CommunityPam's House Blend

Get me some more of those black bucks

Every so often, it seems like some sports coach or broadcaster has one of those blast-from-the-past brain farts of racism and stupidity that just boggles the mind. Let’s call it a romantic notion of the big, black, fast buck that just mesmerizes some people, especially when it comes to sports.

The latest bit of reality-based sports analysis is from Air Force Academy football coach Fisher DeBerry. I’ve not heard of the guy, but apparently this isn’t the first time he’s gone off the deep end. He thinks his winning record is due to all the darkies and their innate physical — perhaps even magical — gifts.

Coming off a 48-10 loss Saturday to the Horned Frogs, DeBerry was quoted as saying at a Tuesday news conference: “It’s very obvious to me the other day that the other team had a lot more Afro-American players than we did, and they ran a lot faster than we did. It just seems to be that way, that Afro-American kids can run very, very well. That doesn’t mean that Caucasian kids and other descents can’t run, but it’s very obvious to me they run extremely well.

“Their defense had 11 Afro-American kids on their team, and they were a very, very good defensive football team. That’s exactly what I was talking about.”

DeBerry mentioned Monday that the academy needed to recruit more minority athletes than its opponents.

Earlier entertaining implosions of this kind that I can recall spewed from the mouths of sportscaster Jimmy the Greek and former Dodger exec Al Campanis. These are two guys that famously said, on the air, unbelievable comments that they proceeded to compound with even more mind-blowing defenses in the same breath.

“(Blacks) may not have some of the necessities to be, let’s say, a field manager, or perhaps a general manager.”

— former Dodger general manager Al Campanis in 1987 on ABC’s “Nightline”

I was watching Nightline when Campanis had his live meltdown. Poor Ted Koppel tried asking him eight different ways to get out of the hole, but it got worse each time. I was embarrassed for the guy.

I didn’t see Jimmy the Greek’s infamous comments live (his faux pas came about year after Campanis’s), but I saw plenty of replays of it; here’s a good summary — it takes my breath away all over again:

Jimmy ‘the Greek’ Snyder remarked that black athletes already hold an advantage as basketball players because they have longer thighs than white athletes, their ancestors having been deliberately bred that way during slavery. ‘This goes all the way to the Civil War,’ Jimmy the Greek explained, ‘when during the slave trading. . .the owner, the slave owner would breed his big black to his big woman so he could have a big black kid, you see.’ Astonishing though it may seem, Snyder intended his remark as a compliment to black athletes. If black men became coaches, he said, there would be nothing left for white men to do in basketball at all. Embarrassed by such rank and open expression of racism in the most ignorant form, the network fired Jimmy the Greek from his job. Any fool, the network must have decided, should know that such things may be spoken in the privacy of the locker-room in an all-white club, but not into a microphone and before a camera.

To add a feminist twist on this phenomenon, earlier this year we had a nice turn by Formula One head Bernie Ecclestone, digs himself into a giant hole of the dumb*ss variety.

Danica Patrick came in fourth at the Indy 500; president and CEO of Formula One, billionaire Bernie Ecclestone (center) attempted to pay her a compliment, but he needs to use some of his pocket change to buy a brain.

Ecclestone’s chauvinist nonsense to Danica Patrick, who he was allegedly congratulating on her performance at the Indianapolis 500:

Among the comments Ecclestone made in the interview and to Patrick was: “Women should be all dressed in white like all other domestic appliances.”

Said Patrick: “I just didn’t make sense of it. I was surprised.”

Ecclestone offered a clarification, blaming his English sense of humor.

“What I was trying to say was that I’ve been completely wrong about women race-car drivers,” Ecclestone said. “I was so impressed with the way she had driven, because I always thought women couldn’t drive and should be in the kitchen with the other domestic appliances. I was surprised at the job she did and I was happy for her.”

Thanks to Blender Holly for the pointer.

Previous post

What We Ought to Ask

Next post

Today on the Tom-Toms

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding