody knows, it’s a born winner like Knight. In sports, it’s who wins that matters, not what color the players are who get it done. And the ones who win, sometimes they get paid.

    It’s all checks (the written ones), forget the balances.

    Chris Sprow is the Director of Media Development and a regular columnist for Chicago Sports Review. He can be reached at
  2. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I think you find race is a factor outside of the sports itself and not so much within an organization or team. A coach is going to play the guys who can do the job not based on color, after all that coaches job depends on winning. I was going to comment on Foxx statment the other day but back away from it because I did not want to create a storm but face it had a white actor came out and said I was pulling for this guy because he is white I can promise you a big issue would have been made about it.
  3. Charles

    Charles Benched

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    Same here. I didn't want to get into it because even after watching the segment with Foxx, I didn't know if he was joking or being serious.

    Many people might agree with his assesment of Carter, but many more despise the double standard. Imagine if Troy Aikman (or plug in any white comedian here) stated "I love Chad , he's my boy and all and he's white, but I got to go with Carter. Chad's had his shot but it's about winning, race has got nothing to do with it."

    Thank God, when the players suit up and get on the grid iron the only color that matters are those of your teammates uniform. Race is never a factor when the live bullets are flying.
  4. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    I'll echo that sentiment. I could care less about any colors other than uniform. I never did see Foxx's comments but I find it curious that he inspired an article such as this.
  5. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Don't get me wrong I like Jamie Foxx think he is a funny guy and a good entertainer but reverse the situation of a white actor saying that and I have no doubts it would turn into a fire storm with every activist hollering as loud as can be. Is that fair or unfair? well I found out a long time ago life is not fair so you deal with it and move on.
  6. adbutcher

    adbutcher K9NME

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    Ditto. Furthermore he is a comedian, I saw the episode and IMO all of his comments were meant to be funny. To base an article on his comedic comments is quite ummm... baseless.
  7. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    A comedian being funny? Surely you jest man.

    Just thinking of the stories we've swapped recently Ad. Would love to share them but we both know they would not go over well at all.

    Damn I miss the locker rooms.
  8. TruBlueCowboy

    TruBlueCowboy New Member

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    Some people seriously need a life. I saw that segment on ESPN and he was being his normal comedic self. I can't believe this guy wrote an article on political correctness based on that segment.
  9. Tenkamenin

    Tenkamenin Well-Known Member

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    I don't know how you could make a comparison of a white person saying it as opposed to a black person saying it. Whites have done that for hundreds of years throughout sports, not only said discriminating things but acted upon it. Have blacks done that?

    To me what you're saying is like comparing the KKK to the Black Panther, one group reigned terror for hundreds of years lynched, burned homes, killed many people and got away with it while another group just talked bad about another group. BUT somehow SOME (I'm ephasising some because not all) white people like to put these 2 groups on an equal level like they both did bad things equally. Theirs just no comparison at all...And that is how I feel you saying, "Well if a white man said it..." Their is just no comparison at all.

    I think the problem in America is that a lot of whites don't know much about black history. They know some of the basics like slavery (not really the details), 1960's, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and thats it but theirs much more to it then that. Some can't put 2 and 2 together, they just dismiss at as the past but unfortunatley that is a huge part of our history and we can't just throw it to the side. Its not taught well in our school system.

    First of all Foxx's comment was a joke, but it's a joke on how some black folks feel today. This has to do with Quincy being a QB, a position where blacks haven't been given equal opportunity until recently. Whites didn't and don't have to worry about proving they're equal with any other group because they were the oppressors then. While blacks were being discriminated against in the past and the all of the leagues QB's were white they got there chance to shine. Blacks were just left in the back waiting to show they can play. Thats why Jackie coming to the big leagues was huge, every black person was rooting for him to do well just to show the world that blacks can play baseball just as well as whites. Foxx's comments is pretty similiar to how black folks felt when Robinson came into the league, SOME black folks today still want to see another black person succeed at QB because of the past.
  10. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Right is right wrong is wrong it does not matter what took place in the past unless you constantly live in the past. I have read history books so you don't need to give me the low down of what took place many years ago. So you can keep your holier than thou crud to yourself.
  11. Tenkamenin

    Tenkamenin Well-Known Member

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    Who is saying I'm holier then anyone? This is the nonsense that I'm talking about.

    You've read but you don't understand

    Trust me I wouldn't waste my time on a Cowboys board to write up history.

    Oh well thats life, some just won't understand :rolleyes:
  12. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    What I understand is this notion that it is alright for some to say what they feel and others have to walk on egg shells or be called a racist. I took what Jamie Foxx said as a joke but as I said had a white said that even in joking it ends up on the evening news and a big issue. To bring up past history is living in the past and the only way people will ever get to a point of putting this history behind us is by living for the future. You pretty much said that because a group was treated unfairly that it is alright for them to do or say anything they like but no one else can without paying the price.
  13. Tenkamenin

    Tenkamenin Well-Known Member

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    Again like I said you clearly don't understand why this is, so lets just leave it at that because anything I say will be "the holier than thou crud" :rolleyes:
  14. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I understand exactly what your saying and I disagree with you.
  15. Irving Cowboy

    Irving Cowboy The Chief

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    I wouldn't say that you came across as "holier than thou", but your post did basically boil down to you using history as an excuse for a black person, not just a comedian, to say something that may be construed as racist. It's the old adage that "to be a racist, you have to be in power" that makes absolutely no sense.

    There is definately a double standard at play just like what was brought up earlier.. if it was a white guy talking about a white QB supplanting the starting QB who was black, then ther firestorm would be blazing right now.

    One would think that the league and it's ideology about black QBs has been gone for almost 20 years now, since fans in Philadelphia started screaming for Randall Cunningham over Ron Jaworski back in 1986, but you are clinging to the past and refusing to move on. Get over it, people have made mistakes in the past and we have grown as a country, learning from those mistakes.. but now we can't say that a guy who is black sucks at what he does because you will take it that it is racist when it is definately not.

    I personally agree with Jamie Foxx, in that Q was given his chance... maybe it's the system but I doubt it. Maybe he will eventually go somewhere else and prove me and a lot of other people wrong... so be it... it won't be the first time. But I will MOVE ON...
  16. jay cee

    jay cee Active Member

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    We should forget the past like the Alamo, Pearl Harbor, and even 9-11. I don't understand that, what history should we acknowledge and remember, and what history should we forget.
  17. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I agree you don't forget but you can't continue to live in the past either.

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