Steve Francis is apparently the only person who gets it.
"In other sports," Francis said, "there are incidents that are way worse than basketball. So many worse things happen every game or four or five times a year, but because there are more black players in the NBA, it's under the microscope more than baseball or hockey."
What's amazing is how Francis is one of the only people out there who recognizes what is so obviously true.. the media's coverage and the public's response to this brawl is clearly racist.
In hockey, guys beat up on each other every night.. yet no one cares. In fact, not only does no one care, but it's considered "part of the game." Apparently when white guys fight its simply good tradition.. it shows grit, hustle, determination, yada yada yada.
In baseball.. white guys like Mark McGwire balloon to epic proportions on god knows what kind of drugs, but all you hear about is Barry Bonds. Even worse, when fights in baseball happen, its a good thing. Throwing a baseball at someone's head in baseball is not only accepted.. its actually revered. How could you allow people to wear padding on their elbows.. getting hit is part of the game. How could you eject someone immediately for throwing a baseball at someone's head.. its how "player's police themselves." That line, which you hear often, is the biggest joke of all. When white guys get angry with each other, its simply how they govern themselves.
Football.. don't get me started with football.. the entire game is a bunch of misplaced male agression. The entire sport is an act of physical violence. But this doesn't bother me so much.. football and boxing are violent and aggresive and they're great games. But what bothers me is how the media and the public deal with violent acts in the football context. When players step on each other's heads in football, spit in faces, or get in fights.. the media comes down on those specific players as being idiots. But no one comes down on the game of football just because players fight.
But in basketball, its a whole different story. When player's fight, the focus is not on the players.. but the game. If Terrell Owens punched somebody, you'd hear how out of control Owens is. In baseball, if a guy charged the mound and punched somebody.. you wouldn't even hear how that player is out of control. You'd simply see the clips of Nolan Ryan beating on Robin Ventura and hear how tough Nolan Ryan is.
But in basketball.. you hear about what a disgrace the league is. What a bunch of thugs.. what a bunch of criminals. What a bunch of animals. Lets just be blunt about what's going on here. People are racist. I don't think there's really any way to sugar coat this. Its not an individual racism.. like there's no one individual analyst or writer that is racist. But the public and the media are collectively racist. There's simply no other way to explain the unbareable coverage of the recent NBA brawl.
One can only imagine the mental associations that the average person makes when thinking about NBA basketball. Black. Urban. Violent. Counter-cultural. Who knows.. its probably the same type of fears the general public has regarding hip hop music. The same type of fears that have plagued our country for decades.. centuries.
The point is not that fighting is good. Carmelo Anthony gets paid millions of dollars, and its just dumb to hurt yourself, your image, your team, your employer, and your league by punching someone in the face. There's nothing racist about saying fighting is unacceptable and that its dumb for these guys to be brawling on the court. No one is arguing this. What is racist though is for the media and the public not to give other sports a similar treatment. The next time you see baseball players fight.. don't buy into the garbage that its part of the game. When hockey players fight, don't buy into the garbage that it's how players police themselves. See it for what it is, completey unacceptable behavior by grown men. If you only see that in basketball, but not in other sports.. you're being racist whether you think so or not.