Sports Goggles

Archive for the ‘Racism’ Category

Lebron James: Beyond Kong

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Ahhh, how far you can go when your job, self-appointed or otherwise, is to constantly scrutinize the media. Watching the Watchers‘ “Rogers Cadenhead” continued the search for posters and depictions analogous to the recent LeBron James-Gisele Bundchen American Vogue cover. What he found is astonishing and lends more credence to my assertion that Annie Leibovitz knew exactly what she was doing.

Again, there is no way Leibovitz, arguably the top portrait photographer of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, made a mistake and just “missed” with the depictions of James and Bundchen.

Judge for yourself.

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Invalidating Jemele Hill: When You Cause a Stir… Face Slaps Follow

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kongpiss.jpgBecause articles from its computers are more often than not the first to be read by the public, the Associate Press news service monolith often acts as a tone-setter for discourse of news events. In the case of the stir caused by the LeBron James-Gisele Bundchen American Vogue cover, though, someone at the organization feels that the growing controversy is important enough to attempt to act as the final word when it comes to discussions of race and racism.

And, of course, act to invalidate the concerns of many black people and people in general who feel the depiction of James is closer to King Kong then King James.

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An Intro to What Was Written Before: Isiah Cannot Be Larry (Donnie Walsh Goes to the Knicks?); Cut Your Hair; Hibbert, Neither Athletic nor Smart

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hibbert.jpgI just posted over 3,000 words about this (see below).

I just awakened, turned on the television and I’m watching ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning television-radio simulcast and Larry Bird, already the president of the Indiana Pacers is now the CEO” of the franchise and has “full” control over the Indiana Pacers after Donnie Walsh took over Isiah Thomas’ job as GM – CEO – of the New York Knicks.

And the NFL wants to regulate hair length.

Isiah Thomas has been just crushed in the press for his basketball decisions and presiding over a floundering franchise. The year Larry Bird arrived in Indiana, they were 61-21. Since they have won 44, 41, 35, and have won only 29 games so far this season. Yet in yesterday’s press conference in Indianapolis Bird said now that Walsh is gone he can remake the franchise. And according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Bird overruled Walsh on many key team and player decisions, leaving Walsh as a figurehead general manager. Bird is generally attributed – acclaimed – for the firing of Thomas as head coach, according to longtime Indianapolis Star columnist, Bob Kravitz:

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Race and Sports: Maybe If the Cards Are Laid Out on the Table…?

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negroleague.jpgRacism, the 21st century version, is as insidious as it has been at any point in U.S. history. Gone are the days of knowing which side of the tracks to live to distinguish white and black. Gone are the days of knowing that for a black person, to cross those tracks is to cross at one’s own peril. Though those tracks do still exist, we are at a time when, at every turn, the tracks are purposely blurred and a black person is just as likely to be the defender of the white, male, Western power structure as is the white person for whom he works.

And, as it has been throughout the 20th century, racism is most clearly seen through the lens of sports.

Today, there are no segregation-mandated Negro Baseball League, no blacks-only American Tennis Association in reaction to all-white tennis. And the presence of Tiger Woods was to bring a glut of black golfers to the pro ranks.

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LeBron James and the Vogue Cover: More “King Kong” than “King James”

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jamesgisele.jpgTom Withers of the Huffington Post describes LeBron James on the cover of the April cover of Vogue thusly:

LeBron James is striking a pose.

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ superstar will appear on the April cover of Vogue, joining actors Richard Gere and George Clooney as the only men to do so in the influential fashion magazine’s 116-year history.

Wearing a tank top, shorts and sneakers from his own Nike clothing line, James appears on the cover dribbling a basketball and screaming as if in game mode while throwing one arm around supermodel Gisele Bundchen with Tom Brady nowhere to be found.

LeBron James is striking a pose, all right.

What Withers does not say is that neither Gere nor Clooney struck a pose remotely close to that of James’. What Withers does not say – nor does anyone else as of yet – is that Tom Brady would never have been asked to pose with his girlfriend, Gisele Bundchen, in full New England Patriots gear.

