White Noise: Whitlock On NFL Colorlines


My Public Enemy brother of pen, Dave Zirin, drops by TSF and hits us off with a Marlin Briscoe bomb.

Jason “Big Sexy” Whitlock has told me to “mind [my] own damn business” when it comes to his mission to lead a new Civil Rights movement against “black idiots”. But whether you are talking about Whitlock or someone hanging a noose on a tree, there is a problem when you say, “Just ignore it and it will go away.”

Whitlock’s latest on Fox Sports, titled, “NFL buffoons leaving terrible legacy” takes it to even another level. It’s an ugly clarion call for athletic ethnic cleansing. He makes the case that the NFL is getting whiter, all thanks to black “hip hop buffoons” who are alienating owners, coaches, and fans. He writes, “African-American football players caught up in the rebellion and buffoonery of hip hop culture have given NFL owners and coaches a justifiable reason to whiten their rosters.” Justifiable: meaning it is a process he both defends and understands.

His evidence for actions that “justify whitening” lie with flamboyant Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson and Chiefs running back Larry Johnson [no relation]. He believes that both men consciously undermine their coaches, Marvin Lewis and Herm Edwards, two of the few black head coaches in the NFL. To even the casual football fan, even those who favor Whitlock’s politics, the argument should make no
sense. Larry Johnson, a coach’s son from a middle class background, is the Chiefs’ captain. He certainly has a reputation for being enigmatic and sulky, but his Chiefs, picked to finish last, are now standing at a surprising 4-3.

Chad Johnson’s Bengals have been a disaster at 2-5, with so many arrests they are referred to as Cincin-Attica. But one of their few players who have brought game every week, played at a pro bowl level, and stayed out of trouble is Chad Johnson. In the “No Fun League” he delights fans by being a bleached-blonde libertine.

Once again: Larry Johnson: middle class and sulky. Chad Johnson: extroverted and blonde. The only thing these players seemingly have in common is their last name and All-pro skills.

But Whitlock sees another commonality: the color of their skin. They are “bojanglers”, buffoons, and symbolic of all that is wrong with “black athletes in thrall of hip hop/prison culture.”

But perhaps sensing the transparency of his argument – and the fact that we’ve heard this song from him before, Whitlock isn’t done. He also writes, “[The whitening of rosters] is already starting to happen. A little-publicized fact is that the Colts and the Patriots – the league’s model franchises – are two of the whitest teams in the NFL. 47 percent of Tony Dungy’s defending Super Bowl-champion roster is non-African-American. Bill Belichick’s Patriots are nearly as white, boasting a 23-man non-African-American roster, counting linebacker Tiaina “Junior” Seau and backup quarterback Matt Gutierrez.”

There is no end to how irretrievably stupid this is. No demographic evidence exists that the NFL is becoming “whiter.” Yes, more players of Latino or South Asian, Pacific Islander, or even African heritage are playing the game. That speaks far more to the dominance of football in an increasingly multicultural United States. In other words, his example of Junior Seau and Matt Gutierrez don’t exactly point to the whitening of the league.

Also, as the Battery Chucker Blog points out, even the Colts and Patriots are seeing their seasons rise and fall on the success of their African American players. “Outside of Manning, Brady and Bruschi, the major components of both teams are men like Moss, Harrisson, Freeney, Maroney, Samuel and Wayne. Yes the rosters for both teams are nearly half white, but the majority of the players carrying the load are black, some with corn rows, dreads, tattoo’s and big cars and it certainly isn’t have an effect on the teams success.”

The Patriots example is a particular head-scratcher. This year the Pats took a chance on the ultimate poster-child of “hip hop athletes”, Randy Moss, and the results have been spectacular. Three years ago, they rode the back of another disgruntled, corn-rowed “head case” Corey Dillon, to a Super Bowl.

