Michael Johnson Says Black People are Inherently Faster than White People Due to Eugenics During Slavery; Everyone’s Head Explodes

The World’s Fastest Man in 1996 stated On June 30th:

All my life  I believed I became an athlete through my own determination, but it’s impossible to think that being descended from slaves hasn’t left an imprint through the generations.

Difficult as it was to hear, slavery has benefited descendants like me – I believe there is a superior  athletic gene in us.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, everyone has now lost their shit.  But before the First Take crew have self-righteous brain anuerysms, let’s put this all in context (Damnit, too late.  And, holy shit, Rob Parker and Bomani Jones are complete morons in that clip). 

First, in the original article from the Daily Mail that I linked above, Johnson is referring to research specifically completed on his DNA that proved he is of West African descent.  So it’s not like Michael Johnson just decided to spout some nonsense out of nowhere.

Second, the quote is right there, “benefited descendants like me.”  He is referring to black people THAT ARE ALREADY ATHLETES.  So Rob Parker and Bomani Jones (I’m really disappointed in Bomani Jones, I thought he was more thoughtful than this) saying, “What the hell is Michael Johnson talking about?  I can’t run fast or jump high, and I’m black” is really quite shocking in its lack of comprehension.  (Israel Gutierrez’s statements at the end are even worse, and I don’t even want to get into it.)

Third, (and hold on to your seats, things might be getting RAYCESS around here) I don’t understand why the idea that only the gentically strongest Africans survived the trip across the Atlantic (considering how fucking terrifying those trips were), and then only the strongest of those were allowed to reproduce once they landed in America, thus unintentionally creating a gene pool with a pre-disposition (read: not a GUARANTEE) towards athletic ability is such a CRAZY proposition.  That seems, honestly, like what exactly happened.  Slave owners wanted slaves that were big and strong and fast, as they would be more adept towards surviving the back breaking labor and horrifying living conditions they (slaves) were forced to cope with. 

Fourth, you want more evidence?  Look at the NBA, look at the NFL, and look at track and field (specifically, the most purely athletic event in the world: sprinting).  Black people RULE (especially the NBA) those sports.  It’s not even close.  What do all those sports have in common?  Those are the three sports (with the most compensation) where having innate, natural athleticism gives you a significant advantage. 

I do understand why the black community (specifically the sportswriters on ESPN) would be wary to embrace this.  Both Rob Parker and Bomani Jones mentioned it.  They don’t want to have all of the accomplishments gained by black athletes thrown away with a “natural ability” argument.  They want to say it was hard work and dedication.  My question is: Why can’t you have both (When that is precisely the reason)?  Why can’t they embrace the fact that yes, black people are innately more athletic, so you know what?  Sucks for everyone else, I’m going to get in the gym, work my ass off, and then crush you on the court/field/track.  Why is there this dichotomy (that I feel only sportswriters make) that if an athlete is black, his success comes from natural ability, or it comes from hard work, but never from both (which is the REAL reason as to why ANY athlete is successful)?

I don’t even think this topic should be that taboo.  It’s quite obvious that black people are naturally more athletic (Yes Bomani, I know YOU aren’t.  Which should totally rule out any actual research to the contrary).  This reminds me of Anderson Cooper coming out: 

“Um, yeah, we know.” 

Happy Friday!  Congratulations to those of you that made it to the weekend unscathed.


Why Do Athletes Do Stupid Things?

So I get into work today, sit down, and check out the usual websites.  Deadspin, ESPN, etc.  I’m browsing through ESPN’s frontpage (oooo, Tiger won!), and what do I see?  This:

I’ve been meaning to discuss this with someone. Watch the entire clip. This isn’t Blackmon’s first DUI, he got another, only TWO YEARS AGO, in 2010. What I love is Clayton’s remark: “Since this is his first in the NFL (Technically, homeboy isn’t even in the NFL yet), this may or may not (May or may not? There really is a chance for leeway in this?) go under player conduct. But if he is convicted he does face the possibility of a ONE OR TWO GAME (emphasis mine) suspension….this is going to put him on the radar of Roger Goodell.”

