Mike Rowse A voice from New Mexico

21Aug/170

Just Stop Already!!!

I was listening to the Ryen Russillo podcast on Friday show during which he was joined by Ellie as cohost. This was the first time I had heard as a cohost of radio shows but she has been around ESPN in various capacities for a while. For the purposes of this post, it is important to note that she is a black woman, which she said she is reminded of every day in both a good way and a bad way. Maybe we’ll get to that part later but this is more about symbolism and as she and Ryan put it, “optics”.

Over the last couple of years ESPN has done what they call a fantasy football marathon. On both television and radio they go for 28 straight hours with various shows talking about players and their impact in various fantasy football leagues, how to run a league, etc. This year’s show included a fantasy football auction during which participants were given a pool of money and could bid upon football players to add to their team. Now this differs from most fantasy leagues in which you have a draft of some type but similar to what the NFL has for the real NFL league.

A very vocal minority was upset about the player auction, which by the way in golf we call it a Calcutta, because they said the optics made it look like a slave auction. Yes, the majority of players in the NFL are black but every player in the NFL was available to be auctioned. I don’t know the exact workings of this auction and how they decided what players to put up for bid but I’m assuming they took the top players in each positional category and the participants had to decide how much they were going to spend on the player if they wanted to get them on their team.

So now people are upset and ESPN has apologized for holding what appeared to be a slave auction even though there were white players auctioned as well as players of other ethnicities. But of course the optics or the way it looked is what’s more important to those who are complaining and not going deeper than the surface to see whether or not that was the intent of the organizers and making a decision about whether this should be offensive or not.

Now Ryan Russillo try to dance around and say he thought people were overreacting by he didn’t want to offend anyone so if he was trying to say that people were overreacting it didn’t come across very clearly. And he admitted that is difficult for him as a white male to understand how people could be offended and to empathize with them. Once again it’s bunch of bull crap that means we cannot learn about things in this world that we have not experienced. But Ellie said that it was a fail by ESPN and she understands how so many people compare this to a slave auction. I guess the players put up for bid were enslaved, showed up in chains maybe or were on the auction block against their will not having chosen to play football.

But Ellie took this in a couple of different directions including saying the combine that the NFL holds every year where they put players to mental and physical tests to help rate their future success in the NFL could also be seen as having ties to slavery. Many positions in the NFL require a high level of athletic ability which can be demonstrated in some part to the physical testing the players endure at the NFL combine, where they engage in things like speed tests, strength tests etc. There are also mental tests and interviews that they participate in, which I don’t think ever occurred in a slave auction. But because the majority of players are black, Ellie and others have said this could be reminiscent of what happened at slave auctions 200 years ago.

Ellie also said that she grew up in Georgia and she knew it someone had a Confederate flag sign in their yard or on a flagpole in their yard, she knew that that person did not want her there. Really? Because the Confederate flag did not stand for slavery when it was used it has been turned into that by ignorant people who have no clue as to what the Civil War was originally fought over. Many people use that Confederate flag similar to the “don’t tread on me” revolutionary flag to say they are rising up against governmental tyranny. Many people do not even associate that flag with promoting bigotry, discrimination, or slavery.

But I have a very strong feeling based upon other comments she made that she supported Hillary Clinton in the last election. While Hillary Clinton had a campaign button with her logo on it but the background was a Confederate battle flag. Does that mean that Hillary is racist or bigoted and doesn’t want people like Ellie around? Well if Ellie is going to be honest intellectually, then she has to say the same thing about Hillary Clinton. She won’t of course because Hillary is a Democrat and one of the most liberal areas. Remember she was married to the “first black president”. Who by the way also had a similar campaign button in 1992.

They then turned the conversation to a street in Boston named Yawkey Way. The street is named after former Boston Red Sox team owner Thomas Yawkey there is quite a bit of controversy right now over the naming of the street and an effort to change it because Thomas was a racist. Now I don’t know if he ever espoused racist viewpoints are supported racist policies but I understand he refused as long as he could to higher black players for the Boston Red Sox. Boston does have a reputation for being a racist community and maybe he was making a business decision not wanting to upset his loyal fans or maybe he agreed with them.

But the fact is that he did a lot of good in Boston and was apparently a very charitable man. I understand he was involved in a lot of community organizations, donated to hospitals and other charities, and so on. But a group of people wants to rename the street that is named after him because of his racist views. Once again they are ignoring probably 90% of what the man did and focusing upon the 10%. Certainly if he was actively or even in actively racist that is not a good thing and people should know that. But life is not simple nor is a black and white. It is gray. We cannot throw out the baby with the bathwater and remove all things that might be offensive even if they are true.

But back to Ellie and her comments regarding Thomas Yawkey. She said she is more offended by the Confederate flag because to keep her down because of her race and it directly affects her. She is not as offended by the street name because that does not directly affect her. Isn't it kind of odd for a liberal to say they can put their nose in somebody else’s business? That's what liberals do all the time. But in this case shouldn't she speak out against racism, if she believes Thomas Yawkey was racist? I think that's the right thing to do. But again liberals do not have principles, at least not in the way most of us do. It depends upon the situation whether or not they agree or disagree with a specific behavior.

Quite simply the furor over the NFL auction conducted on ESPN or the street name in Boston or the Confederate battle flag being displayed are all overreactions by people who represent the minority of Americans who are easily offended by things they don't understand. They have a victim mentality and want to cry Wolf every opportunity they get and destroy other people that they do not like. There are much more serious and real problems in this world that might get solved if these professional victims and agitators spend all of that effort trying to solve the real problems of the world.

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