Saturday, December 15, 2012

Red Whines: The Race Card, Fifty Years Later

Let's get this out of the way: I am a Caucasian female. I have many friends who are African American.

I don't know about you, but I know that there are people out there that own the philosophy that you are allowed to pick on your own color or race and if anyone else does so, well...that's "racist." Needless to say, the absolute reverse of this happened on Thursday.

I have my own opinions of this guy I'm about ready to talk about, but right now my opinion doesn't matter.
If you watch ESPN you know exactly who I'm talking about.

ESPN analyst Rob Parker was a part of ESPN First Take on ESPN 2 Thursday morning, and as they were talking about Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (a.k.a. RG3), Parker starts questioning RG3's..."blackness," or whether he was [something along the lines of] a "cornball brother." The idiot got suspended indefinitely by ESPN for saying this, by the way.

What? Is it legally acceptable to critique someone's race now?
Yes, it's ironic that this is a black man, but this isn't the reason why I put this here.
Whoa there, buddy. Are we bringing unnecessary things into question here?
Oh, it gets better.

This is quoted from what he said:
"He's not real. OK, he's black, he kind of does the thing, but he's not really down with the cause. He's not one of us. He's kind of black but he's not really, like, the guy you want to hang out with because he's off to something else." (Thank you, YouTube...)
I have three logical questions for this statement:

  1. What, to you, is real?
  2. What is this "cause" you speak of?

That last question almost makes me put Rob Parker's lifestyle into question, but that's beside the point. He also mentioned subjects such as RG3 being engaged to a white woman and that he's a Republican. Something tells me that Parker must really not like this guy. It's like he tried so hard to give reasons to hate the guy and be different.

It's like I'm going to give a few reasons why I hate Alex Morgan. Firstly, she's a Morgan, so that must mean she descended from a bunch of dirty Brits--or Irish, and they can be some dirty drinkers. Secondly, soccer isn't a real sport to some people, so she's not even an athlete. Finally, didn't she pose in body paint a while back? Doesn't that make her a pig somehow? I'm not trying to be inappropriate here, I'm trying to get my point across. Yeah. I love this woman. It was hard for me to just do that, but did what I just say sound absolutely ridiculous to you? That's pretty much what Rob Parker did on Thursday.

This brings my main question around: Is race still arguably the biggest issue still looming in sports today?

In my opinion: Abso-freakin'-lutely. 

Don't get me wrong, this isn't applicable in all sports, but I hate to say this, it's seen more often than it should be in sports like American football. Pop Quiz--how many black quarterbacks have won a Super Bowl? ONE. Black quarterbacks are sometimes thrown behind the 8-ball because they just haven't been seen to be as successful as the white guy in the pocket. [Interestingly enough, Doug Williams was a QB for the Redskins.] You might also see little hints of racial issues when it comes to mishaps off the field (i.e. arrests and incidents at clubs) and arguments of the "oh, it's because he's black" start popping up. Did anyone say "oh, because he's white" when Ben Roethlisberger started getting jiggy with the ladies at nightclubs and afterward? No. Not from what I've heard in circles. Race is just a stupid first excuse for people nowadays. I'm pretty sure guys like RG3 will wear a Super Bowl ring someday, and I know that there are numerous white guys that are super excellent at playing basketball.

It's not just the athletes that get these race cards thrown at them. Coaches get it too. Earlier in the NCAAF season, Jon Embree, head coach for Colorado, was fired for not being able to get the team fit for winning games. People around football brought the argument that he wasn't given enough time to turn the team around and he was chopped so quickly "because he was black." Oh, not this again. While I do think he wasn't given enough time at all, I don't think race should be brought to the forefront. Again, it's another lame excuse. The team has had problems for years and years and years, and one guy is not going to fix a team overnight. It doesn't matter that he's black. It matters that he wasn't give a decent amount of time to rebuild the team.

It just upsets me that even fifty years after the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, race is still a major issue, and minorities still think that majorities are revoking them of their rights. At the same time, minorities are criticizing each other because it's not "how they do." We all may be a different race, but that doesn't mean we're bound by it! Who cares if RG3 is conservative? He has his own opinion--good for him! I don't think that means he's completely against Obama (who is a black man). I'm not going to hate him and call him "not black" for that! Stereotypes are going a little too extreme now. It's disgusting.

The last time I checked, we're all free, and we all have the same rights in this country. Race shouldn't be an issue in that, and it definitely shouldn't be an issue in sports. Sports are supposed to bring people together. Even FIFA recognizes this:

Not only should athletes abide by this, but analysts and fans alike should take heed of this. Stop making dumb excuses and think of an even better reason to disapprove of somebody.