December 14 2012
Identity Politics, Even in Sports
Can't we just all be ourselves?
I tread lightly in conversations about race, because it's a sensitive topic. And quite frankly, I'm a white girl, so I imagine my experience is somewhat shaped by that.
That said, I found the following exchange on ESPN to be pretty fascinating (scroll down for video). Analysts were discussing the ethnicity of RG3 (Robert Griffin III - quarterback for the Washington Redskins).
Commentator Rob Parker started the conversation like this:
Time and time we keep hearing this, so it just makes me wonder deeper about him. And I’ve talked to some people down in Washington D.C., and … my question, which is just a straight, honest question, is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?
OK, he’s black, he kinda does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause. He’s not one of us. He’s kind of black, but he’s not really, like, the guy you want to hang out with because he’s off to something else.”
I want to find out about him. I don’t know, because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancée. And there was all this talk about how he’s Republican. There’s no information at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue..."
Apparently RG3 has an issue. When commentator Stephen Smith is asked to join the conversation, he says "I'm uncomfortable with where we just went." That's exactly how I felt.
When it comes to topics like this, I come ready to listen. What do other people think of this? It seems there is some pressure among minority groups to fit in - to be "one of us" and to support "the cause." Is support for the cause confounded with support for liberal political policies? My ears are open!
Here's the video:
Hat tip - Daily Caller