Damned If You Gold, Damned If You Don’t

By Michael-Louis Ingram
Updated: August 24, 2008

image PHILADELPHIA– The Summer Olympics has finally, thankfully come to a close. Now before some Neanderthal starts in with some jingoistic crap, let’s get to the particulars:

The Men’s basketball team got the gold, but got more grief and pressure from our own press than any opposing team they faced throughout the entire Games.

It seemed every evaluation of the “Redeem Team’s” victories by every talking head were laced with a hint of vitriol; just enough to give the impression the real desire was to see them lose; so an all-out media assault would have to ultimately stand down after the defeat of the Spanish national team in the gold medal game.

What was most insulting was a nonsensical statement by a talkie observing the Team as they came to the podium, arms locked together: “They’re standing there, looking like a real team — one proud to play for their country.”

So, you’re saying the 2004 Team wasn’t as proud because they didn’t win anything?

I can remember that 2004 team; the one Allen Iverson volunteered to be on because no one wanted to play; results notwithstanding, no one could question Iverson’s patriotism or desire to play.

The dwelling on the “Redeem Team” is also an insult to our women’s basketball team, who merely sustained their excellence in winning their fourth gold medal. But no love for the ladies; we’re too busy hoping and praying those niggers fall on their faces against Spain!

The statement is also an insult to anyone who puts on the jersey or leotard or uniform of our country.

Do we question the love of country our Women’s softball team have for America because they lost perhaps the last Olympic softball game to Japan? No one roasted Jennie Finch and company for blowing it; but our track team caught holy hell for it.

And when do lose, are we good sports about it? Hell to the no!

The utter disrespect for the accomplishments of the Jamaican track team was deplorable.

Sprinter Usain Bolt and the Irie Speed Queens made the boldest statement of the Olympics on the ground as they brought home the gold. Instead of saying “Bravo! — Job well done,” the media witch doctors took issue with Bolt’s chest thumping and celebrating after going three for three — as in three world records in three events; even Michael Phelps couldn’t top that average.

News flash, world; the Jamaicans have been busting their ass for years to get to this point; for at least the last three years, they have owned every significant record in the Penn Relays before going back and retooling and training.

That no less than the President of the International Olympic Committee would take issue and comment on Bolt’s celebration as showboating is proof of the disregard the host country and the Committee have for athletes with black skin.

So Phelps and his whelps can scream and gesticulate, but Bolt is immature?

Bob Costas proved he was nothing but a penile pig and a gasbag when he called Bolt “disrespectful” in his deportment.

Let’s get something straight, you dipstick — when someone — or anyone — can break a world record, it ain’t showboating. Too much work and training went into Bolt’s performance to demean it by implying a lack of class.

Where I see a lack of class is in the spewing of a jealous little gnome like Bob Costas, who can’t begin to fathom working that hard to achieve something as fulfilling.

And let’s be real about this, if the Olympics had been held in Jamaica, you’d have seen a real celebration after Bolt’s performance, as well as the Speed Queens.

Shelly-Anne Fraser, Sherone Simpson and Kerrone Stewart completed an unprecedented sweep of the 100 meters — the first ever in Olympic history; but because Phelps was still in the pool, it was hugely underreported. Somewhere in Jamaica, Ms. Merlene Ottey — “Grandma Speed” — is drinking a cool one and smiling with pride.

Even one of the U. S. track team members admitted those high winds coming from Jamaica weren’t just another tropical storm. “It’s their time,” she muttered.

And if it is Jamaica’s time, let us praise them for putting in the work. Why couldn’t we just say, “Big Up, J.A.!” and endeavor to roll up our sleeves like we used to do?

And as Kenyan Samuel Wanjiru crossed the finish line of the Marathon, I flashed back to a report I wrote in 10th grade on Dick Gregory’s autobiography, “Nigger.”

I picked up on where Gregory talked about his days running track while in school; and how he knew he wasn’t a sprinter, but felt his strongest event was running distance events, contrary to preconceived notions white coaches had about Black athletes.

We are now in an era where Kenyans and Ethiopians dominate distance racing; and a tiny little island that could has now put their mark on sprinting.

A lot of red, black, green and gold in this picture; with only accents of white and blue in the shading; this picture is just as worthy of view as any Olympic portrait.

Now that the torch is extinguished, Tibetans can continue to be tortured, London can starting printing tickets for 2012, and David Stern can chaperone his boys as he buys them a drink at one of Beijing’s finest bars.

Just make sure they wear their medals so everyone will now they’re “special” Black people. Who knows? They might even let them use the same bathroom.