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A NEW MEANNESS IN SPORTS
Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff ReporterOAKLAND, CA (BASN)—There is a new meanness in the sports world, a meanness led by the four letter word network and other sport media. The attacks on prominent athletes of color week after week when these great athletes do not say or perform to the networks wishes.
The infection has now penetrated all four major sports venues. This negative attitude influences the way the average sports fan processes the information.
Americans not knowing LeBron James-NBA, Michael Vick-NFL, Barry Bonds-MLB, or Joel Ward-NHL perceive them to be the Sons of Satan, evil personified because that’s what they are being told by the media.
The average sports fan does not have or take the time to look at the player’s statistics or player’s career record. They trust what the broadcasters or writers are telling them. Meanness, when these writers and broadcasters slant the story to suit their interest and create a completely different story.
An example of this new meanness was the Home Run Derby which does not mean anything to anybody except the winner. Can you remember the winners of the past ten years? Talk about being mean, the Kansas City crowd turned on New York Yankees infielder Robinson Cano who was the captain of the AL squad. Cano did not pick K.C. Royal Bill Butler for the contest. Last year Cano and his dad won the Derby. It was one of the best moments in Robinson’s short baseball career. The Royal crowd booed Cano with every move he made until he left the Home Run Derby with a single homer, and then they gave him the mock Bronx cheer.
Kansas City happened to be the home team of the American League and Cano played for the American League All-Stars so it was very difficult to understand the hostilities toward the New York Yankee outfielder.
Maybe that was it, Cano wearing pinstripes and the Yankees being in first place in the AL East while the Kansas City Royals have not seen the playoffs since the 1980′s. The fact is the Royals have not had a winning team in over 15 years.
Major League Baseball (MLB) continued the meanness with a major blunder ignoring the Negro League Baseball Museum which happened to be right across the street(not literally) from The All Star Game. MLB could have celebrated the Negro League Stars. Commissioner Bud Selig did make a quick visit with Royal owner David Glass to show some interest in the game played by players who could not play in the Majors because of the color of their skin. It’s not enough.
Black youngsters see these actions by MLB or lack of action and the attacks on black baseball players by the media and want no part of it. Teenagers move away from baseball during their high school days. MLB would have gained the interest of young Black fans if they showed them the rich history of the Negro Leagues, but baseball being baseball…
Not much happened. The weekend before the game, there were a few commercials with Willie Mays who played for the Birmingham Black Barons and Hank Aaron who played for the Indianapolis Clowns. Mays and Aaron stated that they played in the Negro League and it was a stepping stone to the Major Leagues.
That’s great but actions speak louder than words. It sounded hollow and obviously a last minute decision by MLB.
Players like Josh Gibson- Homestead Grays, Satchel Paige-Kansas City Monarchs, Monte Irvin-Newark Eagles, Larry Doby-Newark Eagles, were not included in this year’s All Star Game Festival and they should have been.
Wearing number 42 one day a year every season is not cutting it and MLB should know it.
MLB did not promote first baseman and manager Buck O’ Neal of the Kansas City Monarchs. O’Neal went to many Royal games before he passed away in October 2006. O’Neal was the tireless ambassador to the game and promoted baseball to Black youngsters throughout America.
Question how many Willie Mays’s, Hank Aaron’s, Willie McCovey’s and yes even Barry Bonds’ are we missing because of this attitude in MLB?
It’s very troubling. Young potential baseball talents are now participating in basketball, football, soccer, and yes even hockey. This could be one of the reasons why little Black boys in inner cities are not interested in baseball, they are not welcomed. The Latin and Asian players have taken their place and baseball moves on.
Jackie Robinson would not be pleased and neither would the old Negro League All Stars.
This same meanness does not apply to White athletes. For example Hope Solo is one of the best goalies in the World Women’s Soccer competition, and is currently participating in her 3rd Summer Games in London. Solo should be banned from the 2012 Summer Games because America’s golden girl tested positive for a banned substance. Many others have stated including yours truly, Hope Solo is a spoiled brat. The positive drug test and her ability to still play in the Summer Games this year just confirms this train of thought. The World Anti Doping Agency gave her a pass because a doctor prescribed the medications. Hope will be playing for the U.S. Soccer Team in two weeks..
Solo complained eight years ago that she did not start in net. The United States lost and Solo sulked for weeks.. Whatever happened to team work? THERE IS NO “I” IN TEAM but don’t tell Hope that. The meanness was not there, the vitriol was not there from the soccer community or the American Press. Hope continued on with her life without criticism or consequences.
The hate is not there, the meanness it not there from the American public, the criticism is not there from the four letter word network or other sports media. This talented player thinks she is above everybody and that rubs many soccer fans the wrong way. Hope complained about the way “Dancing with the Stars” television show made her look on screen. She has an athletic body and it showed on TV. Hello, Hope you had the power to change the look so please STOP IT. She is one athlete that has used the privilege card many times, ITS GETTING OLD. She is given everything and the lady wants more. The Double Standard is alive and well.
The Meanness continues with Chinese American Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks guard but that’s another story for another time
Â©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod