Racism In Sports Cannot Be Denied

By Joe Booker
Updated: August 26, 2005

HOUSTON, TX.—If you are black you know that racism is still alive, unless you live in a cave. Racism isn’t just a sports thing, it is a society thing. Blacks run into it or see it everyday in all walks of life. Sports are just a small part of society and racism in sports cannot be denied.

Recently, LA Dodgers outfielder Milton Bradley accused teammate Jeff Kent as making racial remarks. Bradley went on to say that Kent had made “racial remarks before.”

I am not one to say that Bradley’s remarks are untrue or true. I can’t just dismiss Bradley’s remarks because Bradley is black and Kent is white. Just because Kent defended himself by referring to certain blacks who would tell you that he is not a racist is not enough.

If he had said, just ask anyone or any black, it would have had more validity. I am not calling Kent a racist, but the most devout racist has some black friends. Some people call them “Tom and Thomesena.”

It is almost like saying “some of my best friends are black.”

There are certain blacks that some whites (especially those with racial beliefs) feel more comfortable being around. Sometimes a racist is uncomfortable being around a black who is educated and does not skin and grin.

I don’t know if this is a sign of racism, but how many times have you seen TV sports people refer to blacks as having a ‘good smile?” It bothers me, because I don’t hear those same statements about none black athletes having a good smile.

I thought skinning and scratching went out back in the 50s. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

It kind of bothers me that some blacks who are not on the inside, without proof, and don’t know Kent or Bradley, have quickly taken Kent’s side and refuted anything that Bradley has accused Kent of. Have certain blacks returned to the old slavery mentality that “white is always right?”

The scary thing is that even some blacks feel more comfortable when they are around non-blacks. I am often told by some of my friends that “my child is the only black”, when referring to being in a school organization.

They also like to say that “I was the only black there,” when they are talking about a function attended. Others may say, “I am the only black living in my neighborhood.” My respond is usually, ‘are you bragging or complaining?”

In our integrated and desegregated society there are many young blacks that are not use to being around a lot of blacks. Some have attended elementary, middle and high schools where there were very blacks in attendance. They attend a predominately white colleges, so these blacks often feel more comfortable being around non blacks.

There are blacks that work in the corporate world that are more comfortable being around non blacks. They may casually associate with certain blacks, but they seem more comfortable around non blacks. I see it everyday, especially in sports.

It is human nature of feeling comfortable being around certain people. There are some blacks and whites that I don’t feel comfortable being around. I am not comfortable being around the skinning and scratching blacks, especially when they are around whites.

As I stated, I don’t know if Bradley’s accusations about Kent are true. If those accusations are true I admire Bradley for being man enough to say it. There are too many professional athletes that will not take a stand. They are afraid that they will lose their endorsements. These are selfish reasons.

Several media people and baseball players have defended Kent by saying that Kent is often aloof and doesn’t get along with whites. This alone does not prove that he did not make racial accusations against Bradley. Why have so many come to Kent’s aid and so few to Bradley’s aid?

Some whites can play the defensive game real good. They have certain blacks that they can always call on to defend them and usually these are the skinning and scratching blacks—Tom and Thomasena.

Even if a person practices racism, he does not like to be called a racist. A racist will often defend himself by accusing blacks of playing the race card.

I am old school. I grew up when there were “colored signs. I grew up when black men were treated less than a man. There are some things that will never change and that is racism. Laws have forced colored signs to be moved, but there is no law that can enforce racist attitudes.

In back in the day when racism was allowed there were certain blacks that racist could always depend on. They could depend on those blacks to let them know who the bad “n… are. Can you believe this still goes on? Like I always have said, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

This is why I can’t totally believe Bradley is making false accusations.

“Can’t we all just get along?”