“A debate on ESPN about Kobe being in that “Call of Duty: Black Ops” commercial, holding a rifle, convinced me of two things…” ~ First Tweet
“…One, ESPN has a lot of retarded debates about issues that are less than important.” ~ Second Tweet
“…Two, I watch too much ESPN.” ~ Third Tweet
My previous blog rant about a sports figure—regarding the LeBron Decision and the wrath it wrought—opened with this line, “I have an admission to make…” Here we go again.
I have another admission to make, this time about the Tweets I posted, as shown above. I was wrong about ESPN. They don’t debate about issues that are less than important, well, not in the way I originally opined. (That those debates remain somewhat retarded is not similarly incorrect.) This issue is not only important, but also emblematic of and intertwined with many other issues. In fact, it dawned on me as I watched a panel discussion on “Outside the Lines: First Report,” that the Kobe-holding-a-rifle-in-a-commercial issue is both important and confusing. By the way, the coverage, particularly on Yahoo, is worth checking out.
This issue is—these issues are—important because the discussion of black men—particularly prominent black men—and weapons, is tied up in the same psychological murkiness that I attempted to clarify via the lens of racist gun control. The issue is confusing because any discussion seems to meander through any number of sub-issues, some germane and some peripheral, at best. (As an aside, my third admission via Tweet, that I watch too much ESPN, is hardly worth debating. It is what it is.)
That professional sports are fraught with racist collectivism is far from a discovery. Furthermore, these issues are not new, which is probably why they tend to recur. Given the exorbitant coverage of celebrity in the MSM, any time a prominent black man makes news, it presents an excellent opportunity to drive viewership. Paraphrasing the old quote from It’s a Wonderful Life about angels and ringing bells, every time a high-profile black man does anything even remotely newsworthy, a budding TV producer gets his wings.
My own view is that the enchantment with these issues—and their presentation via sports television—is indicative of more than a sports-centric misinterpretation of value. Plaxico Burris is in jail in some measure because he is a high-profile black athlete. I might argue that Mike Vick went to jail for much the same reasons. Not to put too fine a point on it, but “uppity Negros” have been getting whipped in America for about as long as there has been an America. (I know. I know. Again, that’s unfair.) Ergo, figuratively whipping them via the court of ostensible public opinion via sports entertainment is a tried-and-true strategy.