But none of that is what makes Whitlock’s article wrong. The worst part about it is that it is racist: pure and simple. It’s racist because Whitlock is cheerfully willing to justify “whitening rosters” because of the actions of a few. Yes, there are pro athletes – in every sport of every color – who are narcissists that believe the world spins at their command. Stop the presses. This is the way it has always been in our hero-worshiping, sports obsessed culture. Ty Cobb beat a paraplegic fan for heckling. Ted Williams gave the finger more than once to the Boston faithful. Mickey Mantle went up to the plate hung over and would cuss out young starry-eyed reporters. In football, Whitlock’s good friend, quarterback Jeff George was a career head case. When a rookie named John Elway spurned the Baltimore Colts for the Denver Broncos, he was derided as selfish. The difference is that when these athletes acted in such a manner, no one railed about a “crisis of the white athlete” or the “buffoonery” of “white culture.” No one said, after Bret Favre admitted to a pain killer addiction, that maybe teams should take a chance on more reliable black quarterbacks. But Whitlock strains to provide ideological cover for every fan freaked out by a bigot’s definition of “hip hop” and any owner looking to jettison problem players. Instead of building bridges, Whitlock uses his platform to burn crosses.

The worst part of the column is when he writes, “You know why Muhammad Ali is/was an icon? Because he rebelled against something meaningful and because he excelled in an individual sport. His rebellion didn’t interfere with winning. Jim Brown, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, etc. rebelled with dignity and purpose.”

Don’t believe this self-serving sound bite for a second. It’s as convincing as George Bush giving Ali the Congressional Medal of Freedom and calling him a “man of peace.” Find a column where Whitlock has anything good to say about athletes who have taken a stand against war or the criminal justice system. He mocks athletes who have stood against the war in Iraq and for the young men in Jena. The young Ali, Brown, Russell, and Kareem would have regarded Whitlock like something beneath contempt.

If Whitlock was around in the 1960s, he’d be more an ally of Carl Rowan, the prominent African American columnist who said upon Malcolm X’s death, in the New York Times, that Malcolm was “an ex-convict, ex-dope peddler who became a racial fanatic.” Whitlock is on a side that believes the number one problem facing black America is black America – and he’s using sports as a vehicle to advance his case. It’s a debate that falls apart in the face of every crumbling school, prison, and hospital in any-city USA. It’s also a position that, in the current climate, emboldens all the wrong people.

[Dave Zirin is the author of the new book “Welcome to the Terrordome:” with an intro by Chuck D (Haymarket). You can receive his column Edge of Sports, every week by going to http://zirin.com/edgeofsports/?p=subscribe&id=1. Contact him at edgeofsports@gmail.com]


34 Responses to “White Noise: Whitlock On NFL Colorlines”

  1. I’ve met Dave Zirin, he’s a great guy, straight shooter. As for Whitlock, what a national disgrace. How much longer can these white media organizations hide their racist agendas behind this clown.

  2. HarveyDent Says:

    They can hide for a long time because they’ll have two more like Whitlock when they tire of him. Besides, you still have Armstrong Williams, Juan Williams, and Kenneth Perkins out there right now who will carry the banner of white victimhood by Blacks when Ham Hock Whitlock stumbles.

  3. Mizzo thanks for posting this.

    Great article. Whitlock is a clown. I love TSF because you guys expose people like Whitlock and try to level the playing field dominated by the msm. Keep up the good work. Zirin is an example of an american who isn’t black but understands what we go through. I greatly appreciate him and his work. When I speak on this blog it’s out of frustration. We are in no way racist here. We just want every man to be treated fairly. So once again remember Nov. 2 and we can all stand together black,white,latino,native american,arab, and asian. Injustice against one is an injustice against all.

  4. Whitlock is such a coon…..I’m sure he’s wondering why his dumb azz article didn’t gain more traction and get him some guest spots this week….but maybe he forgot how the NFL…the league itself…embraced hip-hop to the fullest at this past Draft Day Coverage. Maybe he forgot that this “thug culture” was front and center. I guess his slothful mammoth azz didn’t know that Def Poetry Jam did the intros and their talents were used to showcase the coverage. It was ALL hip-hop.

  5. Whitlock cannot be happy with himself. He really, really can’t. He craves adulation and he’s getting it mainly from white racists who think he’s one of the few good niggers in the world. That is eating at him.

  6. Miranda,

    Good point as usual. Hip hop’s influence is all over ESPN. All you have to do is watch an episode of Sportscenter to see that. Wihtlock is just jealous of these guys thats all.

