Racial Bias in the Sports Media

by admin on September 3, 2010

in Socio-Political Commentary

Early yesterday morning shortly after the sun came up I rolled over and flipped on a certain sports television network. As I lay in a flu- induced fog I listened to one of the most frustrating and (in my opinion juvenile) discussions I have heard in any news venue in a while. The topic at hand was whether or not Bret Favre had benefited from a racial biased in the sports media, that minority athletes would not have, had they behaved in the same manner! Really?! Is this how far we’ve descended?! As a teacher this sounds a lot like arguments I’ve heard from students who compare their offences and punishments to those of other students. Well let’s look at Brett Favre’s record.

Has Brett ever gone to prison? No, at least not recently anyway? Has Brett ever been in trouble for smuggling a gun into a night- club? No? Has Brett been known to hang around the women’s rooms of clubs and hotels? No? Has Brett ever participated in a sport where one animal was trained to tear apart another for the amusement of his guests? No? Does Brett throw himself week- long lavish birthday parties, and generally behave like he’s bi-polar? Not usually? Has Brett started to believe a little too much in his own legend? Yeah, probably. Does Brett need to hang it up before his legacy is ruined buy his indecisiveness? Again yes.

So now we ask ourselves how many of the above offences are annoying, and how many are actually offensive. The fact is I wish Brett would retire as much as anyone, but to suggest that he hasn’t taken enough of a beating over his behavior in the press is crazy. There is no racial component here. What must the media do, beat up all the harder on Brett because he happens to be a white guy? At what point can we as a society stop worrying about the racial context to every news story? Anytime a person (of any race) finds that they are either in trouble or losing an argument, they look for the opportunity to drop the “R” word. Why can’t we each be responsible for own individual indiscretions and short- comings? How about we hold Brett accountable for Brett’s short comings, and Big Ben for Big Ben’s and Michael Vick for Michael Vick’s and so forth and so on. The sooner we as a society stop interpreting every comment and event through the lens of race the better off we will be.

I should also say that I’m not suggesting that the press has been too hard on number four either. I don’t think he’s treated his teammates or fans well the last few years. Frankly, I’m tired of the Brett Favre saga. And I’m not just saying that because he’s white.

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