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Bryant Gumbel and the Winter Olympics

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Postby Phatferd » Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:40 am

theclefe wrote:
Phatferd wrote:
knapplc wrote:
Phatferd wrote:This story is so 2 weeks ago. I thought everyone was over this by now.

The issue is still relevant today. Why would we have stopped talking about it already?


I'm just saying that this was news 2 weeks ago. I normally don't see people bringing up anything about Cheany shooting someone in the face anymore?

I have no issue with it being brought up, I was just making an observation.


Because that was locked. It was a politcal thread... This is clearly a sports-related one. :-? :-b


Well, he said this 2 weeks ago so I don't understand why 2 weeks later people will all of a sudden be outraged in 24 hours. They were outraged weeks ago.

That isn't my point. My point is that I am surprised people are still talking about this because it was news two weeks, be it sports or not. I would understand somewhat if this thread was started 2 weeks ago when Gumble said these things. I am just suprised that it took 2 weeks to get brought up over here, which makes me think there is some added motivation behind creating this thread.

As 3 run homer said
Meh I'd give him 26 hours before the whole comment explodes into a racially charged witch hunt.
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Postby knapplc » Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:08 pm

Art Vandelay wrote: What I'm saying is that people are not going beyond Gumbel's actually words to see the point that is made by them. People stop at his inflamitory language (and I think we can all agree that he defintiely could have used better language) to see that he has a point. Anyway...here's an excerpt from commentary about this that I saw on http://www.commondreams.org, this basically says what I mean, only better than I have been saying it:

Let's look at Gumbel's comments again. "So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the winter games look like a GOP convention." Patrick told his listening audience that Gumbel was "playing the race card" by claiming whites couldn't be good athletes -- when in fact Gumbel was hardly saying anything so shocking, or even that new. The fact is -- and Sports Illustrated's Rick Reilly confirmed this -- that the athletes and the audience in Torino are almost entirely white. This isn't because Black people aren't comfortable in the cold, but because of access to the types of sports on display at the Winter Games. In fact, the Winter Olympics are such a Snow White affair, it became international news Saturday when Shani Davis became the first Black Olympian to win an individual gold, not only in the 2006 Olympics but the entire history of the Winter Games. Davis knew it himself, saying, "I'm one of a kind." For Davis, his special status was heightened by messages he received on his personal web site, revealing, "they hoped I would fall, break my leg, using the n-word." [Maybe Davis is "playing the race card," too?] In the history of athletics, anytime African-American athletes have had access and opportunity they have excelled. Sports that require thousands of dollars of equipment, country club memberships and trips to Vail will continue to be as segregated as New Orleans.

Gumbel's comments on winter sports are not different from what John McEnroe and Andre Agassi have argued about tennis. They have both said, with no backlash, that there are potentially incredible tennis players in the inner cities of the US that we will never see because of an absence of public tennis courts and basic infrastructure. It's not different from the lament of Negro League baseball players of the 1930s like Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and Buck O'Neal who didn't understand how Joe Dimaggio and Dizzy Dean could be called "the best" baseball players when they didn't even have a chance to compete. Yet Gumbel is a target for stating the obvious.

I'm white as the pure driven snow, and my family was so poor when I was growing up that we couldn't afford skis, ski boots, trips to Vail, etc. too. I didn't see Gumbel crying over my lack of opportunity. What I saw was that he specifically said that it's a problem that there was "a paucity of Blacks" - not a paucity of Hispanics, not a paucity of underprivileged Whites, not a paucity of Arabs, etc.

I'd say my interest level in this story is about 15%, and I've already given this MUCH more thought and concern than I normally would just replying back and forth with you, Professor van Nostr-- I mean... Mr. Vandelay... IMO the bottom line here is that Gumbel put his foot in his mouth with his statement and he's getting baked for it, and deservedly so.

Race relations in the US will only improve when Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, etc. all stop paying attention not only to the color of everyone else's skin, but the color of their own skin as well. Gumbel is paying too much attention to the color of his skin and how "his people" are being treated. What Gumbel fails to realize is that, as an American, I am "his people." Once he and the people who think like him come around to that idea, race relations in the US will be much better.
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Postby acsguitar » Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:59 pm

knapplc wrote:This is from that article Knapps posted
Sports that require thousands of dollars of equipment, country club memberships and trips to Vail will continue to be as segregated as New Orleans.


You can't blame a sport for being expensive...But also, you don't have to go to Vail to learn how to ski. In fact there are some great slalom skiers from the east coast because the mountains are icier and therefore faster there.
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Postby RugbyD » Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:29 pm

knapplc wrote:What I saw was that he specifically said that it's a problem that there was "a paucity of Blacks" - not a paucity of Hispanics, not a paucity of underprivileged Whites, not a paucity of Arabs, etc.

This is exactly the point. It is also proof that the concept of a colorblind society is completely absent from Gumbel's worldview. If it wasn't then he wouldn't care what color the athletes were.
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Postby Old_Style » Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:36 pm

Phatferd wrote:This story is so 2 weeks ago. I thought everyone was over this by now.



sorry if i brought up old news, but i just joined the cafe a few days ago and thought this would stir up some conversation.
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Postby acsguitar » Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:31 pm

RugbyD wrote:
knapplc wrote:What I saw was that he specifically said that it's a problem that there was "a paucity of Blacks" - not a paucity of Hispanics, not a paucity of underprivileged Whites, not a paucity of Arabs, etc.

This is exactly the point. It is also proof that the concept of a colorblind society is completely absent from Gumbel's worldview. If it wasn't then he wouldn't care what color the athletes were.


I didn't see any eskimo's in this years olympics and you'd think that they would be the shiznit at everything
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