Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

The letter Grant Hill SHOULD have wrote…

In Culture, Lifestyle, Sports on March 16, 2011 at 8:58 pm

A firestorm of discussion is happening after Grant Hill’s response to the comments made by Jalen Rose in ESPN’s tremendously engaging documentary “The Fab Five”.  During the documentary which highlighted the University of Michigan’s dynamic freshman five of Chris Webber, Jimmy King, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard and Ray Jackson, Jalen Rose stated that during that time in his college career, he viewed Grant Hill as a “bitch”. He also stated that he viewed Duke as an organization that only recruited blacks of the “uncle tom” variety. Ouch!

Much like HBO’s documentary Running Rebels of UNLV which happened to air the night before, The Fab Five addressed the issue of black identity; particularly that of young black males, in raw form. A worthy issue of conversation regardless as to the time stamp on the comments made by Rose.

People are passionately choosing sides. Some are stating that Grant Hill is confirming his “uncle tom” and “bitch” status by ignoring that the comments were made by a much less mature Rose and “bragging” about his background. Others are commending him for defending himself and turning the situation into an opportunity to address a bigger issue. Both sides of the issue have rationale for their feelings but what has thus been lost in the discussion, is the issue. The issue of jaded views of black identity and the perception of young black males in America in particular plays out in classrooms, job interviews, relationships and many other social intersections in this country daily. One is hard pressed to find a segment of this world’s population that carries such a blinding, negative social caste than young, black American males. This dynamic is compounded by class-based inner fightings within the black community so explicitly demonstrated in this documentary. Folks are taking sides. One side emphatic in their defense of Jalen’s honest transparency, the other equally at Grant Hill’s articulation and effort to rise above the fray. BOTH sides missing the bigger picture and opportunity to frame the discussion around what matters most.

So perhaps I can help divert this discussion away from who is “bitchmade”. Or who “missed the point”. Or who was willing to take the high road by writing the letter Grant Hill perhaps should have considered writing instead;

Like many people Sunday night, I highly enjoyed ESPN’s Fab Five documentary. The program highlighted a great team made up of players I am proud to say were associates, and friendly competitors of mine.  During the broadcast, some of the narrators reflected on disparaging comments and perceptions of myself; largely driven by my association with Duke University as well as my educational and family background. These reflections compelled me to address the sentiments shared by players on the Michigan team at that time, and many young, black males today.

I view myself as extremely fortunate to come from a middle class background with both parents. I know that many who share my skin color were not as fortunate. However, perhaps the most frustrating aspect of conversations on this topic is the continued association of black culture and identity, to poverty and struggle.

I commend Jalen Rose’s willingness to discuss this issue openly and candidly. I do not think topics such as racism and inclusion are addressed enough in a serious manner. These issues remain a concern for myself today. Perhaps the best thing about the comments reflected upon by Jalen Rose is that it gives us an opportunity to reflect on ignorance and false perceptions we all have towards one another oftentimes based on nothing more than a lack of understanding.

The ignorance that tells a young, black urban male that a black male from a 2-parent, middle class home is some how less black.

The ignorance that tells a middle aged white male that a young black male from the inner city would some how not fit into a particular organization.

The ignorance that tells many men to question a woman’s dedication to her career simply because of her gender.

More than anything, this wonderfully put together documentary on something as meaningless as basketball, helped spark a conversation on on something far more important.

But just in case Jalen Rose or Jimmy King may have forgot, this “bitch” still bested the great “Fab Five” in every meeting. =)


Grant Hill


Will Sugar Shane’s less than sweet showing vs Mora depreciate Money?

In Business, Sports on September 19, 2010 at 5:26 am

Floyd Mayweather

“Sugar” Shane Mosley’s September 18th fight with Mora ended in a draw and by most accounts seems to have been a lackluster performance from both fighters. Before proclaiming to HBO on Twitter that he wanted Mosley next, undefeated Welterweight Andre Berto stated some people were questioning Mosley’s physical conditioning. Regardless, what many Floyd Mayweather Jr. detractors will now argue is as much as people hyped Mosley as a “tough” opponent for Mayweather, he clearly fought a man well past his prime; a man who badly hurt Mayweather early in that fight yet could not seem to find Mora tonight. Perhaps now those detractors may have more than just a genuine dislike for Mayweather to fuel their position.

But really, does it even matter?

As an avid fan of boxing, this only makes the fact that Mayweather and Pacquiao seem further away from fighting each other today than they were during the first round of negotiations late last year all the more heartbreaking. Pacquiao seems like he will continue to take on undermatched fighters. Mayweather’s future has been uncertain all Summer. Considering his recent legal troubles, it may become even more grey. For all of the great the network does for the sport, HBO will likely continue to use its Boxing branding brilliance to prop up Boxing’s stars of yester year. Meanwhile, fans will continue to question the future of the sport’s return to glory clinging to exciting rising stars like Amir Khan and Andre Berto. Oh, and Dana White will continue to laugh all the way to the bank.

UFC's Dictator Dana White

A word on Ines Sainz

In Culture, Sex, Sports on September 17, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Ines Sainz

By now, most of you have heard about the controversy surrounding the treatment  of Mexican sports journalist Ines Sainz while visiting the New York Jets locker room. I won’t beat a decomposed horse by harping on the issues that – Yes, the Jets behavior was inappropriate and unprofessional; and Yes, Ms. Sainz reputation for playing up her sexual assets and oftentimes inappropriate behavior likely fueled the behavior. I’d rather talk about why it’s absurd to be offended by Clinton Portis’ comments. Portis essentially said it’s likely that female reporters find athletes sexually desirable and vice versa. What part of that statement is untrue?

Clinton Portis should not have apologized for a comments he clearly believed to be true.  At some point, we will have to accept the fact that we are indeed animals with animal-like behavioral tendencies. This is not a call to tolerate allowing those primitive tendencies to infringe upon the rights of anothers; however it is a call to at least acknowledge that they exist.

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Women find athletes sexually attractive and virtually any red-blooded, heterosexual male would find Ines Sainz the same. That is all Portis said. If you are offended by this reality, maybe your behavior has reinforced this reality and you’re ashamed; or maybe you’re envious of the fact this reality doesn’t benefit you. Regardless, if we feel this is truly an issue worth being offended about, we can’t honestly tackle it without acknowledging the truth in Portis’ comments.

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