The New England Patriots-Baltimore Ravens AFC Championship game is full of compelling matchups; the Patriots offensive line trying to hold back the front seven of the Ravens, which includes monster DT Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, and Hall-of-Famer Ray Lewis; Tom Brady vs. Ed Reed, as the two try and outwit each other in the passing game; the Patriots front seven trying to contain Ray Rice and get pressure on Joe Flacco; and, of course, a black vs. white race war. Wait, what?
That’s what is being suggested by Jason Whitlock, writing for FOX Sports. I cannot begin to tell you how much this infuriates me. This type of writing and way of thought is EXACTLY the type of vitriol this country does not need. Who, except Whitlock, automatically thought that Ravens-Patriots was a black vs. white game? Let’s break this foolishness down. Be aware that I am HEAVILY editing this piece, because I want to cuss this moron out to no end.
When you get to the Fox Sports NFL main page, if you scroll down you’ll find this wonderful graphic, leading you to Whitlock’s article:
Plays to our age-old prejudices?? Maybe they play to your age-old prejudices, Mr. Whitlock, and people like you who seek to perpetuate a racial divide. Sorry buddy, but when I look at my athletes, my friends, or my enemies, I see who they are by their talent and content of character, not by how much melanin they have in their skin (melanin, for those unaware, is the chemical that causes, hair, skin, and eye color).
Whitlock starts by beating around the bush in his piece, then gets to the point:
Look, we can tip-toe around it, ignore the big beautiful elephant in the room, or we can embrace the fact that Sunday’s AFC Championship contest is soaked in the white-black racial component that has driven American sports passion at least since Jack Johnson whipped James J. Jeffries.
Really?? REALLY?? There is absolutely NO racial element to this game. Race has “driven American sports passion?” That’s funny, because I’m pretty sure that rooting for the home team, or our favorite players, is what drives American sports passion. There are millions of NFL fans, and a large portion, in fact the majority of the NFL, consists of black athletes. Where does race fit there? Nice try, Whitlock.
Brady leads an offense built in his image. In a league that is predominantly black, Brady directs a high-flying offense that is predominantly white and relies on a deep cast of white playmakers.
Lewis leads a defense built in his brash image. Nine of the 11 Ravens defenders are African-American.
The last time I checked, Brady does not choose the players selected by the Patriots, and I’m sure the players he would put in to play “in his image” have more to do with intelligence and ability than Brady’s skin color. One of Brady’s best friends on the team is Deion Branch, and Branch is considered one of Brady’s go-to guys in the clutch. In the sense that Branch is reliable, smart, and a great athlete, he is certainly “built” in his image.
The next charge is that the Patriots offense is deep in white playmakers. Not that it would matter anyway, unless Whitlock has an issue with white NFL players, but let’s look at the offensive playmakers in Whitlock’s black/white vision. Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker, and Danny Woodhead are white. Aaron Hernandez is latino. Deion Branch, Stevan Ridley, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and Chad Ochocinco (if he ever wakes up) are black. The Patriots’ best offensive lineman this season, Brian Waters, is black.
And what about the Patriots’ defense? There is only one white player on that side of the ball, Rob Ninkovich, who is a starter. That’s one less than the Ravens’ defense who, as Whitlock states, are built in Ray Lewis’s image. Hmmmm….
We, as a nation, will never get past these divisive forces and truly be one nation as long as there are people like Jason Whitlock throwing this crap out there. The unfortunate thing is that we will likely be hearing more of this ridiculousness as the 2012 Presidential election draws near. I, personally, will not be visiting the FOX Sports web page again, unless this type of race baiting is forever removed from its site. Sure, I’m only one guy, but if millions do this, it can have a real impact.
This is my last word on this crap. Let’s get back to football, where when I look, I see a whole rainbow of colors, TEAM colors, and not just black and white.