Archive for Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Commentary: Broken dreams litter field on MLK Day

January 22, 2008

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Through no effort of Don Imus, Golfweek or college football, Monday was Martin Luther King Day.

A lot has happened since the last MLK Day. It's hard to believe King would have been happy with much of it.

He dreamed of a color-blind society where people are measured by their character. Sports gave us plenty of characters. But when it comes to tolerance and learning from mistakes, sports didn't show a lot of progress.

Do you have a dream when it comes to all this? None of us is MLK, but we all can close our eyes and fantasize.

I have a dream that an announcer will be allowed to suffer brief brain lock on live TV (Hello, Kelly Tilghman) and not be suspected of being a closet racist.

I also have a dream that Al Sharpton will at least bother to find out a person's gender (his news release declared Tilghman a "him" and threatened to "pickett" the Golf Channel) before reflexively declaring that person a racist and demanding they be fired.

I have a dream that when a pro athlete fathers a child out of wedlock (Hello, Dwight Howard), some readers won't include "black" with adjectives like "pampered," "irresponsible" and "rich" in explaining such behavior.

Funny, you didn't hear "white" as one of the reasons Tom Brady became an unwed father last year.

I also have a dream that knuckleheads like Travis Henry would stop having nine children by nine different women, which perpetuates the image that all black athletes must deal with.

I have a dream that I can say I find the WNBA boring without being accused of sexism.

I have a dream that "noose" and "lynch" will not be banned from our vocabulary. If we can't even mention them without being accused of insensitivity, how can we discuss their meaning and impact?

I also have a dream that people (Hello, Golfweek) will comprehend why there is such sensitivity about inflammatory words and images. They'd probably understand if 3,500 golf magazine editors had been lynched between 1882 and 1968.

I have a dream that after all the evidence comes out in the Barry Bonds perjury trial, not even Giants fans will be able to say Bonds' treatment by the government and media was at least partially due to his race.

I also have a dream that if all the evidence ever comes out on Roger Clemens, media and fans will seriously ponder whether they'd have been so happily oblivious over the years if Clemens were Bonds.

I have a dream that somebody will finally come up with a plausible explanation why out of 120 Division 1-A football coaches, only eight are minorities. And why the situation isn't any better than it was 10 years ago.

I have a dream that young athletes will realize making the NFL or NBA is just a dream.

I have a dream that Imus didn't just apologize after looking in the mirror and realizing who really has hair issues.

I have a dream that baseball will figure out how to appeal to young African-American athletes before there aren't any in the major leagues.

I also have a dream that Jesse Jackson will realize Latins and Asians are filling the vacuum before he accuses baseball of discrimination.

I have a dream that Archie Bunker returned to TV and people got that the joke is on him before they started to picket.

I also have a dream there will be a racial issue and nobody will call Sharpton for a comment.

Now I'm really dreaming.

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