  7. F Fat boy unicron Whitlock. Yes I agree Sista Miranda he is nothing but a c@#n. I’m just waiting on his article blaming black folks for Global Warming.

    Whitlock – “Hip Hop and Afrosheen is causing Global Warming….black folks need to do something about this and stop bojanglin.”

    At this rate Uncle Ruckus…..I mean Whitlock will be in White Heaven anyday now.

  8. Origin,

    Now that was classic!! You guys keep me rollin on here.

  9. Yeap Mizzo White Heaven………….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jyg-uCosYvw

  10. thebrotherreport Says:

    I was watching that episode last night.

    Ronald Reagan: “That means no Muhammad Ali, No Hip Hop music and No f@&kin Jesse Jackson”.

    Uncle Ruckus: “Whoa this is heaven.”

    Whitlock is a lost soul who has no knowledge of self, therefore he will never be able to know himself.

  11. Maybe they need to make a episode of the boondocks featuring that Uncle Tom Whitlock.

  12. Whitlock discovered that there is a lot of money and fame to be made by black people willing to advance racist arguments against other black people. Here’s a guy who LOVES Entourage (white guys living an irresponsible, hip hop lifestyle), brags about his visits to strip clubs and the playboy mansion, worships the toxic Jeff George, yet we’re supposed to believe he has any shred of moral authority. He’s the very definition of a sell-out.

  13. David,

    Well said and I couldn’t agree with you more.

  14. Origin,
    I now fully expect to hear hip-hop caused those wildfires in Cali, any day now.

    Tell the truth and shame the devil!

  15. True words david. Yeah Miranda you ain’t lying…..hip hop and black people americas scape goats.

    Bad Economy blame hip hop and black.

    War in Iraqi isn’t going well blame hip hop and black.

    Sports is watered down blame hip hop and black.

    Politicians asking men for sex blame hip hop and black.

    Calling young ladies Nappy headed H#$ blame hip hop and black.

    And on and on!!!!

  16. Why does anyone with any sense listen tot his fool? White Athletes can wear tattoos love hunting, do steroids and any other anti- social behavoir and it’s not some kind of crime or an indictiment that there needs a be a blackneing of professional sports. Big Chitlin knows that white folks have a vested interest in black pathology and it pays well, Him and his audience are infantile in their attitudes and over the top racial rantings notwithstanding , 80% of white amerikkans are just a hopeless cause.

  17. If the oppressive class presses down on the oppressed class long enough and hard enough, they either despair or more likely rise up, eventually,

    his-story and my-story is full of evidential point of the rebellious/revolutionary re-actions to oppression and subjugation. That dude ( I try not to call his name, ’cause i will curse and burn things) is not ignorant of his choices. In the 21st Centuary you can not say you did not know.

    Therefore the conclusion to this is that that dude, an those like him, have chosen to side with the White Supremacist action of systemic annihilation of African people. This is part of the plan of reducing the population on the planet to a tenth of what it currently is, to accomadate the NWO.

    Far fetched as it may seem, but strategicly one must first demonize the subject, create an unsafe environment then justify by putting in measures of culling and seperating the target group from the general population. After that’s done measures are implemented to do “pre-emtive strikes”, such as DWB, three strikes and a host of other legal language to kill, detain, and exterminate most poor, non white and diferential social groups. It’s always best to start when the taget group is ost productive, when they are young and easier to sway.

    It is currently being practiced in Darfur, Iraq, Rowanda and Haiti. They are about to do same in Iran, Zimbabwe. The only way to keep the masses of which most of the above mentioned group exhist, is to drug them physically through food and “other substance” or to psychicly attack them, through 24/7 news and entertainment and a combonation of the two.

    This dud hopes to be one of the chosen, because he hates his ‘blackness’ so much, I bet he doesn’t have a mirror in his house, just a picture of ‘bif…surfer dude’ to make his day.

    I can only say…back in the day during the freedom struggles in Azania, before that self same struggle was lost through reconciliation and politricks, there was an antidote for collaborators. Wow! what where these people thinking?

  18. great column.

