ESPN: Your Hypocrisy Network

By Ronald Glover
Updated: October 22, 2008

PHILADELPHIA – When does hypocrisy give way to truth?

Will the double standard ever merge?

This goes out to those manning the controls at ESPN.

The Worldwide Leader in Sports has quickly become the open-air marketplace for exploitation of athletes of color and flag bearer of the double standard.

Last Friday, in studio analyst Lou Holtz stated, ” Hitler was a great leader,” on ESPN’s College Football Live. Holtz’s woeful attempt at humor came while trying to point out good and bad leadership regarding the struggles of first year University of Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez.

Upon further review, Holtz would issue an apology the following day.

When Holtz’s quote was mentioned to Rodriguez, he pretty much shrugged it off, allowing Holtz’s employers to do the same. A statement has been issued that there will be no action taken against Holtz.

Now we’ve all been schooled on words and/or phrases that can’t be used in a public forum and words and/or phrases you’d better not use in a public forum. Hitler falls into the “don’t even think about it” category.

Use of Hitler’s name is the equivalent of naming your son Judas. It’s not something you do. Those who try to use him in a point of reference discredit themselves with the mere mention of his name.

You want the Anti-Defamation League on your cakes, mention Hitler in a quasi-positive light or even give the hint of anti-Semitism.

Jesse Jackson still apologizing for his “Hymietown” remarks, I don’t even know what Minister Louis Farrakhan would have to do to convince the followers of Judaism that his message to Black America isn’t anti-Semitic.

Hey, they took Sammy Davis Jr.

Prior to Holtz gaffe, Jemele Hill of ESPN Page 2 fame was the latest media personality to feel the wrath of the Jewish populace. During the NBA Finals this spring Hill said, “Rooting for the Boston Celtics is like saying Hitler was a victim It’s like hoping Gorbachev would get to the blinking red button before Reagan.”

Now being from Philadelphia and having the Celtics ruin several parade plans here, I’ve never seen them as anything but evil. Hitler-like? No. But I felt Ms. Hill’s sentiment from a fan’s view. As many of us in Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles could attest.

In that 25-word statement, the linchpin was the mention of Hitler’s name, not the mention of a nuclear holocaust (no pun intended) but the conductor of one of the great tragedies in human history.

Hill’s penalty: A brief suspension by the Worldwide Leader “for inappropriate comments.” In reading both statements, one clearly praised Hitler as a leader, while the other gave an antagonistic view of him.

If anything Hill insulted the people of Boston. Which won’t be the first time that’s happened. ESPN pretty much chalked up Ol’ Man Holtz’s comments as just someone just rambling along.

What then did they think of their anchorwoman Dana Jacobson’s comments at a roast for radio hosts Mike and Mike back in January? For those that missed her rant this is what was said, “F*** Notre Dame,” “F*** Touchdown Jesus” and finally “F*** Jesus.”

Now I don’t know about the denominational breakdown of our readership here, but I’m pretty sure no one regardless of his or her religious affiliation would find any humor in that comment.

ESPN suspended Jacobson for a week.

Regardless of the fact that Jacobson’s comments came off far more offensive than Hill’s she’s given a week off and given the “Oh, she had too much to drink” disclaimer. That’s B.S.

A drunken mouth speaks a sober heart.

Let’s not forget Bonnie Bernstein and her comparison to Black kids being raised to play basketball and Palestinian kids learning to become suicide bombers “from the point of birth.”

The Worldwide Leader continues its open season on the Black Athlete in 2008. Beginning with the Michael Vick saga up to Adam Jones latest suspension. I want to preface this by saying that I’m not here to defend the actions of Vick, Jones or any brutha caught in between.

All I expect is equal treatment.

Enter Matt Jones; wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars who was found by police sitting in his car allegedly cutting up cocaine with a credit card was entered into a drug treatment program in his native Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Ok, let’s forget for a second that Jones is a white professional athlete. How much coke did he have in his lap to be cutting it with a credit card? I’m going to say a decent amount, enough to get a conviction thrown his way.

But instead he gets a slap on the wrist, a round of applause when he’s accepted into the program and an expunged case upon completion of the program.

Who do you know that could get off that light?

Now up until today, the office of Roger Goodell has only been dealing with Adam Jones. Now Adam was reportedly in a fight with one of the bodyguards hired to keep an eye on him during the season. Jones was cited as a drunk and required to enter an alcohol program and suspended by the NFL indefinitely.

Meanwhile, Matt Jones skates with a three-game suspension.

The media’s treatment of Joneses (Black and White) has been nothing short of disrespectful. Upon his reinstatement to football he has dropped the moniker “Pac-Man” and requested to be called Adam. I can hear the laugh track in the background at his press conference because no one took it seriously.

Jason Whitlock refers to him as TuPac Man and has advised Goodell to ban him from the league. Jemele Hill states in her blog, “Yes, I still call him Pacman. Not to be disrespectful, but it kind of rolls off the keyboard, you know? I know he was trying to change his “image,” but it’s one catchy nickname.”

What’s next, you tie him to a tree, ask him to give his real name or chop off his foot?

All I can say is that the witch hunt is on for Black athletes with past transgressions and for players like Kellen Winslow Jr. who will not allow themselves to be disrespected by anyone, including the guy that signs the checks.

As for us, the Black Journalists, the battle lines are being drawn.

Who you wit?