I first heard of the story on ESPN radio. Colin Cowherd stepped out in front of the train that would surely come and stated that the apology was not adequate to overturn the outrage expressed in Richards' comments. There are some words, some types of name-calling that can never be taken back. He identified what is wrong with Richards' rant: the deep-seated contempt in every sentence. That level of racism cannot be tolerated, nor can it be taken back through an apology.
A caller to his show (southern, white) got on his high horse and challenged Colin: When black comedians hammer whites, why don't they draw the same kind of national furor? Selective racism?
At this moment, Colin went into my personal hall of fame. Paraphrased: Listen, blacks have endured hundreds of years of oppression and subjugation at the hands of white people. Don't tell me that we have to allow that kind of garbage because Chris Rock calls white people "Krackers" in his comedy routine. Chris Rock and any other black comedian can say whatever they want about us for a couple hundred years. We owe them that much. But whites may NEVER cross that line, ever, because of our history, because of what we did. Click (phone call terminated), his rant followed.
For those with morbid curiosity, the original clip of Richards' stomach-turning remarks is below:
YouTube (It is obscene and offensive: be ye forewarned).
Surprisingly, Dan Patrick (The Big Show on ESPN radio) had the strange misfortune of being on Letterman's show the same night as Richards and watched from back stage as the entire apology unfolded right before he went on the air to "chat" with Dave. Dan was mortified, as are we all. Yet what I liked about hearing Dan address this topic is that he has consistently called out whites (and blacks... as you'll see) for their thinly veiled racist attitudes and remarks.
For instance, Dan criticized sports writers when he noticed that they tend to describe black quarterbacks as "great athletes" whereas they admire white QBs for being "smart and hard working." And then he asks, "Why?" and leaves you hanging with your discomfort.
He went on to say that when a black athlete is interviewed, a white commentator will often remark: "He was well-spoken" whereas when a white commentator interviews a white player, no such remark is made.
Michael Irvin (former Dallas wide receiver -thanks Ish) on Dan's Big Show on Monday claimed that Tony Romo (Dallas' QB who replaced Drew Bledsoe) must have had some great, great, great, great Grandma who "got it down in the 'hood' or the barn or something" with a black man to account for Romo's talent. Dan Patrick challenged Irvin, asking if that is the only way Romo could be a good athlete. Irvin laughed and moved on. Dan and Keith Olberman were utterly perplexed and said so once the interview ended. Listen here. Ugh!
What stands out to me about all this racial stuff is: These sports guys seem to get it. At least, they see the issues, and say so.
Sports guys! Making social judgments. Do you think being in a world where blacks and whites must get along and where respect and admiration runs deep between the races might just help a wee bit? Sounds like it. After years of Rush, Hannity and Glenn "I'm really white" Beck and their poor attempts to cover up racism when it shows up in their constituencies, I love listening to these sports guys.
In other sports news: UCLA is hot in basketball (beat KY last night—which means a lot more to me now in KY's shadow than it did in Westwood).
Luc Richard Mbah A Moute scored 18 points despite playing the final 8½ minutes with four fouls. He scored six of UCLA's last 10 points, ignoring the foul trouble to go inside for the first four points and then throwing down a dunk on the break to make it 69-65 with 25 seconds to play.
This has to be their year. Has to be! (Right, Steve? - chief Bruin in the blogosphere)