  19. Great article. As usual Zirin does his thing. I struggle every single day with the question: “should Whitlock be responded to or not.” I have concluded on many occasions that he simply should gain none of the attention he craves. And then you take a look into his comment sections which are more sickening than his columns themselves, and then feel that he must be responded to. I struggle with this every time I read him. Still struggling right now…

  20. You ain’t lyin brotha. I’m with you on that.

  21. Wow, I remember reading this article and thinking what an idiot. Jason Whitlock is what makes black conservatives look bad. He has no basis for any of the comments he brings up and seems to only write this article to fool ignorant whites into thinking he is greater than the majority of the black race. What a pathetic person.

  22. thebrotherreport Says:

    MODI is dead on, most of the time I just dismiss Whitlock until I read the comments then I’m pulled in.

  23. I just read the comments after Whitlock’s “article”. I had to stop after page 1 before I blew a gasket. It’s scary to think that these people exist.

  24. Marc and the rest of you’ll check out what this kat had to say about Fat Boy Unicron’s article………..http://www.blackathlete.net/artman2/publish/Commentary_1/Misguided_Blame_Hip_Hop_And_Athletes.shtml

  25. I wonder if one of the thugs will phukkk him up the next time they see him.

    I believe his arguments need to be addressed. He needs to be held up as an example of the depths human beings will go to in order to make a buck and serve Mammon. He does not personally need to be addressed. There is nothing to say. He does need to be talked about – because he is The Great Justifier. He has done the math on both sides of this. He knows that if he said his positions get NO LOVE from folks like Jim Brown and Kareem. They’ve never said any STOOPID shit like that in their entire lives. It’s really that simple.

    What you all may not realize is that his views not only energize conservatives and strident white supremacists, but they catalyze liberals and fence-sitters who might advocate for viable, constructive policies but are susceptible to the appeal of his skin color. If a Black man – any Black man – says it, I must not be “racist.” I must be having a philosophical difference of opinion. I can be staunch and resolute in my philosophical position and simply be resolved to agree to disagree. The effect of that decision is to enthrone the status quo and undermine potential for collaboration and communication.

    Whitlock is not new. Just as DZ kicked it about Rowan, this is an old school tradition. Rowan didn’t like Dr. King either. He was a Sold Soul of the first order. Whitlock is a clear descendant who chooses to traffic in the discourse of moralizing. But he has a lot of company in that respect. It seems that “white” folks and their collaborators have been wrestling with this Black Morality thing for five centuries…it’s in the literature – and Whitlock’s solution is to purge the league. Oh, that’s mighty white of him.

  26. Temple3

    Well put!

  27. off subject but gotta share…..

    GA Supreme Court frees Genarlow Wilson this morning! Rules punishment is cruel and unusual.

  28. Good for Genarlow, do you have a link? I hope Genarlow takes the state to the bank for this one.

  29. Miranda,

    Thanks for the info. There have been several cases like this where young black men down south have been arrested for having sex with young women a year or 2 younger then them. It’s just an excuse to put these kids in jail. In the cases I’m aware of the young men are black and the young women are white. Often I wonder about the progress minorities have made in this country. At times it seems that when it comes to the justice system, we are back in the 60’s. Thats why I will be marching on Washington on Nov. 16 protesting the two systems of justice in this country. One for whites and another for minorities including poor whites. The punishisment should fit the crime for all men. Jena 6and Michael Vick are two cases of injustice and or extreme punishment that come to mind.

  30. Sankofa,

    I’m not sure if that’s part of the bigger plan or just an effect. I tend to see the plan as being more concerned with green than black, of course a product of that is, the number one media product today, the hatred of black. I am often disgusted by those that seek to justify what we know needs not be justified, ever.

    A black man robs a bank he gets 10 years, a white man commits the same crime he gets 8 years. There are some people that would say why did the black man rob the bank to begin with, and he put himself in that position. I say robbing a bank is a misdemeanor compared to the systematic destruction of a nation of people. The bigger crime is the disparate sentence, and I would make no apology in attacking the system.

  31. Great post,

    I completely agree with Miranda: It’s just an excuse to put these kids in jailI just bookmarked this blog and will come back to check on more articles.

    Keep up the good work!

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