Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Memo To The Bruthas



As part of my ongoing effort to alienate as many people as possible as well as further break down the walls that create the great racial divide, today I'm going to do the bruthas out there a solid and give them some advice:

Stop being whiny, little bitches. It only perpetuates the age-old stereotypes.

There. Never let it be said that I didn't try to make the world a better place.

Let's take a look at some recent headlines from the world of sports:

** Jermaine O'Neal has suggested that race may be a factor in the NBA's desire for an age-limit. Interesting.

Of course, the NBA has marketed its star athletes, who are mostly black, more vigorously than any other league.

And the NBA has offered more head coaching positions to blacks than any other league, several of these coaches even being recycled.

And the NBA has seen blacks incorporated into the front office more than in any other league, from GMs all the way up to ownership.

Yet O'Neal suggests that David Stern and his bigoted band of NBA owners are devising ways to oppress the young black athlete.

Huh?

Naturally, O'Neal ignores the fact that the NBA has had a run of despicable behavior that dwarfs such behavior in, say, the NFL or MLB, or that the instigators of such behavior are often players who were given millions of dollars and the playpen of the world before they reached adulthood. How many NFL or MLB players have admitted to dogging it or openly revolted against their coaches?

And O'Neal ignores the possibility that it could have something to do with the NBA wanting to maintain the NCAA as its free developmental league.

And O'Neal ignores the NBA's plans to strengthen its minor league into something resembling the minor leagues of baseball and hockey, which have worked wonderfully for decades.

And O'Neal ignores the fact that, in the long run, a few years of college may do a world of wonders for 18-20 year olds, especially when only roughly 30-40% of black male students graduate even high school.

Nah, why look at facts when it's easier to suggest that race is the driving force?

** Terrell Owens wants his contract ripped up and renegotiated. Nevermind that his contract was just signed last year – by himself! I suppose he feels "disrespected." Apparently, Owens has no concept of what it means to put pen to paper and give one's signature. Apparently, Owens feels the Eagles should drop all of their offseason plans and make him happy immediately.

Naturally, Owens is skipping offseason workouts. Yep, nothing like skipping out on the job that makes you a millionaire in a hissy fit.

Owens also hit Donovan McNabb with this thinly-veiled jab, further cementing his reputation as one of the sports world's biggest jerks:

"I did everything they asked me to do. I played every snap they allowed me to play. I wasn't even running until, like, two weeks before the game. But I made sure I was in the best shape possible. I wasn't the guy who got tired in the Super Bowl."

Wow, I'm sure McNabb is going to love that.

** Lavar Arrington is wetting his diaper because he feels the Redskins don't care about him as he recovers from a knee injury. Of course, the Redskins have made Arrington one of the highest paid defenders in the NFL, but perhaps Arrington has a point and owner Dan Snyder and coach Joe Gibbs should show enough respect to be by Arrington's side day in and day out, fanning him and wiping the sweat from his brow.

And maybe Arrington has a point and the Redskins really don't care about a player they have invested in heavily and built their defense around.

**********

Of the above stories, only O'Neal has even a hint of a point. I suppose it's possible that there is a backlash towards young black men receiving millions of dollars at such a young age. Yet I sincerely doubt this is the reason behind the NBA's plans for an age limit. And if such a backlash exists, I'm guessing the owners would feel the same way about any youngster, regardless of color, particularly foreigners, getting such large portions of their cake.

As for Owens, he has no room to gripe. None whatsoever. He signed the contract, now he must live with it. It's the way the world works. Period.

Arrington? Just shut up. Absolutely pathetic. I really hope Serena Williams dumped this clown because he's a big baby.

**********

Like I said, in my own feeble way, I'm hoping to help out the bruthas, if even only in a small, insignificant way. So...

There are myths about the black man out there. One such myth is that he is lazy, doesn't like to work, and complains a lot. I'm not saying I believe this myth. I'm not saying this myth is true.

I am, however, saying that this myth is out there and that the modern black American athlete does plenty to perpetuate that myth. And it's sad.

Are white or Hispanic or Asian athletes above complaining? No, of course not.

But the black athlete takes it to new levels. He really does. It's reached the point where its annoying, sad, and almost comical all at the same time.

Contracts for millions of dollars are unfair. Coaches conduct practices that are too hard. Coaches have "philosophies" that don't jive with their own. Organizations don't care enough. Or they - sniff, sniff - don't feel their talents are being used right.

Aw, all of the injustice almost brings a tear to my eye.

The concept of working hard, shutting up and being part of a team seems to escape many young black American athletes. Pure selfishness seems to run rampant. I'm not talking about all black American athletes, only some of them. Enough of them. And I'm careful to use "American" as a description. In the last 10-15 years there has been an exodus of African soccer players to all of the biggest leagues in the world where they have become superstars on par with major American athletes and made millions. Yet the level of bitching is nothing as compared to their black compatriots in America.

No, it seems to be a black American thing. Maybe it's a hip hop thing. Maybe it's a bling-bling thing. Maybe it's a too-many-damn-commercials thing. I don't know what is. All I do know, is that it's an annoying thing, a getting-really-old thing.

I like to describe certain head cases as guys who "just don't get it." Well, sadly, the black American athlete is garnering a stranglehold on this description.

Of course, you might say that I'm just a white guy who doesn't understand what young black American males go through. And I wouldn't argue with you for a second. You might also say I'm a racist. And on this point I would most definitely argue.

Whatever. I'm a dude like anyone else and I can make observations.

So to all the bruthas out there I say this: Quit the bitching. And if you're not bitching, stop someone who is.

Let the sorrowful myths and stereotypes die already.

And let me read my morning sports section without choking back my own vomit.

1 Comments:

Blogger Jackie Chiles said...

Think you're getting a little carried away, Unknown. But, as usual, your piece provides some solid food-for-thought. Took a crack at a more substantive response over at the home base.

Latuh.

3:31 PM  

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