Thursday, August 26, 2004

I have made the point before that when sports commentators try to venture into politics, they invariably come across as shrill, inane and incompetent. Typically they try to be edgy, and race almost always plays a part in their sermons. Every once in a while, a really offensive article comes out. Then there is the article by Jason Whitlock...

This goes beyond the pale.

According to Jason Whitlock, on's Page Two, many American's hate the US men's basketball team because they are black and we are closet racists. That is not overstating the point in the least. This is his version of a fictitious memo sent out to redneck Americans instructing us to hate them colored athletes:

Americans do not have to support a group of black American millionaires in any endeavor. Despite the hypocritical, rabid patriotism displayed immediately after 9/11, it's perfectly suitable for Americans to despise Team USA Basketball, Allen Iverson and all the other tattooed NBA players representing our country. Yes, these athletes are no more spoiled, whiny and rich than the golfers who fearlessly represent us in the Ryder Cup, but at least Tiger Woods has the good sense not to wear cornrows.

He goes on further to say....

The criticism of USA Basketball is borderline racist, is definitely unsophisticated and exposes a lot of super patriots as hypocrites.

Note the frequent reference to hypocritical patriotism. Whitlock subscribes to the school of thought that anyone who dares harbor a notion that America has something special, something other nations lack, immediately becomes a jingoistic redneck, only slightly removed from a jack-booted fascist. News flash, being patriotic has little to do with the Olympic games and virtually nothing to do with whether or not we criticsize Team USA.

Americans are critical of and disappointed in Team USA because we have set such highstandards. We weren't racists when the previous predominately black Team USA's were thumping the world but now we are? The fact is that we EXPECT to win by a ton when our Olympic men's basketball hits the court. We have the most talented players in the world. While some international teams sport two, three or four NBA players, our team is made up entirely of NBAers. What we are bemoaning is the lack of effort and lack of pride this team is showing, and the general poor state of basketball in America in general. According to Mr. Whitlock, we dare not critique the basketball team representing America. To do so is racist. Mr. Whitlock states:

If this team doesn't win the gold medal...I half expect Americans to spit on Iverson, Duncan, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony at the airport.

If this is his view of America, he needs to spend less time amongst his peers and more among regular Americans.

Jason, stick to sports. Your political views are ludicrous.

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