Tackling Racism In Sports Media

Categories: Luke's Gospel
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Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness once made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke talks about the racism prevalent in sports media coverage.

After Cam Newton's NFL debut as a Carolina Panther against the Miami Dolphins last week, the mainstream sports media machine was already casting doubts on the young man's ability to be his team's starting quarterback. The Boston Herald ran a headline proclaiming Newton "struggles in his first start," while the Detroit Free Press declared he was "shaky in first start for Panthers." The amount of scrutiny heaped on Newton since winning the Heisman Trophy and guiding the Auburn Tigers to a national championship last year got me fuming.

It's a despicable example of how white sports reporters and pundits engage in racism by building up super star African American athletes and tearing them down. Consider the consistent negative coverage heaped on Tiger Woods. Up until his marital problems were exposed, Tiger was a sports media darling. Writers and radio hosts all over the country were in love with Tiger. But as soon as his infidelities were publicized, he's become a national pariah.

Earlier this month, blow hards like Bill Plaschke reveled in Tiger losing the PGA Championship in Atlanta. In his Los Angeles Times column Plaschke bragged how Tiger's fall is the best thing to happen to golf since Woods was taking the green by storm. The same thing happened to Lebron James, who will be vilified for the rest of his career because he left Cleveland for Miami. That young man has been unfairly torn apart by sports writers and talking heads.

Yet these are the same sports writers who gave Eli Manning a pass when he acted like a primadonna before he was drafted. Manning was hardly criticized when he made a big stink about going to the New York Giants instead of the San Diego Chargers. These are the same reporters who praise John Daly even though he embarrassed the game of golf by playing drunk on the green. These are the same white dudes who put pill popping sexual harrasser Brett Favre on a pedestal.

The racism has been taking place for more than a century. Babe Ruth was a known womanizing raging alcoholic, but he was always revered. Yet a guy like Gary Sheffield gets crucified for being honest about Barry Bonds' steroid use.

I think the problem exists because sports news outlets are dominated by white faces. For every black sports columnist like Michael Wilbon or Stephen A. Smith you have ten white guys like Bill Simmons, who don't understand or can empathsize with the life experiences of African American athletes. Even Wilbon and Smith have to engage in publicly bashing black athletes. If either guy sticks up for a Lebron James or a Tiger Woods, they would be considered to black for mainstream sports coverage.

It's unfair and it needs to stop.

Follow Luke on Twitter at: @unclelukereal1.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.
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8 comments
Jennifertx2
Jennifertx2

Kinda sad that white bigots can't see that it's racism. Or... maybe it's not surprising, because for them to see it's racism at its finest, would mean they would have to face the fact that racism still exists today. Wake up, people, and do the research! The author of this piece is just pointing out what you people don't want to admit to: that the vast majority of sportscasters and media representatives are white and do cast negative depictions on a person solely on the basis of their race!

MrT
MrT

good article...and of course we have the typical responses below from fake tough people who don't like whining and complaining from black people and in fact they are so "tough" they won't say this to a black male's face unless he's a sucka like them...moving on

2012 Endgame
2012 Endgame

Great article Luke! We need more like you willing to speak up, they were attacking Terelle Pryor earlier this week as well (of course since he is black he is too stupid to play qb in the NFL)

Levae
Levae

Any athlete that's making millions really have nothing to complain about.  If i'm being paid a nice 5 yr 64million dollar contract, call me what you want.  I'm laughing all the way to the bank.  But, let's not fool ourselves, racism still exist in pro sports. 

John Higgins
John Higgins

Ah, here we go, blacks bitching once again about black athletes actually not being worshipped by the masses. In the eyes of people like this Luke guy, black athletes should continually get the pass because hey, they are black and anyone who calls out a black athlete is just racist. Anyone who thinks Mike Vick is a waste of human life says so because he is black not because he is a dog murderer. 

Clearly Woods' skin colour is why people trash him rather than he is a piece of trash who cheated on his wife 193569235692354 times.

Oh and I also like how blacks like this Luke moron can play the race card and get the pass and aren't "racist" doing so yet if a white guy brings up anything like this he is a racist. I like how the double standard works.

I am so sick of how much whining blacks do simply because 95% of the time it is just that-whining. It's one thing for blacks who actually experience REAL racism to make a comment but crap like this article is ridiculous. The amusing thing is this very whining is what causes many people to have little patience with blacks when they vent.

Blacks are clearly subject to racism in sports with their multi-million dollar contracts where aside from a few QBs,  and a few baseball players, blacks more than white players do in pro sports. I feel so much sympathy for how they are subjected to that form of slavery. Their poor great great great great granddaddies who were sold (by blacks I might add) to be slaves in the U.s back pre 20th century must be rolling in their graves to see how nothing has changed for blacks today.

What is sad is that this Luke guy using coverage of black athletes as an example of racism is an insult to those who actually experience real racism or have experienced it. It's sad in our society where blacks have so little concept of what real racism is that they think criticizing black athletes (when they do or say something stupid) is racist. Yikes. 

Maybe Luke next can write about how all blacks in prison are there because of racism since blacks don't commit any crimes and if they do it is because of the white man.

Zoeyspal
Zoeyspal

In all honesty, if ticks me off when minorities complain. One of the main problems with this country is making excuses for any lowly behavior. Using an example that "white people do it too" doesn't do anything but try to excuse behavior that has no class. This article is so "off base", I couldn't explain why to those that rationalize, even if they are "white dudes!"

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