There are two things I want to discuss. First, what I can’t possibly understand is: How are athletes CONSTANTLY getting busted for crimes like this? How is it that Blackmon did this TWICE. I’ve had friends with DUIs (and not even “aggravated DUIs”, three times the limit? Jesus). DUIs ruin lives. Suspended license, felony on your record, thousands of dollars in fines, nothing about just ONE DUI is worth it. Now I understand that Blackmon being a professional athlete, rules are different. Felonies on your record don’t mean anything (I mean, come on, he gets two DUIs in two years, this recent one with a BAC three times the legal limit, and all he is looking at is a one or two game suspension?) in the NFL.

Now I am just assuming here, but I would imagine that back in 2010 when Blackmon got his FIRST DUI (I really can’t stress this enough, he’s 22, and already has two DUIs), he faced the normal consequences that I listed above. I might even be forgetting one or two. Him being Justin Blackmon, star athlete, sure fire NFL number one pick, I don’t understand how (or why) he would consider ever driving anywhere drunk in the first place. You can’t find someone to drive you home? You don’t have money for a cab? You don’t know SOMEONE in the general vicinity that you can crash with?

I understand, I understand, judge not lest ye be judged. I would be remiss to judge someone based off decisions they made in college. We have all been there (Blackmon’s first offense was classified as a misdemeanor).

What I am more concerned about is that he received his SECOND DUI in two years, with a BAC of .24, less than 48 hours ago. This is AFTER he had already gone through the process of his first DUI, and AFTER he had been drafted fifth overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

I think NOW would be a good time to puff out my chest and start with the “You couldn’t possibly think of a more responsible way to get home?” rountine. He didn’t even try the “I drive better when I’m drunk because I concentrate harder” route, he was pulled over driving 60 MPH IN A 35 MPH ZONE. He literally was giving zero fucks at the time. He was driving freeway speeds in a residential area, essentially. How drunk do you have to be to think, after you have already been caught driving drunk only two years ago, that it’s a good idea to get BACK into your car, drive away, and then proceed to drive almost twice the speed limit. However drunk a BAC of .24 gets you, I guess. I would think it would be weird to see houses and elementary schools zipping by so fast.

Now, the second, more provocative issue. Is the NFL, with its extremely lax punishments to crimes like these, exacerbating the problem? John Clayton talked about it in the clip above. Blackmon MIGHT be facing a one or two game suspension. Are you fucking kidding me? How is there such a large disconnect between regular workplace regulations and workplace regulations in the NFL (or professional sports, for that matter)?

The most pertinent example (other than the infamous Braylon Edwards as a Jet incident, where he tried to drive himself and four other people home with a BAC twice the legal limit, even though the Jets had a 24-hour driving service for players in New York to avoid PRECISELY THAT SITUATION) I can think of this is the dress code shenanigans that happened in the NBA a while back. For those unaware, David Stern instituted a dresscode in 2005. Here’s the wikipedia article about it.  But here is the part that I am talking about:

Critics such as Allen Iverson, Stephen Jackson, and Paul Pierce claim that the dress code will not change a person’s character regardless of what type of clothing they wear, and that associating hip-hop style of dress with crime or a bad image is racist. Iverson was also quoted to say, “the dress code is not who I am and doesn’t allow me to express myself.” Many NBA and non-NBA sports figures also claim that it targets young black males and is a slap against hip-hop culture which the NBA also exploits to its benefit when it suits them (such as promoting the NBA All-Star Game). Most NBA players are sponsored by companies such as, Nike, Adidas, Puma and Converse.

All of that.  Alllll of that?  Utter nonsense (Iverson’s quote is the best.  Would you storm into your boss’s office with that as your defense as to why you decided to wear a wifebeater and baggy jeans to the meeting?  “You’re not letting me EXPRESS MYSELF!”).  They are employed by the NBA.  Employers are allowed to regulate a proper, professional, and reasonable dress code.  Be an adult.  Shut up and wear a suit.   Argue for casual Fridays in the next CBA.

