By Gary Norris Gray, Staff Reporter
Your honor, I accuse the American Sports media of character assassination in the first degree!
This week, Major League Baseball celebrates the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson entering the major leagues. We also celebrated the return to golf by Eldrick ‘Tiger’ Woods at the Masters in Georgia.
This all comes at the same time having to listen to this same media blast LeBron James for not making the playoffs with the Los Angeles Lakers and Lewis Hamilton for not yet winning a Formula One race in 2022.
On top of that, the country has conveniently forgotten about the Williams sisters on the tennis courts or the 81 Black baseball players on the Major League Baseball fields. It does not stop there; the sports media has shown little love or concern for Brittney Griner who has been in prison in Russia now for over a month.
This is the classic Chinese philosophy of ying-yang toward African-Americans in the United States. The love-hate relationship with the Black community continues after 450 years.
For those who do not know what ying-yang means
In Ancient Chinese philosophy, yin and yang is a Chinese philosophical concept that describes how obviously opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.
The American sports media has a love-hate relationship with Black athletes and it is displayed every day on the internet, newspapers, television, and radio.
In 1947 Jackie Roosevelt Robinson broke the color barrier in MLB by joining the Brooklyn Dodgers. This year every player will wear number 42 on April 15th as they have done the past ten years, but what does it really mean when only 81 Black players in the majors will put on a uniform, the lowest number since 1964-1965; three teams do not have a single Black player.
The Sports media is a silent partner in this act by not calling out these teams.
Baseball players of color like Andrew McCutchen-Milwaukee Brewers, Shohei Ohtani-Los Angeles Angels-from Japan, Mookie Betts-Los Angeles Dodgers, Aaron Judge-New York Yankees, or Lorenzo Cain-Milwaukee Brewers could be the face of baseball.
But we all know that Justin Verlander-Houston Astros, Bryce Harper-Philadelphia Phillies, Mike Trout-Los Angeles Angels, Clayton Kershaw-Los Angeles Dodgers, Jacob deGrom-New York Mets, Freddie Freeman-Los Angeles Dodgers, and Max Scherzer-New York Mets will be the face of this great game in 2022 because they look like most fans in the stands.
The Toronto Blue Jays are unique they have three players that are sons of former players. First basemen Vladimir Guerrero Jr., second basemen Cavan Biggio, and shortstop Bo Bichette. If baseball does not clean up its act, we may never see this again.
This should be celebrated but the sports media could care less.
Last week the media’s low-key response to the untimely death of 24-year-old Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Dwayne Haskins just reinforced what they really think of Black athletes. NOTHING!!!!! This attitude has been stirring around for some time, and it has finally come forth for everyone in the United States to see.
If this country wants to move forward, it has to come to terms with race in sports as it must in other areas in our society.
ESPN’s football reporter Adam Schefter should be ashamed of himself but he is not.
Mr. Schefter stated: “tragic death when Haskins was hit by a dump truck while walking along a South Florida highway on Saturday morning, Schefter included a description of Haskins NFL career.’
The post had no emotion or concern for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Haskin’s family, or friends it was business as usual, and let’s move on. Mr. Schefter would attempt to clean up his act by posting a later tweet but ‘the horse was out of the barn.’
This is the way some writers and broadcasters really think about Black athletes and other athletes of color.
Mr. Schefter finally apologized on his ESPN podcast on Monday Afternoon two days after the incident.
Gil Brandt a Dallas Cowboy executive in 1960-68 decided to pile on NFL’s SiriusXM channel making wisecracks about Haskins’ decision to cross the freeway.
When asked about evaluating Haskins when the quarterback was entering the draft following a historic season at Ohio State, the 90-year-old Brandt described him as “a guy living to be dead,” criticized his decision to leave school early and speculated “maybe if he stayed in school a year he wouldn’t do silly things,” alluding to Haskins reportedly getting hit by a truck while walking on an interstate for unknown reasons.
Brandt would later apologize to the Haskins family claiming, “a poor choice of words,” but like Mr. Schefter’s insensitive comments the damage had already been done.
