Throw away those cards

If there is one thing I really hate about sports, it’s when the race card is used.

Don’t get me wrong, racism is sadly alive and well in this country, as we witnessed by reading the comments in a story that Evan wrote about Jack Johnson in July.

However, especially when dealing with modern athletes, it is quite silly to say race makes a difference in public perception. I think people are too quick to use the race card and throw out irrational statements as a result.

I remember in high school I had some history class that was talking about the rise of baseball thanks to Babe Ruth. This one black girl in our class made the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard.

“Everyone still remembers Babe Ruth, but no one will remember Michael Jordan in 20 years because he’s black.”

Really? Really? Really?

I totally ripped that girl in class, because I was appalled at her thinking.

I had to jump into an argument again this week on facebook, when a former co-worker, who is black, posted on her status comparing Michael Vick to Ben Rapelisberger.

By the way, this woman still works at The Daily News, so please, enjoy the grammar used…

Her post: “Congrats to Steelers and Tomlinson <EN: Actually, it’s Tomlin, but whatever>; however, “if” Vick would’ve made it to the Super Bowl, you better believe they would’ve talked about the dog incident and his prison sentence; so…why don’t they EVER talk about Big Ben and his indiscretions? And y’all KNOW what I’m trying to say…I mean, I’m jussayin…”

OK, this woman says a lot of crazy stuff about sports on her facebook and I normally ignore it. I couldn’t this time, though.

Me: “Really? Are you really going to pull the race card here? Come on. ESPN may not rip into Rapelisberger, but you better believe there will be a ton of media outlets that do. He is going to get raked across the coals on media day. Wait until something actually does or doesn’t happen before using the race card please.”

ESPN is a bunch of pansies. A great example is when they didn’t even report the first Rapelisberger rape accusations from Tahoe a few years back, even though it was filed in a public court.

However, there are some media outlets that have actual backbones. My former co-worker disagreed.

Her: “Um Josh, yes I’m bringing it up because it’s a fact! Every single time they mentioned Vick it was brought up so don’t get all sensitive on me about the race card when it’s so obvious! SMH”

She’s right that they do mention it every game about Vick. However, I have heard Ben on CBS and Fox broadcasts as well.

Me: “I have heard it mentioned on broadcasts this year. ESPN seems to be staying away from it because they are damn pussies. My point is Rapelisberger will have to face the music next week in a big way. And he deserves to because he’s a creep.”

She started to see my point a little bit, but I think her judgment was still a little clouded.

Her: “I know where you’re coming from Josh; and you’re right; <EN: WHY THE USE OF SEMICOLONS? THAT MAKES NO SENSE!> ESPN isn’t going to mention it that much, but that’s all I’m trying to say, and I really don’t think to many other media groups are gonna question him about it either…watch! They’re gonna be talking about him breaking his nose versus all that other mess, mark my words. Maybe one or two will say something but for the most part, watch…”

Well, it didn’t take long for me to prove her theory wrong. The Chronicle’s Jerome Solomon mentioned it pretty early in his column on Tuesday.

I don’t expect Solomon will be the last to bring this up over the next two weeks. If most media outlets choose to ignore it, then I am making the right choice to get out of the business I think.

Your thoughts? Is the media protecting Rapelisberger because he’s white? Does he deserve to get bombarded with questions about last summer during Super Bowl week? Am I wrong about racism in sports?

So ‘who’ thinks this is a good idea?

Herschel Walker is apparently contemplating a NFL comeback at age 49. Seriously.

Now, I applaud Walker for having the confidence to even consider this. However…does everyone not remember that he has dissociative identity disorder (multiple personalities)?

This fascinating ABC report tells the story.

Now it appears Walker is dealing with it much better since he was diagnosed. But attempting an NFL comeback at his age — really?

Herschel, dude, you are already pushing your sanity with your MMA career. You should probably go ahead and lay off a football comeback. I’m not a doctor, but I doubt that is a good idea…


So Jay Cutler was indeed hurt and the coaches pulled him out of the game Sunday. I totally am fine with that. Well, OK, maybe not.

See, I remember my former high school classmate Philip Rivers playing in the AFC title game a few years back with a torn ACL. Rivers said on Monday: ‘I’d have to be taken off in a cart.’

