Unfortunately, the big news following Wisconsin’s upset of Kentucky last night hasn’t been the game, but rather the post-game conduct of the Kentucky players and fans. Although post-game riots are usually the province of the winning team’s fan, in this case it was the sore-loser fans in Lexington.
But the Kentucky players were even worse sore losers. Three of the players walked off the floor without the traditional handshake and one of them during a press conference responded to a question about Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky by uttering under his breath, “Fuck that niga.”
Not surprisingly, the utterance did not result in a media firestorm. Instead the media quickly moved past the incident and pivoted first to Andrew Harrison’s apology and next to Kaminsky easy acceptance of the apology.
Kudos to Kaminsky. As argued in a column that my brother Kelly recently posted on Facebook, real men don’t get offended.
As for any consequences to Harrison, Kentucky coach Calipari was asked if that were being considered and he responded with, “Nah.”
And when a Yahoo columnist Dan Wetzel pondered the incident, he quickly concluded that this was a racist incident:
- “Harrison’s comment, while a racial slur, likely wasn’t rooted in racial anger anyway. This was immaturity and embarrassment. He wasn’t creative enough to put Kaminsky down any other way, so he fell to the lowest rung on the ladder, a rather absurd one too since, as noted, Kaminsky is white. Still, apologies should count, so let that one. If Kaminsky said he’s good with it – not that the victim here usually has much choice – then so be it. Turning Harrison into a piñata for varying forces on acceptable racial language doesn’t seem reasonable either. This really wasn’t about race.”
It seems that a black person won’t be accused of racism unless there is compelling, direct evidence, but a white person, like the Ferguson cop, will be exonerated of racism only after a comprehensive investigation of his life history fails to discover any utterance or action of a racist nature.
I understand the double standard regarding the use of the word “niga,” but I don’t think there needs to be a double standard for judging someone a racist.