Monday, October 11, 2010

Media Bias Against Black Athletes

Ok, so this story about Brett Favre trying to get with a NY Jets employee and sending her photos of his junk was first brought to my attention two or three months ago. I told some co-workers of mine that the story would not carry a lot of steam when, or even if, the media decided to report it. There's too much of a media bias and it's driven me to blog about it. A majority of the media loves Favre and wouldn't speak badly of him unless they absolutely had no choice.

I'm not one to play the race card, but as a sports fan, if I sat down with pen and pad, I could probably easily write down 10 white athletes who have done something stupid and got a slap on the wrist (if anything) from the media to every five black athletes who have done something stupid and get 'skull drug' by the media.

Now, with this Favre-nude-in-Crocs-photo thing, I can't help but think of Tiger Woods. When Tiger had his car accident last year, there was immediate speculation that his ex, Elon, took a nine iron to his dome. The talking heads were spewing left and right that she assaulted him with a golf club for cheating.

Where's the media speculation on Favre? Why am I not seeing it lead SportsCenter every night like I did with Tiger? Tiger was even the big story on non-sports shows from Nancy Grace to Good Morning America. Why are the sports stations now deciding to "wait on the story to unfold" before commenting rather than speculating as usual? There are photos, voicemail messages and texts posted online as evidence in the harassment case, so isn't that enough for a story?

Another example: when a drunk Ben Roethlisberger allegedly sexually assaulted that college student in GA, ESPN did not even report on the story until days later. One of the reasons is that ESPN (affiliated with ABC) was featuring Ben in a reality show with Shaq. There was no reason to report he was potentially a rapist and ruin your ratings, right?

Yet, ESPN immediately fired Michael Irvin from his radio job after he was accused of rape (even though charges were dropped). Why not give your employee the benefit of the doubt? Sure, Irvin has a reputation of doing stupid things, but that was over a decade ago since he was considered a bad boy. ESPN later said they were not going to renew his contract anyway due to bad ratings. If that's the case, then why not let his contract expire like everyone else instead of firing him?

I remember back in the 90's watching a football game with Deion Sanders playing. I can't remember if it was Ian Eagle, Dan Dierdorf, or whoever, but the commentator criticized Deion for playing while hurt. "He's hurting his team by being selfish and not taking himself out of the game" is what I remembered hearing.

That very next week, the same guy was covering a Jets game. Wayne Chrebet, a white wide receiver, was playing hurt that day and not having his best game. I remember hearing something along the lines of, "Chrebet is such a gutsy competitor to tough it out despite his injury. A true iron man."

What!!!??? To this day, I remember how furious I was. Deion can't be "gutsy", too? Is it because of his flashy style? Because he chooses to dance in the endzone after scoring while Chrebet just hands the ball to the referee?

The black athlete rarely gets the benefit of the doubt. At one time, some of them did, but after O.J., Kobe and now Tiger, I doubt many ever will again.

The Q Score Company (not my company -- LOL!) did a survey on the most hated athletes: Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco and Kobe Bryant were the Top 5. All black.

Vick, I can understand people hating him since he went to jail for dog fighting. Tiger, T.O., and Ocho have not been accused of any crimes to my knowledge. Kobe got accused of one, but was later cleared. The first white person on the list is Ben Roethlisberger who was #6.

So, excluding Vick, two adulterers and two show-offs are more hated than a man accused of rape twice in two years? Are the reality shows for T.O. and Ochocinco really that bad?

Don't answer that.

Is LeBron James the first sports guy to ever leave a team for greener pastures? Nope. It's been happening for two decades now. See Nick Saban, Ray Bourque, and almost any MLB pitcher.

So, how does a man leaving a single Midwest city make him the most hated man in America?

Two words: media portrayal. I believe the only reason is the Top 5 Hated is blacker than a Jackson State University homecoming is the way the media reports on black athletes. I can't think of any other reason. If you can, then please tell me.

Have any of your ever heard of Matt Jones? Exactly. Probably not unless you're an Arkansas Razorbacks or Jacksonville Jaguars fan. He's had felony drug arrests and I wouldn't recognize him if he walked into my house wearing his jersey. I guess I missed him on Nancy Grace.

When a black athlete does something stupid, it's not just sports news, it's national news. If you don't believe me, then Google "Tiger Woods cheats" and see how many non-sports sites come up on Page 1. Then Google "Ben Roethlisberger rape" and see how many you get.

*** UPDATE - Before I posted this today, I did see a segment on "The Today Show" about Favregate. So, although it comes two or three months after I initially heard the story, it does look like the ball is rolling on this scandal. I don't want/enjoy to see athletes fail because we all do stupid things. But, when it does happen, I want everyone scrutinized equally.


  1. love this. i don't follow sports at all, but i see what you're saying. one thing i thought of is...

    black athletes are minorities so they automatically have people watching their every move. they are household names even if you know nothing about sports!

    mentioning those names in a news story will get peoples' attention... but it still isn't fair.

  2. ITS THE MEDIA'S WAY TO KEEP US SEPERATED AND KEEPING RACIAL TENSION IN OUR SOCIETY!!! They make it a 'racial thing' before we get a chance to! Politics, sports, entertainment...ITS ALL THE SAME SHIT! They pull the same moves! Make it racial and get us all fucked up in the head and turn us agains each other!

    Those fuckers think they slick!

  3. As a Farve HATER, I am praying that this story is true. Now I know that is shitty of me, but I am so sick and tired of the golden boy shit with him. Time for a reality check. I would feel bad for his wife, but him ??? NO! When will athletes learn that they cant put personal shit out there? And thanks for pointing my bad picks out. I will rebound this weekend.

  4. sssdawna, I do think negative publicity is reported with more intensity for a lot of these athletes. You'd think they would know better.

    Falen, I don't know if it's to turn us against one another, but I do think that some of these guys make easy targets.

    This Daddy, I know you'll get your picks back on-point this weekend. As for Favre, being from Mississippi myself, I never really disliked him until the last five years when he pulled this "I'm retired/not retired" thing. He's a very selfish athlete, but he is portrayed as "a big kid" which is true since he acted like one when he left Green Bay.

  5. Great article. I'm glad you have the guts to say it. It's true. There are several things the media does with respect to comparing black/white athletes:

    1- Saying someone is the "brains" of the team. Usually the brain is white like Steve Nas of the Suns or Brady for the Patriots, or Dirk for the Mavericks.

    2- "All American" Whenever I hear that phrase, they usually refer to a white person.

    3- Hard-working vs physically gifted. Again when it's a white athlete, they are more prone to say he.she worked hard but if the athlete is black, he/she is genetically gifted.

  6. Thanks, Israel. You make some excellent points as well. I've heard all of those terms used.

  7. Wow, and I thought I was the only one who got those kind of pics!!! WTH makes men think that we are going to come running for a pic like that? Duh!!

  8. Looks like it's back to the bar for "Big Ben," eh?


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