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Tyler Hansbrough: The Revolution Will Be Televised

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hansbrough.jpgI was going to stay out of the Tyler Hansbrough-Michael Beasley, ‘who should be player of the year,’ talk. Race talk was inevitable and I was trying to refrain from the conversation. I read all the primary articles – at least the ones most talked about; the words that were supposed to “hit the mark” and put Hansbrough into context vis a vis black players, or the words that defended Hansbrough’s POY worthiness.

Then I watched the North Carolina-Clemson ACC Championship game. If you listened to the broadcast only you would have believed that Hansbrough played on a team of no-name stiffs and Clemson was just a sacrificial lamb served especially for the Chapel Hill faithful.

And Tyler Hansbrough was the game’s conquering gladiator. 

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Time for a Station Break

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I was in the midst of writing something, but this is more important…. and it’s one of those “blogger” diary entry deals, so bear with me, please.

Another “out of the box” earnest Internet writer hit me up for a chat. We had a round-about concerning Brett Favre and racism for about an hour. Toward the end of our chat he turned the conversation to the paucity of good “bloggers” who say anything or real worth. And one of the observations that could be inferred from our conversation is that the higher you go in the “blogsphere,” generally the less quality content there is.

You can never convince me that 100-word blurbs that act as prefaces to link dumps and picture after picture after picture of half-naked women or “isn’t she hot” photos equals substance; it isn’t worth trying to argue with me about it, so don’t go there. And pap-filled snark day after day doesn’t mean diddly-pooh. In fact, I remember laughing aloud when I was told in an email by one of these types that, “My friends and I who own these blogs bust our asses all day long thinking of snarky jokes, so if that makes us members of the white, racist, frat-boy sports blogsphere crowd, I’m fucking proud of it.”

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Thank Goodness for Leap Year

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leeelder.jpgWell, another Black History Month has come and is one day from gone. And for sports television, the months get progressively less important; this one was the worst.I watched a fine show on ESPN on Thursday, February 28 titled, “Say It Loud,” an obvious nod to James Brown’s legendary, seminal, and all that chant of a song, the reason Public Enemy could be what it was song of a song of the early 1970s feeling among black people of self-determination and pride. Though many sports were dealt with to some degree, golf was the prime mover of this documentary. The show was so good an excerpt of it was aired during the 6 p.m. EST Sportscenter.

It was so good that my five-and-a-half year old daughter sat rapt, unable to take her eyes off its images and interested only in the words of people like Eddie Payton, brother of Walter Payton and Jackson State University golf coach and Lee Elder, the first black man to play in the Masters.

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Kelvin Sampson’s World Today

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ksampson.jpgFailed to comply with sanctions imposed …”

“Exceeded NCAA limits …”

“Acted contrary to the NCAA principles of ethical conduct …”

“Failed to deport himself in accordance with the generally recognized high standard of honesty …”

“Engaged in an impermissible recruiting contact …”

After a one week “internal investigation” of the above charges, Indiana University President Michael McRobbie announced that Kelvin Sampson and the school will agree to a $750,000 buyout of the coach’s contract and he will resign, and that Athletic Director Rick Greenspan cosigned on that decision.

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Spotes Notes, 2.16.08: Mark Cuban Is a Trickster; Blackface, UNC Style; Goodell Faces Himself; Rams Player Wants Pats’ Money

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blackface.jpgDirk is trippin’ – and slippin’

And Nowitzki is pissed off at Devean George. So pissed off that he pulled out his “Euro-card” on George:

“He’s looking out for himself a little bit,” Nowitzki said. “In a way, we play a team sport but a lot of it is about individuals. It’s Dirk versus Kobe, not L.A. versus Dallas. It’s not promoted as much as a team sport as it is in Europe. Devean was looking out for himself; that’s what you are used to over here.”

It seems like a common theme among the Euros. They love them some NBA money and that NBA exposure. When they go back home to their Euro-countries they get all that extra love for playing – and succeeding – against the best in the world and even more Euros (money, that is) from Euro ads courtesy of their shoe-clothing contracts. So, when it’s all good, the NBA is the best.

But.

Any problems in the Lig? They break out the, ‘it’s so much better in Euro-ville’ speak. And it all seems to have to do with the sentiment that Americans are money-worshipping, self-centered isolationists.

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