Top that race-baiter! It's the latest craze among race-obsessed sports media. Recently we read that Matthew Allen of The Root claimed the burning of NFL jerseys is akin to the lynching of Blacks, and we saw Jemele Hill's tweets claiming President Trump and his supporters are "white supremacists." Yesterday ESPN's Michael Wilbon soared to the top of this week's sports media race-baiters with claims that Jerry Jones is a "plantation owner" oppressing his Dallas Cowboys' football team.
In response to news that Dallas and the Miami Dolphins announced restrictions on disrespecting the flag during the playing of the national anthem, Wilbon went off on the Pardon The Interruption program he co-hosts with Tony Kornheiser:
And the word that comes to my mind is plantation. The players are here to serve me and they will do what I want. No matter how much I pay him, they are not equal to me.
On this morning's Dan Patrick radio show, Wilbon doubled down on his race-baiting comments. He told the host: "I used the phrase 'plantation mentality.' So let me repeat it because that's what it comes off as. I don't care if Jerry Jones comes back and criticizes me, or Fox News or anybody else. There needs to be open discussion, and sometimes it's harsh."
And sometimes it's worthy of the lead in the "top that race-baiter ratings."
Wilbon's emergence atop this week's race-baiting performances didn't come easy. He had to overcome stiff competition, including the efforts of The Root's "Very Smart Brothas" Damon Young. Reacting to ESPN's suspension of Hill for calling on Cowboys' advertisers to boycott the team, Young wrote:
The president of the United States and his administration are in a de facto state of war against anyone who isn’t male, anyone who isn’t straight, anyone who isn’t white, anyone who isn’t Christian, anyone who isn’t wealthy, and anyone who doesn’t place the interests of straight and wealthy and Christian white men above the interests of everyone else. He has made this plain repeatedly and unambiguously with his words, his actions, his policies and his appointments, since his only political agenda is to retain the value of whiteness (white maleness, particularly) and reverse everything his black predecessor did.
That's pretty offensive stuff, but Wilbon's remarks came on the much higher national profile ESPN platform and drew greater outrage nationally. Young's rant came on the much smaller stage of an obscure blog and it's so ridiculous you wonder if even he believes it. He went on:
Recently, he [President Trump] specifically targeted his ire at the predominantly black athletes of the NFL (and NBA), calling on his friends (the white owners) and his base (the mostly white fans) to put these men in their place. And they have responded to the call from their leader. Boos, beer and even death threats rain down from the stands on those who’ve decided to use the anthem to bring attention to racial injustice, and owners have ordered their employees to behave or else.
Young wrote that when Dallas owner Jerry Jones called "game over" on disrespectful protests he was drawing a clear line in the sand and "communicating to his fanbase and his owner (the president) that they shouldn’t worry because he’s getting his n------ in line."
Young also blistered ESPN for suspending Hill in a "craven and transparent attempt to appease a base that will never, ever, ever, ever, ever be satisfied unless all black athletes and media personalities either become mutes or Jason Whitlock. And along with being f------ wrong, this choice was remarkably shortsighted. They are, through their cowardice, making themselves a willing agent of an evil president. And if somehow, through the grace of God, we’re not all vaporized because of World War III, history will look back at the companies who chose ratings over being right and money over not being gutless bastards bending to the will of a triflin’ bum, and it will thumb its nose at these f---s.