However, then I watched this video on Tuesday night, which broke down when the injury occurred and how Cutler tried to play through it.

So, I’ve kind of been going back and forth on the whole matter. I do know one thing for sure — the fans would have had no issues with him if he had shown emotion on the sidelines. Standing there with the same sulky face he normally has is what set a lot of people off.

All that said, he’s Chicago’s quarterback for next season and hopefully many seasons after that. He did, after all, lead them to the NFC North title and the conference title game.

If the Bears were dumb enough to get rid of him, it would set the franchise back 3-5 years.

Bear Down and Keep the Faith!

About Joshua Buckley

I used to be a Sports Editor. Now I'm the Media Relations Manager at the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.


6 thoughts on “Throw away those cards

  1. In reference to the race card, Buck, I think you’re a little too quick to say that when dealing with modern atheletes, it’s “quite silly to say race makes no difference in public perception.” No, no it’s not really silly. While we can all concede that it’s no longer the surface, dominating factor in a story-line that it once was {cue 1940’s moviereel talking about “Negroes” in baseball}, there is still a sub-issue there that you can’t just dismiss. It’s the modern white southerner’s wish that it was easily swept away, because then we as a mass could just pretend we’ve all “moved on”. We haven’t and you have to at least acknowledge that fact to have an honest conversation.

    With all of that said, your co-worker’s specific point is ridiculous, in that Rapelisberger’s issues are going to be a dominating story line. Too many reporters are salivating at the chance to write the “this guy shouldn’t get a pass article”, if for no other reason than Big Ben hasn’t built up the good graces of the press to earn a pass. Same reason’s Cutler’s getting torched. When you’ve got no goodwill in your bag to dip into, the dogs of war will tear at your flesh.

    Regarding Walker? Yikes. That’s all I can say.

    Posted by southernmaninindy | January 26, 2011, 7:18 am
    • Fair point on your race card comment. I guess my reasoning is with the rise of fantasy sports, jersey sales, etc., sports fans have grown to love athletes no matter their race. For example, I bet well over half of the Michael Vick jersey sales have been by whites. That’s hardly a case of racism there.

      When LeBron had all that backlash after “The Decision,” he tried to insinuate it was because he was black. Come on dude, that’s not it. It’s because you were a dick about the whole thing.

      But yes, I will acknowledge your line of thinking. It’s frustrating to me that it still exists in our country, even with having a black president.

      And yeah, I wouldn’t want to be Big Ben on media day next week. It is going to get awkward for him…

      Posted by Joshua Buckley | January 26, 2011, 8:52 am
  2. I have many thoughts about this, but I’m going to take a few minutes to contemplate exactly how to express them. Good topic. I’ll get back to you.

    Posted by Eric SanInocencio | January 26, 2011, 2:18 pm
  3. I just love the fact that you call him Rapelisberger!! He is creepy and will definitely NEVER be in the same category as Peyton Manning! 🙂

    That said, I can’t take any kid seriously that can’t blog correctly on the injury he is supposedly reporting about. He didn’t injure his tendon, it is a LIGAMENT!! There is a difference. Also, the injury is a SPRAIN, not a STRAIN. Again, there is a difference. I know, Buck, you are going to say that a small population knows the difference, but everytime I read someone misuse those terms, I immediately think they are an idiot. All it takes it 2 minutes of research. But they are also the journalists that call us “trainers”!!!

    Posted by Colts-Gal | January 27, 2011, 7:52 am
  4. Come on, it’s obvious this isn’t a race issue. People continue to bring up Vick’s history because people love puppies. And they don’t talk about Rapelisberger’s (hilarious, btw…) issues because the media is run by men. It’s clearly an issue of sexism, not racism. And who can blame the media for not caring, because let’s be honest — bitches be crazy. :-O

    Posted by Kim | January 30, 2011, 12:31 pm
    • Actually, that is an interesting comment on sexism. I do think that could be it.

      When it comes to men, I think they want to give other men the benefit of the doubt, because it is easy to accuse someone for rape. And once you are tagged a rapist, that is hard to shed, true or not.

      I know after the first woman accused Ben, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Of course, the second time, not so much.

      Great post Kim. Chime in more often!

      Posted by Joshua Buckley | January 30, 2011, 7:27 pm

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