Those three example (Blackmon, Edwards, and the NBA dress code) paint a very vivid and concerning picture to me.  I’m sure there are dozens of other examples that I can’t think of off the top of my head.  The fact that athletes don’t have to adhere to the consequences and requirements from their employers is a huge issue.  I am not blaming the athletes.  Sure, Blackmon getting two DUIs is idiocy, but it’s not like his career is in jeporady.  Hell, we all remember Michael Vick, right?  This goes right along with the NBA’s financial crisis and lockout.  When the owners started handing out monstorous contracts to undeserving or unproven talent, what were the players supposed to do?  Tell the owners that they weren’t worth that much?  What are the NFL players supposed to do?  Not take advantage of the system?

When the NFL doesn’t come down on players when they break the law, it negatively reinforces that behavior.  Michael Vick murders dogs?  He’s a starter with a $100 million contract three years later.  Plaxico Burress shoots himself in the leg in a club?  He’s starting two years later.  Justin Blackmon gets two DUIs in two years BEFORE HE EVEN PLAYS A DOWN?  He “may or may not” get a one or two game suspension.  Any other person in any other profession with criminal records like these would find it nearly IMPOSSIBLE to land a job.

Would it seem crazy to suspend Blackmon for a year?  Why couldn’t Michael Vick be banned for life?  How come the only time we see bans and year long suspensions in sports is when they do something WITHIN the sport?  Pete Rose is banned for life for betting FOR HIS TEAM TO WIN EVERY GAME.  Does that really constitute the lifelong ban of one of the best players ever?  The infamous Ray Lewis stabbing case:

Following a Super Bowl XXXIV party in Atlanta on January 31, 2000, a fight broke out between Lewis and his companions and another group of people, resulting in the stabbing deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar. Lewis and two companions, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, were questioned by Atlanta police, and eleven days later the three men were indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges. The white suit Lewis was wearing the night of the killings has never been found. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard alleged that the bloodstained suit was dumped in a garbage bin outside a fast food restaurant.

Lewis claimed that the prosecution knew he was not involved in the murder but chose to go ahead with the case anyway, saying, “You don’t care if I’m guilty or not. You gonna make sure I go to jail for life.” Lewis’ attorneys, Don Samuel and Ed Garland, of the Atlanta law firm Garland, Samuel & Loeb, negotiated a plea agreement with Howard, the Fulton County District Attorney, where the murder charges against Lewis were dismissed in exchange for his testimony against Oakley and Sweeting, and his guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice.Lewis admitted that he gave a misleading statement to police on the morning after the killings. Superior Court Judge Alice D. Bonner sentenced Lewis to 12 months’ probation, the maximum sentence for a first-time offender; and he was fined $250,000 by the NFL, which was believed to be the highest fine levied against an NFL player for an infraction not involving substance abuse. Under the terms of the sentence, Lewis could not use drugs or alcohol during the duration of the probation.

Oakley and Sweeting were acquitted of the charges in June 2000. No other suspects have ever been arrested for the crime.

On April 29, 2004, Lewis reached a settlement with four-year-old India Lollar, born months after the death of her father Richard, preempting a scheduled civil proceeding. Lewis also reached an undisclosed settlement with Baker’s family.

Lewis never missed a game.  He was INDICTED IN A MURDER CASE.  Like, seriously?  What the hell is going on?  How come being a professional athlete is the only profession where issues with the authorities and consequences from your employer aren’t correlated properly?

I can hear you all saying, “Athletes are under more scruntiny, blah, blah, blah.”  Michael Phelps gets paparazzi’d htting a bong and the world explodes.  Kobe has an affair and everybody loses it.  Once again, not blaming the athletes.  They are doing what I would be doing in that situation, just a product of their environment.  My issue here is the nonsenscial, inconsistent, blatant self-serving way that the executives of the professional sports (the more I think about it, the more I think it’s mostly the NFL) police their respective organizations.  If multiple DUIs, carrying concealed weapons, getting into fights in clubs, murder, and drug use don’t levy harsher punishments, then we should stop being so upset and surprised when incidents like these keep happening.


Happy Monday, that guy who played the cello in high school is way better than you right now.



