10.04.13

If Riley Cooper’s Teammates Embrace Him & He Says They’re “Awesome”, Where Does The Pariah Part Come In?

Posted in Baseball, Gridiron, Racism Corner, social crusaders, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 4:37 pm by

When Eagles’ wide receiver Riley Cooper was recorded using the N-word, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter publicly suggested the Eagles should dump him.

However, a few months earlier, when the Phillies signed Delmon Young, who, last year as a Tiger, was arrested in Manhattan for a drunken, 2 a.m. anti-Semitic assault on a man Young thought was Jewish, Mayor Nutter had no problem with that, at least not publicly.

Monday on TBS, Young, now with the Rays, played his 10th nationally televised postseason game since his guilty plea to that hate crime. Yet, not once has a TBS or FOX baseball announcer made even brief mention of it. It’s as if it’s nobody’s business.

Cooper, on the other hand, who committed no crime, remains a national pariah, the latest John Rocker.

- Phil Mushnick, New York Post, October 3, 2013

Perhaps one of the reasons Mayor Nutter “had no problem” with the Phillies’ signing of Young was because it occurred months after the ugly incident in question, one that (unlike Cooper’s outburst) wasn’t captured on YouTube and viewed countless times. And unlike Cooper, Young was arrested, charged and sentenced, which in the eyes of most rational persons, might be more damaging to one’s reputation than say, having a local politician call for your ouster.

Why TBS have not made mention of Delmon Young’s recent history as a hate criminal, I cannot say for certain. Presumably, there’s been some Eagles games nationally telecast this year that have neglected to reference Cooper’s rough night at the Kenny Chesney concert. But calling Cooper, “the latest John Rocker”, is a fairly huge stretch. Again, if there’d been a You Tube clip in 1999 of Rocker saying, “imagine having to take the [Number] 7 train to the ballpark, looking like you’re [riding through] Beirut next to some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing,”, it probably would’ve resulted in an even bigger firestorm. Here in the real world, however, Cooper hardly sounds like a man fearing for his job or personal safety.

“I think about it every day,” Cooper told USA TODAY Sports’ Jim Corbett yesterday. “That’s been the biggest obstacle I’ve ever had to overcome in 26 years. “Absolutely, it will never be forgotten.

“But it’s great to see my teammates coming together, bonding and treating me just how they did before — like nothing happened. All the guys have been super cool. … Everyone has been awesome.”

Of course, simply writing that both Cooper and Young have been allowed for the most part to move on with their lives, wouldn’t really fit into Phil’s predictable reverse-racism narrative, one that’s trotted out so often, readers might be under the impression that in Mushnick’s America, white people are at a massive disadvantage.

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