First: EDSBS has the real scoop on race in college football.
Er. Yeah, the Whitlock column is the kind of thing that requires revisiting after an explosive comment thread that I swear was totally unintentional. I feel guilty about stirring up traffic with this; I promise that it's genuine. In any case, a few points of clarification:
Whitlock really is a giant ass. Set aside everything related to race for one moment, and read this impassioned, considerate letter to him from an ND fan. Then read his response. There's no defense for that. Or this.
What does it say about a "journalist" when he introduces himself to his new city like this:
The ink was hardly dry on his contract with the Kansas City Chiefs when new quarterback Elvis Grbac got the warning letter. "Hey, man. Remember me?" it opened ominously. "Black dude, about 6 feet 4, looks like a young Denzel Washington only more muscular?"It means that he has nothing valuable to say, that he cannot write, and that he's reduced to a six-year-old's ploy for attention. It means that he has no business writing for money.
Grbac remembered. This was the guy who hounded him in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the fall of '92, the guy who tried to get him benched when he was quarterback of the Rose Bowl champion University of Michigan football team. There was no point in taking the letter to the police, though. They were probably already chuckling over it downtown - along with an unspecified portion of The Kansas City Star's 682,000 daily readers. The "open letter" to Grbac appeared in the left-hand column on D-1 of the Star under the byline and mug shot of twenty-nine-year-old Jason Whitlock, the hip-hop scourge of Kansas City sports commentary.
Whitlock has a history of this. Whitlock's entire career is composed of saying stupid, controversial things for the attention. Whitlock on the dismissal of Huggins:
Yes, the saga continues. Another institution used poor blacks for its benefit, disrespected them in writing and then kicked them to the curb.Whitlock on the Pistons:
Some will blast Zimpher and UC for its callousness. I won't.
Again, I offer her praise. I respect her honesty.
What must be questioned is the sanity of the black community that continues to allow its youth to be used by institutions that don't respect them.
Davidson and his right-hand man, Wilson, might be the most hypocritical, back-stabbing executives in all of sports. ...Whitlock on booing the USA Basketball team:
Oh, yeah, Mr. D and Wilson are all class. They demand loyalty and give none.
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.(Off Wing Opinion shreds this, by the way.) Whitlock on steroids:
America was none too happy when Aaron surpassed Ruth. Aaron, a black man like Bonds, didn't look the part. I'm sorry. I know it makes people uncomfortable. But race is a component of the hysteria surrounding steroids now. We conveniently ignored the issue for years when we were more comfortable with the abusers.Whitlock on Nash's MVP and the Heisman:
We're uncomfortable with Bonds because he's surly, unrepentant and black. He's being chased from the game. I'm probably foolish, but I don't expect Bonds to play again. He'll hide behind injuries and try to duck out of the game ... if he's smart.
Race was a factor. In this case, I just don't happen to believe it was a determining factor.Whitlock on Johnnie Cochran:
Nope. This is nothing like the Heisman Trophy voting that has handed college football's top individual prize to five straight white quarterbacks, most of whom were undeserving.
American media love and revere two kinds of outspoken black men: 1) dead ones; and 2) ones ravaged by Parkinson's disease.WOLF WOLF WOLF WOLF WOLF WOLF WOLF WOLF WOLF. Speaking truth to power, my ass. Standing up for black guys, my ass. Whitlock sold his soul for a columnist gig.
So this week, Johnnie Cochran joined Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X and Muhammad Ali as American heroes, men whose controversial lives can now be celebrated and talked about positively.
Whitlock's claim that he doesn't think Willingham's firing was racist is a red herring. If he believes that, there should be no column. There is no controversy. There is no reason for people to keep bringing him up and then saying the word "racism" unless racism occurred. Whitlock's little "I'm reasonable so you can't dispute me" passage is inherently a lie.
The burden of proof is on the accuser. It was indeed mere speculation that reversing Davie/Willingham reverses their terms as well, but doesn't a presumption of innocence extend to the most prominent program to ever hire a black coach? Why is Notre Dame the target instead of the 100+ D-I schools to never ever have a black head coach. Just throwing stuff out there and calling it "racist" is libelous. It is not heroic.
Notre Dame is acting in irrational fashion. Yeah, the Weis contract is pretty wack. People have pointed out that he's now the highest paid coach in college football, rather excessive for a guy who's 5-2 lifetime. Mortenson reported that the buyout is now much steeper than it was, but the buyout I was referencing was the reverse: ND's buyout price for Weis should he implode. That's probably not chump change, and it's probably gone up, but unless it's stratospheric the contract is still largely symbolic: a "hands off" to NFL teams that is critical for recruiting.
...But you would, too. Everyone associated with the ND program is 100% sold on Weis, and they see a bountiful future that does not include missing bowls on a regular basis. There's a light at the end of a long, dark dozen-year tunnel. When someone threatens to snuff that light out you freak a little bit. Believe me, I was battering my wrists with butter knives at 3-3. Imagine 12 years of that. You'd be loopy, too.
I would appreciate not being called a subconscious racist. How can anyone refute Whitlock's column if by doing so they become racist and therefore cannot have a valid opinion on the subject? I have a bit of a character flaw and when something really pisses me off I go HULK-SMASH--not for me the reasoned, levelheaded response, at least not without an editor. My vitriol is not because Whitlock's black, it's because he's cynically exploiting this country's very real race issues for personal gain. That's evil. I find him reprehensible. The world would be better off without his column. That's why the anger. Not because I hate black people.