Thursday, April 21, 2005

Why ask Why when there's recourse for it?

I like reading the DetroitFreePress, partly because I was born in Michigan, but also because I really like their sports columnists, Mitch Albom and Drew Sharp (sorry Michael Rosenberg, I've not read enough of you yet to form an opinion). On This Link, you will see Drew Sharp's reaction to what (I think) should have been a trite incident.

In short, Jermaine O'Neal questioned NBA commissioner David Stern's proposal to impose a 20 year old minimum age for entry into the NBA, not unlike what the NFL has. He asked whether it had anything to do with race. He posed the question because of the last 11 players under twenty drafted with the top 5 picks in the draft, 9 of them have been black. Now, Jermaine doesn't have a college education, and doesn't necessarily think things through (remember Malice at Auburn Hills), but his question was just that, a question. It warranted an answer. The answer is "No, this proposal is not motivated by race, there are other issues here." That's all the question warranted. He didn't deserve to be labeled a racist for asking a question; at worst, he needed to be told to think about the situation a little more closely before asking the question.

But that's not what happened. Instead, the issue revolves around the racist undertones of the question. Folks, that's stupid.

I'm not the biggest O'Neal fan. I'm a Pistons fan at heart, and he's a Pacer. But he didn't do anything malicious here; he asked an improper question. Answer it, and leave it to that.

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