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Using “Whiteness” as a weapon: Will Johnny Manziel get the Lindsey Lohan Treatment?
Will the one nick-named “Johnny Football” simply receive a long lecture and a “good-ole boys”” pat on the back from NCAA officials for violating their rules?
In laymen’s terms, will Manziel get the Lindsey Lohan treatment?
Who, for some odd reason, despite being a sub-par actress, seemingly avoids jail-time all-the-time even after several run-ins with the law for using drugs?
Matter of fact, Lohan has cleverly capitalized off her drug habit and addiction. And, even recently, landed on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network with an exclusive interview and a possible reality show.
White Privilege Hero
Seriously, could you image if Johnny Manziel was a big-named Black quarterback, who arrogantly flashed cash at casinos, was photographed drinking underage, overslept and missed practice while getting kicked out of the elite Manning Passing Academy, hung out with rappers like Rick Ross, got arrested for using a fake I.D., constantly got into twitter beefs online, and frequently got into fights at frat parties?
Honestly, if this was the track record of a Black signal caller, the guns would have been drawn out already? Plus, the handcuffs would be placed around his ankles and wrists and he would be on his way to prison, -Michael Vick style.
Kendrick Marshall, from the Negro Voice, addressed this issue in his excellent article entitled Johnny Manziel is a Hero of White Privilege, which he wrote:
“White privilege reared its ugly head from the keyboard of Fox Sports national columnist Jen Floyd Engel who compared Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel to Civil Rights Movement mother Rosa Parks… Where was this consciousness when Terrelle Pryor was pinched by the NCAA and suspended by the NFL for trading in various Ohio State items, including jerseys and championship rings for tattoos and cash? Where was Engel when then-Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green was suspended for selling his jersey? Where was she when any black athlete was punished for similar infractions that Manziel has been accused of committing? Well, Engel was too busy comparing Pryor to a terrorist. Yes, a college quarterback who wanted free ink was essentially compared to the Boston Marathon bombers.”
Even though, we might hate to invoke race into this issue, we must, especially after the Trayvon Martin case, which a large portion of white America felt deserved to be killed because of a couple of Facebook pictures, traces of marijuana in his system, trouble at school and a grey hoodie.
Let’s not forget, according to certain reports, Manziel allegedly was going to use the money he earned from signing his name to get some rims for his car.
Could you imagine the outrage and commentary coming from white sports reporters if a Black quarterback had allegedly made those comments?
All hell would have broken loose!!
But so far, there hasn’t been proof of money actually changing hands.
Therefore, Johnny Manziel is innocent until proven guilty.
So, despite the many personal character flaws of this spit-fire, redshirt sophomore QB, who led the SEC in rushing while throwing for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns, which propelled him to become the first freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy, he may avoid being penalized and punished from the NCAA.
But if he is found guilty for breaking any of the NCAA’s rules, what will be Johnny’s faith?
If my memory serves me correctly, former Georgia wide receiver A.J.Green, now a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, missed four games in 2010 for selling his 2009 Independence Bowl jersey for $1,000 and several Ohio State players, which included QB Terrelle Pryor, were suspended five games in 2012 for selling memorabilia or for exchanging memorabilia for tattoos.
Therefore, if Manizel is guilty, he should receive at least six games, if not more, for his alleged illegal money-making schemes with autograph dealers, which one Florida autograph broker named Drew Tieman claimed he paid him a “five figure flat fee” last January.
Despite all of these scenarios, John Infante, a former university compliance officer and proprietor of The Bylaw Blog, which covers NCAA compliance issues, offered another scenario – though he said he considered it unlikely – in which the NCAA offered Manziel limited immunity for telling them how the autograph process worked, according to USA Today.
In other words, Johnny “Football” would now be known as Johnny “The Snitch “in the hood and in the huddle.
Because, in order to reduce his potential suspension and maintain his eligibility before the Aggies play Alabama on Sept. 14, which is considered one of the biggest college football games this year, “little innocent” Johnny, who was a naive victim of autograph vultures, would have to reveal how the autograph operation works “inside and out” and possibly give up some names in the process.
And, while Manizel’s “whiteness” may protect him and his little “white lie” may be overlooked by college football fans, the NCAA’s governmental body may have to stick to the books, especially with the recent scandals surrounding the Miami Hurricanes and Penn State and place Johnny “Football” on the bench as this investigation continues.
NOTE: The NCAA and A&M agreed on the one-half suspension because Manziel violated NCAA bylaw 126.96.36.199, an NCAA representative confirmed.
Eric D.Graham is a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, where he received a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Radio and Television and a minor in History, with an emphasis in African-American Studies. Currently, he is the Editor and Chief of Black Athlete Sports Network, where his articles appear daily along with his controversial cartoon character Bobbee Bee “The Hater.” Graham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org