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Kobe Bryant’s Homosexual Slur Highlights One of Sports’ Biggest Problem


Let’s begin…

There’s something stuck in my crawl (crawl? Where is that?). So give me a minute to hop up on my soapbox.

Now I don’t know if you’ll know about what happened with Kobe Bryant. If you haven’t, let me fill you in.

During a game Kobe Bryant was issued a call by a referee that he didn’t agree with. He went into a tirade as all players do after a call they don’t agree with (or after any call if you’re Gary Payton). During Bryant’s tirade he screamed profanity and called the referee a homosexual slur that rhymes with Zagat (use your imagination boys and girls).

I waited to see the backlash surrounding Kobe‘s comments…and I waited and waited…there was nothing. All I heard were people defend Kobe Bryant and dismissing his comment. I even heard someone say (I’m not going to say who it is, but his name rhymes with Chris Webber) that, people are competitive and sometimes things slip. What…”Things slip” really? The lone voice that came out against Kobe was Charles Barkley on the Dan Le Batard Show (Purple Drank). So allow me to align myself with Mr. Barkley by saying, Kobe Bryant’s language was completely unacceptable. Please don’t try to excuse that kind of langue as something that always happens in a competitive arena. When you start using slurs, it’s no longer about competition. You are trying to hurt someone, and degrade them as an individual.

The word that Kobe Bryant used toward the referee was disgusting and abhorrent. There is no place for that use of language. I am shocked that people on sports television, that run their yap for a living, haven’t stood up for what is right. It seems that when the shoe is on the other foot, social activist seize the opportunity to promote themselves (“Paging Al Sharpton, Paging Al Sharpton”). We all know if Kobe was white and he called a referee a Nigger. People would try to kick him out of the country (“Oh here comes all Sharpton”).

Now I’m not saying Kobe’s a bad guy, because I don’t pass personal judgment on people I don’t know. What I will say is the reaction to Bryant’s comment speaks to a bigger problem in the American sports arena. There is a homophobic acceptance in sports, because of the lack of representation of openly homosexual men in American sports. Is this a problem? Yes and no. The lack of openly homosexual males isn’t a problem. People have the right to be whoever they want to be in their life. It’s no one’s duty to let the public in on their personal preferences. However, I do think that fact that sports culture hasn’t evolved into present day society is a problem. We have confronted and somewhat conquered racial inequality in sports. It’s time to address homophobia.

The recent Kobe Bryant comment has brought to fore front a huge problem in sports. I really hope we resolve the issue of homophobia in sports. It only takes one person to start the movement, so pardon me while I get Al Sharpton on the phone. I will tell him Don Imus is on line 2.

-Kortney Shane Williams

Comedian and Writer

www.facebook.com/kshanecomedy

www.youtube.com/kshanecomedy

KortneyShaneComedy@gmail.com

https://thekortneyshanepillar.wordpress.com/

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Posted by on April 19, 2011 in Basketball

 

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Uncle Toms And The Fab Five


The Fab Five

Let’s begin…

    ESPN has added the Fab Five to their critically acclaimed 30 for 30 series. The documentary about the 1991 -1993 Michigan Wolverines basketball team highlights the journeys of Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, Chris Webber, and Ray Jackson. Those players were freshmen in 1991, and would later be better known as the Fab Five. They introduced rap music and baggy shorts to America on one of the biggest stages in sports.

    The documentary was produced by Fab Five member and ESPN basketball analyst Jalen Rose. It didn’t take long for Rose to become the star of the documentary (I don’t blame him. If you give me control of anything I’m taking over. You could make me the co-producer of a cooking show, and within two segments I’m doing my comedy act). He displayed ultimate transparency when taking about his childhood, Michigan, and decisions he made.

    When talking about his teams’ battles against Duke. Rose stated that he hated Duke, and “… felt like they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms” (can we retire the slur Uncle Tom? I mean as Americans we have a better imagination than that. Let’s hold a poll and select a new term. I would argue that any slur made popular before 1980 should be retired Barry Sanders style). He believed they only recruited black players that came from well to do families. This made him resent Duke University and the black players that played for them. Since the airing of the documentary these comments have sparked a controversy, and even prompted Grant Hill to make a response.

    Now I’m not going to regurgitate the angle that has been stressed all week, or condemn Rose for his comments. It was how he felt at the time. When someone decides to talk about their past, you want to hear the truth. Unless you’re asking your wife how many people she had sex with. You want to lie, and not say 15 (15 is way too many).

    I want to talk about what this comment exposes. First it exposes the resentment that surrounds Duke and the type of players they recruit. To be honest they do recruit a certain kind of black player that has been successful for their university (I wrote about this: Black at Duke, or Maybe Not). I don’t blame them for that. That’s their propagative. In addition since 1990 they’ve led all schools in National Championships, and have consistently put players in the NBA. So, it works for them. However, despite their resume, they’re still seen in the black community as a school that only recruits white players. It’s the same feeling that surrounded the Boston Celtics until the mid-90s.

Rose’s Uncle Tom comment also exposed a dirty little secret well known throughout the black community. It’s a class issues that highlights the idea that well off black people. Somehow become jaded by their reality, and lose their black identity. Now I would argue that this isn’t true. If you are black in America, you know you’re black! At the same time someone could argue that there are indeed black people that disconnect from their identity. I would agree with that statement. However, there are people among all races that disconnect from their identity. Those people are the exception. Let’s not make the exception the rule.

    No one should see black individual as a, “sell out” because they want to further the black community, by educating themselves and promoting the idea of a nuclear family. At the same time people in a single parent home, that aren’t as well off, shouldn’t be look down upon as not worthy. Everyone’s black experience is of equal value to the black community and society as a whole. The real sell outs are individuals that don’t take care of their responsibilities. People that walk out on their kids, rob people, kill people, and/or spend their life in and out of prison. Those are the individuals that should be resented throughout the all of society. My man Chris Rock spoke to this brilliantly during his comedy special Bring The Pain, in a segment better known as, “Niggas vs. Black People.”    

    I hope the issue of class in the black community ceases to become an issue. Instead let’s focus on the true sell outs.

-Kortney Shane Williams

Comedian and Writer

www.facebook.com/kshanecomedy

www.youtube.com/kshanecomedy

KortneyShaneComedy@gmail.com

https://thekortneyshanepillar.wordpress.com/

 

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