Wednesday, November 22, 2006

You can’t talk about that

By John McMullen

Michael "Kramer" Richards’ career is probably over after his heated, racist rant at two African-American hecklers at a West Hollywood comedy club a few days ago and his subsequent, poorly conceived apology on David Letterman's show.

And I’m certainly not going to shed any tears for Richards because the comedian deserves everything he is about to get, although I will argue -- what career? Richards has been a virtual recluse since Seinfeld shut it down in 1999.

That said, the whole thing got me thinking about a double standard in sports.

I have often criticized Donovan McNabb for his poor decision-making and I will confess, I have even called the Eagles’ QB dumb on occasion. Of course, since I am a Caucasian, that‘s a lightning rod and I have received some nasty e-mail over the years -- the nicest of which calls me a racist.

Now mind you I have never brought McNabb’s color into any of my columns -- save one. When he brought up the issue of ‘black-on-black’ crime regarding his very own Lex Luthor -- Terrell Owens. And, in that instance, I defended McNabb while pointing out he probably went a little too far.

Nonetheless, the fact I’m right and an eight-year veteran should be farther along in his game managing skills is inconsequential to these critics. The fact that I rip Eli Manning and Drew Bledsoe for the same reason is also unimportant.

All they see is color and, to them, I have no right criticizing a black athlete simply because I’m white.

And there begins the double standard.

Look no further than the biggest idiot in the world of talking heads that is ESPN, Michael Irvin.

Irvin’s latest foot-in-mouth escapade came on The Dan Patrick Radio Show when the former Cowboys receiver explained the athletic prowess of new Dallas quarterback Tony Romo (who is white). The Cowboys legend said one of Romo's ancestors must have had a dalliance with a black man.

"He doesn't look like he's that type of an athlete. But he is. He is, man. I don't know . . . some brother down in that line somewhere. . . . I don't know who saw what or where, his great-great-great-great-grandma ran over in the 'hood or something went down,” said Irvin.

Meanwhile, Patrick tried to throw Irvin a life raft saying "Oh, that's the only way he can be a great athlete?"

"That's not the only way, but it's certainly one way," Irvin came back with. "If great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandma pulled one of them studs up out of the barn [and said], 'Come on in here for a second,' you know, and they go out and work in the yard. You know, back in the day."

There was no confirmation to the report that the crack pipe Irvin was holding for that friend back in the day was actually in his mouth when he uttered his latest gem.

Most of us can agree that sports is probably not the place to repair racial relations in this country but so what?

Let’s drop the double standards and take everyone to task when they utter racially insensitive things -- no mater the color of their skin.

And perhaps more importantly -- let’s not be so thin-skinned.

It is possible for a black quarterback to be smart or dumb and it’s conceivable that a white quarterback can be as slow-footed as Bledsoe or as athletic as Romo with none of it relating to the pigment of their skin.

As a postscript -- if you don’t like this column, contact my attorney -- Jackie Chiles.

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Copyright 2006
The Phanatic

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