If America can be understood by observing its sports—and, more importantly, its sports fans—the news does not look all good for Obama’s America.
For the last couple days, the American sporting world has been aboil with l’affaire Chase Budinger.
Chase Budinger is a star basketball player (white) with the Arizona Wildcats. In a game against the University of Houston Cougars on January 24, Budinger drew a charge by UH’s star player (black) Aubrey Coleman.
Budinger was knocked to the floor, slid backwards, and the referee whistled a foul. In the aftermath of the play, Coleman continued forward and his foot came down on the side of Budinger’s neck and jaw.
Budinger jumped up to give Coleman a retaliatory shove.
The referees reviewed the play, apparently determined that Coleman’s action was intentional, and kicked him out of the game. Budinger stated that he thought the step was intentional. So, apparently, did a lot of other people.
To China Matters, the video is inconclusive. It looks to me like Coleman is carelessly trying to step over Budinger (or perhaps not caring enough about not stepping on Budinger); as his foot comes down on Budinger’s jaw Coleman stumbles forward, an indication, perhaps, of a mis-step.
The next day, Coleman issued a contrite-sounding apology for the “accident” (you can see Coleman’s apology—and the video of the original incident—here, on the blog of Houston Chronicle sportswriter Michael Murphy).
One might think that the ambiguity concerning Coleman’s culpability, the apology, and the lack of adverse consequences (Budinger was unhurt except for a raspberry on his shoulder; the fired-up Wildcats erased Houston’s lead and won the game in overtime) might cause this incident to sink into immediate obscurity.
However, sports media is, along with celebrity journalism, a subset of mainstream American journalism that proudly clings to its tabloid roots. Sport is one of the few things Americans care about passionately, and it is easy and profitable for sports media outlets to arouse these emotions in order to generate controversy, debate, flame wars, and the kind of traffic and intensity that advertisers crave.
I don’t reside inside a sportswriter’s head, but I imagine the governing theory is that controversy is good and the heated emotions are harmless. After all, it’s just jockstraps and touchdowns and arguing about whose team is the best.
Well, in this case I suspect that the sports media got a little more than it bargained for.
ESPN appointed itself judge and jury in the Coleman case, preparing a video that purported to demonstrate that the step was intentional. In particular, it employed a graphic I would characterize as “Guilt-o-Vision”, a depiction of Coleman’s alleged field of view that, in ESPN’s opinion, demonstrated that he must have seen Budinger and, therefore, intentionally put his foot on his face.
The video included a sequence that also appeared to me rather inflammatory: a clip of Coleman leaving the court (ten minutes later, after the review had been completed and the brouhaha died down), exchanging a high-five with a teammate and apparently relaxed and uncrippled by remorse.
ESPN energetically promoted the story. A YouTube version of the video collected three million hits and it became a story other outlets had to pick up.
Connor Ennis of the New York Times’ college basketball blog called the foul “vicious”.
As the story moved to the downmarket blogs, the prose got more purple.
College OTR (“Your Online Frathouse”) posted the video and commented, “There are fouls, there are horrendous fouls, and there are absolutely the worst fouls ever caught on film. This one might qualify for the third option on that list.”
Yahoo led with the story on its homepage, linking to a January 25 post, Please Note Chase Budinger’s Face is Not a Doormat, on one of its sports blogs, The Dagger, written by Matthew J. Darnell.
By the next morning, the post had collected 12,000 (not a typo—12,000) comments.
Virtually all of the Dagger posts condemned Coleman, declaring his act intentional and fuming at the apparent lack of remorse shown in the ESPN clip.
Many posts called for Coleman to be kicked off the team and have his scholarship yanked, and quite a few posts lamented the rise of the “thug” culture in NCAA basketball, a complaint (sometimes coupled with nostalgia for the halcyon days of Bob Cousy and the two-handed set shot) that can easily be construed as racist.
There is no need, however, to exercise guesswork with a large number of posts, which managed to convey explicit and unashamed racism despite the writers’ struggles with literacy and Yahoo’s overworked profanity filter.
What was interesting to me was the number of racist posts that linked Coleman’s behavior with the new Barack Obama administration.
Obviously there is a significant reservoir of racism that once carried with it a sense or expectation of superiority but has now, post-election, morphed into fear and resentment looking for a socially-acceptable outlet—like fury at the alleged misbehavior of a black man on a basketball court.
Be it sports, politics, or policy, the Obama administration will be challenged by people looking to play the victim card and depict the Obama presidency as a dangerous incitement to African-American assertiveness and a challenge to the vulnerable rights and privileges of other Americans.
The selection of comments taken from the Dagger post are, admittedly, cherry-picked. On the other hand, I got all this material just by going through the last 1000 posts. There’s plenty more.
