I apologize for the offensive and inflammatory title of this post, though the subject matter demands clarity of language. For those who do not track such circuses, the previously undefeated University of Kentucky men’s basketball team was dispatched by a largely undiverse squad from the University of Wisconsin on Saturday night. Wallowing in the disappointment of defeat, UK point guard Andrew Harrison mumbled a racial curse and epithet that was captured by live microphone. Several media outlets went so far as to actually print the verboten phrase in the format I will now quote: “f*** that n*****.”
This utterance caused a minor flailing among that flotsam of failed journalism called ‘sports reporters.’ A group that quickly scrambled a conclave to ascertain the only relevant question: Was that racist? To the relief of all, white smoke promptly appeared indicating a decision had been reached:
Of course this result sat particularly poorly with those obtuse high-fivers who still believe America features principled standards of behavior. I haven’t much digested their points, though I would imagine they’d ask what if one of Kentucky’s white starters had said the same thing of a black Wisconsin player? Then I realized Kentucky has no white starters. So let’s say a white player in UK’s 10-man rotation. Umm well alright, let’s just consider it as a hypothetical. Not everything can Look Like America, you know.
So if Kentucky actually allowed white players on the court, and one of them said “**** ** **** ******” to an opposing black player, what would be the results? Chronologically, a) loss of scholarship, b) expulsion from the university, and c) blacklisting from the NBA, to start. And that’s prior to a Holder Justice Department(sic) decision on hate crime enhancements. The latter hinging on whether any statuary overheard the remarks. All these sanctions being ones Mr. Harrison is likely to avoid. And that’s fine with me.
He was merely a sore losing teen who failed to harness his inner voice while impotently cursing at the victor. That he didn’t promptly stuff his mouth with currency and hose down the opposition with a horizontal grip is a testament to his stoicism. That is to say, it was all nothingness. The Wisconsin player wasn’t injured a whit by these knock-out mumbles, whether or not raysis in intent. Who on Earth cares if Harrison had race on the mind? What is this, a country full of hysterical hypocrites with the emotional resilience of a faberge egg? Well anyway…
Yet how striking to hear a media that would normally have rent multiple panties in apoplexy, now succumbing to mature equanimity. Ahh well, not really a big deal you see. Players talk trash all the time. Besides he didn’t say any of that on a fraternity bus. One would think they’d feel a bit sheepish at the obviousness of it all. But a little rationalization goes a long way on the south slope of the bell curve. And so Mr. Harrison will survive this swim through the murky depths of uncharted American racism. Perhaps even to make millions in the NBA. And in that seven figure stratosphere, he will truly come to know the horrors of oppression.
Though I can’t help but presume if he had instead muttered a confession to hiding a body under Rupp Arena, it would have been met by the same reporters with comparative shrugs of indifference. That is until the inevitable misunderstanding: Wait, did he just say hide a ******’* body?!