NBA Talking Heads Don’t Understand Flagrant Fouls

So I was listening to the most recent Jalen Rose Podcast via the Grantland Network this morning, and they (Jalen Rose and host David Jacoby) decided to discuss the recent trangressions of the Pacers/Heat playoff series.  Most notable the increasingly physical play.  If you are not aware as to what I am speaking of, here is a reminder:

Now.  In realtime, during the game, all those fouls were assessed as flagrant ones.  Meaning two shots and the ball.  Afterwards, the league upgraded all three fouls to flagrant twos (automatic ejections during the game).  Udonis Haslem is now suspended for game six, and Dexter Pittman has been suspended for three games.  Tyler Hansbrough has not been suspended.

Jalen Rose felt (and I have read many other reputable sports opinions agreeing with his sentiments) that the Haslem and Hansbrough fouls were similar, and should be treated as such.  This is utter nonsense.

Here is the official NBA rulebook excerpt concerning flagrant fouls:

There are two types of Flagrant Fouls, as follows:

Flagrant “1” (FFP1) – unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent. The opposing team is awarded two (2) free throws and possession.

Flagrant “2” (FFP2) – unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent. The opposing team is awarded two (2) free throws and possession and the player committing the foul is automatically ejected.

Obviously, the one and only distinction between a flagrant one and flagrant two foul (according to the rulebook) is the word “excessive”.  However, there are two unwritten amendments to these rules that the NBA gives creedance to.  1) Any contact above the shoulders gives the referees cause to lean heavily towards levying a flagrant two foul on the perpetrator (much like in the NFL with helmet-to-helmet contact and unnecessary roughness penalties), and 2) as you might hear commentators mention, a player must make a legitimate “play on the ball”.  That is, THE SOLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE HASLEM AND HANSBROUGH FOULS.

This is blindingly obvious to me.  Both fouls could be deemed “unnecessary”.  HOWEVER, Hansbrough CLEANLY blocks Dwayne Wade, only to make contact (and not that aggressive of contact, I might add) with Wade’s head when he follows through.  Any basketball fan can tell you that there is a rule in the NBA playoffs that teams follow: No easy baskets.  No layups, no dunks, nothing easy in the paint.  EVERY team is taught this rule.  It’s the same as in football how a linebacker is taught to crush a receiver going across the middle of the field.  It’s to intimidate and force that player to lose his concentration.  Same in basketball.

Hansbrough makes a very legitimate play on the ball, follows through, and fouls Dwayne Wade hard (although not that hard.  If you want hard fouls on guys driving the lane watch any old school Pistons-Bulls playoffs series from the late 80s and early 90s.  I have three words for you: The Jordan Rules.  And I don’t believe flagrant fouls were doled out nearly as often back then as they are now.)  In my humble opinion, that was simply a hard foul, a role playing doing his job of intimidating, and making a statement that Wade is not getting anything easy.

But fine, I get it.  Stern is worried about fights and altercations (and Wade gets a little preferencial star treatment), so Hansbrough gets a flagrant one.  Whatever.  Let’s keep moving.

One minute later, Hansbrough is involved in a pick-and-roll.  He pulls up for a nice little jumper and Haslem CLUBS HIM IN THE FACE WITH BOTH HANDS.  There is NO play on the ball.  Haslem doesn’t even TRY to block the shot.  This is clearly a retaliation play, and Haslem should be ejected right then and there.  What’s even more comical, is that Haslem is quoted after the game saying that he DID, in fact, make a play on the ball.

Then, something absurd happens: Haslem is charged with a flagrant one foul as well.  I watched that live, and I couldn’t believe it.  I was as incredulous as Steve Kerr was.

Cut to the end of the game, and backup bigman Dexter Pittman tries to decapitate back swingman Lance Stephenson (probably because of this), and then, like an idiot, Pittman winks at his bench during the ensuing free throws.

Ok, so.  I am glad the NBA got this right.  Hansbrough should not be suspended, Haslem gets one game, and Pittman gets three.  What aggrivates me is the talking heads saying that the Hansbrough and Haslem fouls were the same, and if Haslem gets suspended, so should Hansbrough.  Also, I don’t understand how there is no rule in place to review flagrant one foul calls (only flagrant twos).

What I can’t believe is that Jalen Rose, a self-proclaimed old school, trash-talking basketball savant, cannot understand the difference between a good, hard, playoff foul, and a blatant, vengeful attack on Hanbrough’s pretty little face.

Happy Thursday.  Hope you can get to the weekend.