All quotes from The Dagger (needless to say, hopefully, China Matters endorses none of these views and regrets the language):
TS ALL OBAMAS FAULT. THEY THINK THEY OWN IT ALL NOW! ooh ooh ooh aah aah aah!
of course that big gorilla did i on purpose!
did you see how all the other monkeys gave him high 5’s and banannas afterwards?
they’re all less tyhan human
ts time for the NCAA to start weeding out these little [profane] street urchins that have come to infest the college basketball courts across the country. It used to be a respectful sport, until they started allowing these thugs from Harlem in.
I would propose that the racial balance be the same as the ratio of the school itself. If the school is all black then it is permissible to have an all black team. If a school is 90% white then the team must not exceed 10% non-white on the team.
Just what are they offering for courses in the instituions. Advanced thuggery. Kick the white boy while he’s down. Coward punkass [profane] Throw his ass down the toilet, along with his NBA hopes.
Hang the ni**er!!!
[profane] that dirty ass [profane] i would want that dirty ass [profane] to read what i am writing. [profane] that nasty dirty [profane] [profane] that fool! step on me and ill stomp step on him! but first make that [profane]ing [profane] bite the curb. make that [profane]ing [profane] bite the [profane]ing curb!!!
welcome to the niggering of America
He did it because obama is in office
What a Nasty Man, But Hey! He’s Black, Obama’s Black, Everything is OTay!
Have Houston come to Spokane and pull that crap while playin the Zags. We know how to handle people who behave like Negros up here. Boy, would have never made it to the bus.
it wasnt his fault.. a fan threw a banana on the court and the monkey tried to get to it before the other monkeys did.
worthless apes. welfare leaching maggots.smelly monkeys. no value to this country. wow thats alot of posts, not to mention the famous n word. racist s are alive and well and america. i love it. and if the blacks thing obama is going to do anything for them i got news for them. you are still going to be getto trash 4 yrs from now. ha ha ha.
now that Obama is Prez you’ll be seeing alot more of this kind of crap.
Then all his monkey friends congratulate him! Standard Nigs!
look at the black people act like idiots. this is exactly the change obama was talking about. every opportunity the blacks have to step all over the white man, they’re on it !
Surprize, Surprize…..Coleman is black and no one cares what he does…..but if it would have been a white man steping on a black guy’s face, the whole darn world would be in an up roar…..what is the world coming to???
No, just a shotty arrogant fu#king N!GER….
typical ignorant monkey on the playground. Pull his scholarship, there is no way his momentum carried him, that was deliberate and to say different is negligent. To top it off his nappy headed teammate high fived him. Total crap.
don’t blame him….he is a victim…just an innocent, poor, black …..piece of Sh*t
exactly why i hate black people
Come on………….If BLACKS couldn’t pull the race card WHERE would our nation be today??!! People would have to actually take PERSONAL responsibility for themselves and their kids AND would have to EARN a spot in college b/c of their brain! Let’s not be crazy……………we have worked hard to raise a generation of VICTIMS……and now our new president will continue this great legacy our country is famous for…………POOR US
insert obama and any white person and there you have the next 4 years
You vote in a NIg and look what happens. If this was reversed it would be a heat crime and fat black Al Sharpten would be marching around the arena and boycotting the team. They should ban this stupid Gorilla and the rest of the monkeys that congratulated him for doing it. THANKS ALLO MR. PREDISENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gatekeeper, the racial aspect of this is that because the player is black he gets a bye, if he was white all of black america would be up in arms. The is a backlash coming from white america if blacks don’t start taking responisbility for their actions equal to whites.
Thugs playing ball. Another incident in the past few days highlights the PC’ness of the athletic associations.
“The above video appears to show UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma and Syracuse forward Nicole Michael exchanging words as they go through the post-game handshake line, followed by Michael trying to trip Auriemma when they cross paths again, and Auriemma being restrained by his players from going after Michael. A bizarre incident, to say the least.
But Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese has reviewed the incident and said he’s not going to take any action.”
I have an idea why these players suddenly seem emboldened, but I get labeled for my thought.
He showed his “TRUE COLORS” didn’t he?
A future President of the USA….
typical nig behavior…no class ghetto jungle behavior.
The college game is imitating the pros……bunch of non-caucasion thugs all trying to be the alpha male.
When you have ignorant, ghetto-thug animals admitted to college merely because they possess athletic ability – this is what you get. Once again, shame on our society for prizing athletics over academics. What a sad commentary.
Just another rude act against a white boy. And they ask why no white guys play anymore? Its cause of crap like this – what happened to the great game of basketball? Stay home thugs, stop coming to our universities and screwing up society.
that thug or shall I say animal must be ban for life
Now that we have a black president, get used to it. Its our time to step on whitey…
thats how monkeys act… no surprise
woody H …. whats up you Nig… get a job…. wait Obama is in office so the whites will really continue to payf or you… dont bite the hand that feeds you