Hate It or Love it: The Entitled Athlete
Name a softball team. Okay fine, name a professional women’s volleyball player. Still can’t? How about the last white guy to win an NBA slam dunk contest?
It was Blake Griffin by the way, but before him, it was Brent Barry 17 years ago. I guess white men can jump; black men just jump higher. I’ll start making sense – don’t worry.
Let’s talk about this for a second, let’s talk about “racism” and “sexism” in sports.
Women are great at sports, but they’re not as athletic as men. African Americans tend to be better at basketball than White Americans. If you’re Asian and you’re in the NBA then your nickname is automatically Jeremy Lin, or the next Jeremy Lin. Unless you’re really tall, then your nickname will forever be Yao Ming. I’m not mocking prejudice; I am not insulting a particular race or gender. I just can’t understand why it’s okay for us to be racially conscious when it comes to sports, but not in our daily lives. Trust me, I am a Coptic Egyptian, we are a minority within a minority. I know all about racism, I just don’t understand it.
People get offended because of “implications,” and “insensitivity,” but when any of that is translated onto a field or a court, it seems like it doesn’t matter what you say or what you can get away with saying.
It’s pretty simple really, we are okay with racism in sports because we are okay with professional athletes being racist and politically incorrect.
Over the summer, Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper was caught on camera saying, “I will fight every N**** here!” Don’t worry though; he got fined so it’s okay. Society is so confused about the topic of segregation that we actually think that by making multi-million dollar athletes pay a couple thousand dollars in fines and taking some sensitivity class, we will cure their “racial insensitivity.”
I hate double standards, and as an avid sports fan, I hate them more in professional sports than in anything else. It’s okay to admit when a certain group of people is better at something, or to acknowledge that certain genders tend to succeed more than others in some athletic events. What’s not okay though is to put on this ridiculous façade that everything is fine and dandy when the camera’s on, but when it’s off these insensitive goons can run around and say whatever they want.
If you’ve had a single conversation with me you would know that I am probably the biggest Kobe fan on the planet (Trust me, it’s not even close.) However, nothing pissed me off more than when homeboy got fined $100k for calling Benny Salvador a faggot. He deserved to get fined, but you’re telling me that the word “faggot” was said only once that entire NBA season? That entire NBA game? Or even during that particular timeout?
The problem with our modern society is that people aren’t scared to be racist; people are scared to get caught being racist. Very few people actually feel bad when they are racially insensitive, but many people will apologize if they are caught being racially insensitive.
One of two things needs to happen, either these professional athletes need to get educated and understand different cultures and races, or we can continue to do what we do and turn a blind eye toward it.