So something happened last night –it’s bigger than just the moment and I’m referring to the Clippers/Thunder game last night. There was a fight between Matt Barnes and Serge Ibaka, they’ve got a history together with Matt Barnes sort of being a tough guy though not a great player. Serge Ibaka is probably the elite shot blocker in the NBA right now, here’s the play by play (http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=400488995 ) By the way, avid NBA fans know that this happens half a dozen times throughout the NBA season. The story that made bigger news afterwards was Matt Barnes tweeting the N-word! Riley Cooper, Richie Incognito and now Matt Barnes; he tweeted “I love my teammates like family, but I’m DONE standing up for these n—as! All this s— does is cost me money. …” the tweet was later deleted.
Here’s what Clippers coach Doc Rivers had to say, reacting to that tweet “I think he was very emotional by the fact that he been thrown out of the game, so I get that part. The choice of words obviously…that’s a word I’m not a fan off in all venues” For the record, Matt Barnes has a history of racial tension, his life was threaten in high school by skinheads, so he’s had a racial chip on his shoulder. So I’m not here to attack Matt Barnes, he’s lived a different life than I have. Riley Cooper, Richie Incognito, Matt Barnes, the most disgusting and vile word in our vernacular and lexicon is back folks! Of course, it’s back in an adjusted form. You know, if you just put an “a” on the end of slurs it’s not as slurry! Hmm, okay so that’s the new rule. Just put an “a” at the end of vile words and it’s no longer a slur! But you know what? Major corporations and hip hop stars, if you start selling the word to the masses, don’t be shocked if people start using the word more regularly. Black hip hop stars sell the word to the free market, guess what? Non-African Americans buy the CD’s, they love the songs, they’re catchy, they’re formidable, and think its okay to start using the word now.
So the N-word is center stage again in the world of sports! Oh but it was off the market for a while – understandably and appropriately so. But major corporations, the media – whom lean left as I do, are outraged by the word “Redskin” but when it comes to the N-word “hey, it’s less slurry now” terrific! Jay Z uses it eight times in his song Holy Grail that he only co-sings with Justin Timberlake. If you sell a word to the masses, you better know that not only those who think they have a right to use it will use it! It’s funny; we pick and choose don’t we? Gronkowski says something… we’re cool with it, but that another guy says something…we’re not cool with it. “Redskin?” outrageous!! The N-word? “Well, I mean they’re artists…you know, they are adding an “a” at the end, it’s not the intent but rather…” So the new rule is: just add an “a” to slurs so I guess if I say “Redskins(a)” we’re okay with it right? My opinions on slurs are: once a slur, it’s off the market and that goes for everybody because it’s outright demeaning. But I guess I’m clearly in the minority on this one. Riley Cooper, Matt Barnes, Richie Incognito…people now defend the word! Once outraged, people now defend it. “Hey, it’s just like saying dude!” Oh okay, alright then…so I guess now the next move for me is to just not be outraged by it right? Or it depends on who says it or if I use an “a” at the end….I guess I just have to keep up with the new stuff on slurs, it’s part of our lexicon again so I just have to keep up with slurs because you obviously want to know what you can say and can’t say…awesome!
Onto a story that I read this week, so the largest youth program in the U.S, Pop Warner, saw participation rates drop by 9.5% over the last three years “A sign that the concussion crisis that began in the NFL is now having a dramatic impact” According to data provided to ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” Pop Warner lost about 24,000 players, the largest two year decline ever. The downward trend in youth football coincides with a series of reports released from prestigious academic institutions and medical journals about football and brain damage. Colin Cowherd, host of the “The Herd” on ESPN radio recently came out with his book “You Herd Me!: I’ll Say It If Nobody Else Will” it’s a great book, almost done reading it. He dedicates an entire column and argues brilliantly on why soccer, over the next 10 years, is here to stay in North America. The reason is simple, baseball has lost the urban/city kid and football is now losing the suburban kid. When Green Bay Packers TE Jermichael Finley, a couple of weeks ago, was taken off the field on a stretcher on national TV – delayed the game for twelve minutes. Mom’s across the U.S and Canada saw that, looked at their sons and said to themselves “Nope…Done!” Why do TV ads target moms? 85% of household income decisions, according to a recent study, 85% of the time mom’s make the decision. When it comes to kids’ decisions? They make about 99% of them!
Notice recently how Rob Lowe and Dr. Oz, very popular TV personalities among woman, are now doing “I love football” commercials? You notice how the NFL now has a new line with Victoria Secret targeting young woman…why? They will become future mom’s! 98% of guys think they make the decisions when in fact 98% of women actually do. Every time I see a football player taken off the field on a stretcher, you know what I think? I think Roger Goodell – commissioner of the NFL, is sitting there watching and if he hasn’t made the call, he’s certainly thought about it “call the networks, tell them to go to a commercial, a producer piece, back to Joe Buck and Troy Aikman in the booth, show something else” Every time there are one of these moments, where Jermichael Finely is taken off the field, and for those of you who saw it, you were certainly thinking the exact same thing I was thinking…you know you were, you were sitting there thinking “man, this is a bad look for the NFL”
The NFL has shown and used leverage on the networks “Hey, don’t show idiots who run onto the field” next time you see a stretcher and a player hurt, I want you all to pay attention to what that network shows, and the NFL is now on every network. Don’t be surprised if you see increased production packages, they go back to the booth, they go to crowd shots…don’t’ be surprised! If the NFL hasn’t made that call, they’re certainly thinking about it. But when you have Jermichael Finley sitting there for twelve minutes, you were thinking the exact same thing I was “that is a bad look for the league” now Pop Warner stats are out! Next time you see a major injury, watch carefully on what is shown, don’t be surprised if there’s production packages “let’s go to another commercial” or “let’s go up to the guys at the booth” or “crowd shots” it’s all coming slowly but surely!