Japan’s Afro-Asian tennis superstar, Naomi Osaka has entered very few tournaments over the past two years taking care of her mental health rather than winning tournament after tournament after tournament. 16-year-old Chinese-American Alysa Liu called it a day and walked away from world figure skating competition.
Liu was the star of the American skating team in Beijing. Now Ms. Liu is leaving because she does not want to face four years of the pressure of being number one. Liu did not want to be defined by her personality, her family, or her political views but by her skating by the sports media.
This is the double edge blade that stabs minority athletes every day. Meanwhile, Caucasian athletes hardly ever have to face this emotional trauma, they get a pass and continue playing.
This “all-knowing,” sports media put seven-time champion, Lewis Hamilton, on blast after the third race of the 2022 season in Melbourne, Australia. Hamilton has not won a race this year, so now they are now dumping on him.
Wait a minute, didn’t #44 put Formula 1 on the map in the United States? Question, Why would Formula 1 install its second race in the United States in 2023 if Lewis Hamilton had not won five world championships in a row, tying Michael Schumacher’s record for total victories? Nobody would know about Formula 1 racing or care if it were not for the Black gentleman from England.
Maybe we should be asking questions about the Mercedes Benz Motor Racing team and their troubles this year with their two cars?
This same biased sports media just blasted LeBron James, making jokes for not getting his team, the Los Angeles Lakers to the playoffs this year. Excuse me, Did the purple and gold not win the NBA title 18 months ago?
I think #6 has Four NBA championships. It’s not enough; never enough for these media hounds. Mr. James has Four MVP awards, Four NBA Finals MVP Awards, and three All-Star Game MVP’s. James missed the playoffs twice in his 18-year career, his rookie year in Cleveland and this year in Los Angeles.
Sounds like an outstanding and stellar record to me. Still, the sports media calls James “a coach killer” and “a malcontent.” But they cannot gaslight us; we all know that Lebron James is the Cash Cow of the National Basketball Association. Just ask the Cleveland Cavaliers and the city of Cleveland.
Does anybody want to criticize the Laker administrative group for putting this aged team together?
Now, these same sports media hounds buttered up Tiger Woods at the Masters in Georgia because golf has fallen off the sports radar. There would not be a Golf Channel on cable television without Tiger Woods.
The sports media was overjoyed when Tiger made the Masters cut last Friday because they knew America would be watching the Masters on Saturday and Sunday. Mr. Woods has won 15 majors and continues to chase the record of 18 by Jack Nicklaus all while doing it on one leg, a bum knee, and a bad back.
We might be watching Cyborg Woods in the coming years if Woods continues to play golf.
Now many more little Black boys and girls swing tennis racquets because of two strong beautiful Black female champions Venus and Serena. The tennis world would not have been visible in the United States without the Williams sisters.
Be very careful what you wish for America. Can you name the top ten United States tennis players male or female in 2022? This country is so busy bashing the Williams sisters instead of training younger tennis stars to take their place. When was the last time an American male tennis player cracked the top ten world rankings?
As for sister Brittney Griner, who was arrested and still being detained for ‘alleged’ drug possession at the Moscow Airport. Griner was one of the last WNBA players leaving Russia when the war with Ukraine broke out.
The only news that this country receives is that she is ‘doing fine,’ in a Russian jail cell. and her first contact with American officials was last week and that is shameful after a full month.
Number 42 is one of the most dominant players in the WNBA. It is very interesting how the Sports media is conveniently ignoring her. Ignoring the trauma, suffering, terror, and psychological fear she must be experiencing overseas.
Griner and many other ladies have supplemented their income by playing in the Russian Basketball League as a temporary job during the off-season in the United States. All of this is because of the lower pay scale of the WNBA. Gender inequities are on display in broad daylight. Think about it, if the WNBA paid their players enough money, these ladies would not have to travel to Europe or Russia every off-season.
Brittney’s sexual identity, different lifestyle, or race could be the reason why the White House in Washington continues to drag its feet… and not getting her out of Putin’s political grip.
I rest my case.
Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad News Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at email@example.com
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