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Re: Celtic tradition, Bob Ryan et. al.
Good post Paul! I would add that Bob Ryan's job is not to merely cover the
sports scene (or any other journalist for that matter) but to invoke passion
on the part of his target audience, one way or another.
If you have ever seen him on Lobel's Sunday night show, you'll probably
agree that there are times when he goes WAY beyond passion to severe
extremes. That's not to say that I disagree with him on everything cuz I
don't. I do feel that his style is tres confrontational by no accident.
Whether or not he is a racist is not for me to say and I'm of the opinion
that he merits the benefit of the doubt. I have read articles he written
which have praised black athletes from Russell to JoJo to Cornbread to Tiny
to Mercer. It's not as if Toine has been the most shining example of a team
captain, but as Paul has mentioned, this is a new breed of athlete, complete
with finger waggling, taunting and gyrating when they make a good play.
IMHO, Toine is just another product of his environment. Tell me that
Garnett and Webber don't do similar things in similar situations.
A sincerely GREAT player like Julius Erving would have worn himself out
gyrating from all the great plays he made. That is why I advocate more
input from the older, more respected former C's. I would beg Tiny to mentor
Kenny Anderson. This team needs Kenny to score SOME, but we need him MORE
to make better decisions, distribute the ball and push it at every
opportunity. I really think he can play better defense and has showed
flashes in the preseason.
I would get Havlicek to discuss the importance of moving without the ball
and how it can help wear teams down just like the trapping and pressing
defences do. Then I would ask him to stress to the bench players how
important their role is.
I would ask Maxwell to work with Toine, Eric Williams, VP and Battie about
footwork in the paint. I often feel that he is very underrated when
discussing offensive moves. Not taking anything away from McHale, but Max
was no slouch either and he is still here within our midst.
It may or may not have the desired effect on this team, but there's no harm
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, October 31, 1999 3:28 PM
Subject: Re: Celtic tradition, Bob Ryan et. al.
> >Racism, like hate, is a very strong word.
> Calling a young African-American male a "punk" is also very loaded and
> strong. Would I call Bobby a racist. No. Would I think that someone who
> was way off base? No. Sometimes I think we've reached the point in this
> country where anything short of Apartheid isn't racism. The only people
> admitting to being racists are White Supremicists, so therefore everybody
> else can act in any manner they wish and, "I'm not a racist." No, they
> probably aren't. Like everyone else, they're probably struggling with
> prejudices and doing a pretty good job of it. Does that mean that racism
> never makes an appearance? We work with people of different races, we eat
> with them, we sit next to them at movies and basketball games, they teach
> our children, we fall in love them, they invest our money, they represent
> us in government. Does that mean that racism is no longer an issue? Does
> that mean that just because we vote for them, work with them, etc. that we
> never act in a racist manner? I'm sure Bob Ryan is a loving father and
> husband. Does that mean that he's never an asshole to his wife and kids?
> Since everybody might consider him a loving and caring guy, does that mean
> he never has to watch out for times when he doesn't act in a loving and
> caring manner? No I don't think that the "Commish" is a racist. I think
> he's many things. But just because I don't think he's a racist now and
> forever and always doesn't mean he "can't" act like one every now and
> that he's incapable of letting his prejudices get the better of him. It
> happens to all of us whether we live in Chicago, Boston, or Vermont and I
> would hope that we all realize we're capable of such things and watch out.
> I don't think that Bob Ryan's a racist and I don't think that Antoine's a
> "hated punk." Everybody around the league hates Antoine...therefore, hate
> him all you want and if you don't...you just don't get it. It's open
> on hating Antoine because the respected "Commish" said everybody's doing
> it. Let me make a suggestion here. When some guy crosses the street
> four black males in baggy pants are hanging on a corner, he's making an
> assumption. When the police stop African-American males and hassle them
> no good reason, they're making an assumption. When well dressed
> African-American professionals get stopped walking in white neighborhoods,
> or driving on the highways of New Jersey, assumptions are being made about
> them. They are no longer complex individuals like you, me and Bob Ryan. I
> could go on and on with other examples...you guys know the routine. When a
> respected reporter sums up a young black male's character by calling him a
> punk, and nothing but a hated punk, over and over and over again in a
> hyperbolic and shrill tone, he's doing the same thing or at least he's
> helping to perpetuate an attitude that allows African-American males to be
> seen as simply and ONLY "punks." Everybody on this list seems to want to
> give Ryan the benefit of the doubt when it comes to "his" character. He's
> complex individual. However, Antoine's nothing but a punk, over and over
> again and I still want to know if it's possible for Bobby to be more
> hyperbolic and shrill if Antoine were actually a criminal. This isn't just
> disrespect from Bobby....it's hatred and apparently he feels it's
> justified. I think Michael Holley understands how dangerous this is, how
> can get out of hand, how easy it is in this culture for minorities to be
> stigmatized, and that's why he wrote his "Let's get to know Antoine"
> article right after Bob's original punk article. Antoine's flawed like the
> rest of us but he's probably also many things that all of us would admire.
> He's not just a "hated punk" as Bob Ryan would have us believe, as many
> people find it easy to believe "because" of racism. Not the sort of
> government directed hang "them" in the streets racism, but the sort of
> racism that gets the better of us every now and then because we're all
> flawed and human. This is going on too long and I have to watch the
> Patriots win another gut wrenching close game. Bob Ryan's not a racist,
> that is, not just a racist. It certainly could be that he just has a hard
> time with youth culture. Could a reasonable person see an element of
> in Bob's two year attack on "toine's character? Sure. Are both things at
> the same time possible. Sure. I look forward to the "Commish's", how
> I put this....equal opportunity venom in the future.
> Did I already say 46 wins?
> Paul M.