The Top 10 Most Hated Sports Figures 2010
Another vain attempt to has been made on promenade African American athletes. The goal is to silence their political and social voices, to put a muzzle the athlete that speaks out on causes and on those that strive for justice and racial equality.
The only purpose to release this list is to keep the fires burning, to keep throwing rocks, to keep the racial tensions high. This list is another ugly statement on how far we have to go in American society.
Racism has slowly raised its ugly head in the once sacred world of sports. This continuous attack on African American male athletes. The recent parade of misinformation is being led by The Four Letter Word Network. Unforuntunatly other sports networks and magazines are following the pied piper of Bristol, Conn. with this silly and non-informational list.
This attack has spanned the test of time and love hate relationship between fans and players in the sports world. At the turn of the century (1908-1915), heavyweight champion of the world Jack Johnson was the first African American boxing champion. The “Galveston Giant”, a big, dark Black man, Johnson, who flaunted his abilities to deck (knockdown) any man, Black or white. Johnson had to leave the country to have a match with a white boxer he beat Canadian Tommy Burns in Australia. Then in 1910 he fought older ex-champion Jim Jefferies who wanted to win the title back for the people of the United States. What? Johnson was not an American?
The fight of the century sparked race riots all over the country. Police in 25 cities beat up and arrested Black boxing fans who were just celebrating Johnson’s victory over Jeffries. This was the first historical documentation of white rage over a black athlete. Johnson was put in jail after he was arrested for having sex with his legally married wife when he crossed state lines. Under the Mann Act “Transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes”. At that time this act was a felony. Johnson would have been the first man to stand on top of this list the most hated athlete in America.
Sports writers kept there distance from the Hall of Fame Running back Jim Brown of the Cleveland Browns in the early 1960’s. Americans have always loved the strong silent type except when it is a man of color. That is a man America fears most because they do not know what he is thinking, or what he will do. Jim Brown is the strong silent type. However, Brown has continued to uplift troubled African American men and Black men in inner city gangs with his Amer-I-Can Foundation. Brown does not give up or give in to anybody. He should be praised for his work with young African American males. Not so, but in fact Brown continually ignored by the American mainstream media. Any good story about an African American man helping others but it won’t sell on American Television and it won’t get ratings. Not going to see this story on “The Mouse” (ESPN). He would have been the 2nd man standing on top of the list of the most hated athlete in America.
Remember Mohammad Ali in the 1960’s who was another heavyweight champion of the world he drew ire from the American public. Ali then Cassius Clay refused to go into the Army after being drafted by the United States government. He stating had no quarrels with the Viet Cong,-North Vietnamese they are not his enemy and that they were our Asian brothers. Ali became the most hated man in America in 1967. Ali kept insisting that American should stand for racial equality. Now his voice is silent because of his disability and America has turned 360 degrees falling in love with his ideas. Ali is no longer a political threat. The Greatest of all times would have been the third Black male on top of this now famous list.
In the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games two men wanted to tell the world about the plight of African Americans in the United States of America. Track sprinters Tommy Smith and John Carlos won silver and gold in the 200 meter race. As they stood on the podium wearing black socks without shoes, this symbol stood for all poor African Americans. They also each had a black glove.
As the American National Anthem was being played, Carlos and Smith raised their fist into the Mexican air in a Black Power salute.
They were sent home by the American Olympic Committee the next day.
Carlos and Smith would share the top spot for the fourth Black males on top of this list.
America would have put Venus and Serena Williams on this list but they have committed only one transgression and Serena was fined heavily for it. The American anger was absent and not as severe so they gave the Williams sisters a pass, THIS TIME. It also seems that the American society does not play mind games with African American women as much as Black men. The goal seems to be to undermine the African American family unit by dividing and critizing men.
Speaking about gender and racial equity under the law, let’s talk about Diana Taurasi point guard of the Phoenix Mercury. Last summer she was pulled over by the Arizona State police for driving under the influence of alcohol. She was not arrested, her car was not taken away, she was not even given a ticket. Taurasi was given a warning and sent on her way. Let one of the Williams sisters be involved in a stunt like this and it would be national news and they would be under arrest for drunk driving.
The famous Black leader Malcolm X stated many times, “Seek the truth and it will set you free”. Many African American Athletes are lost because they are trying to fit into a system that does not want them. If the Black athlete have their own ideas, or style of practice, or if they are an independent thinker, the player immediately will be categorized as trouble maker and not innovator. This is a very quick way of getting on the top ten most hated athletes list.
With this recent release of this list just continues the droning drum beat of trying to dismantle and discredit African American male athletes.
Just as in politics the racial overtones with new Tea Party in America a.k.a. The new Klu Klux Klan and the GOP- President Obama’s battle in Washington D.C. Think about this, the longer and louder you speak about a subject the more individuals will listen and believe. Keep stating the sky is green, repeatedly and one would believe the sky is truly green. The information disseminated could be totally false, misleading or just a diversion. Yet it continues with the top ten most hated athletes list.
Remember, pre war Berlin 1929-38? Propaganda was used daily to prop up the Nazi German regime and their political agenda. This is the oldest political game in the book and we are seeing it portrayed in the American sports field. This attitude cast continuous dispersions on African American male athletes.
This list below is a combination of data from seven different list and seven different magazines. The last three players are Caucasian athletes.
1. Michael Vick
2. LeBron James
3. Tiger Woods
4. Terrell Owens
5. Barry Bonds
6. Kobe Bryant
7. Alex Rodriquez
8. Ben Roethlisburger
9. Kyle Bush
10) Sydney Crosby
It is unbelievable with the overall average New York Yankees Captain Derrick Jeter would be number eleven on this list. What has he done to merit this position? This selection is mind boggling or is this just Yankee bashing?
Interestingly only one person on this list went to jail. While the others on this list committed personal and private offences.
The next question is, how did they develop the order of this list. What were the qualifications to merit this list?
The research in this report included:- ESPN Magazine, Sports Today- Bleacher Report, NBC-Philadelphia, GQ Magazine, Sports-Untapped, NBC- Washington, Forbs, Yahoo Sports, Starzlife, and the AJC Sports Reporter. It has come to my attention that some of the web sites have pulled their list off the internet. Gee, I wonder why?
So were is the venom coming from?
1) Today there are more African American participants in the sports world.
2) The majority of writers in America are middle aged white males and they who have no culture connections to the modern Black athlete of today.
3) They are very jealous of these men making so much money. The Black athletes are all millionaires.
4) A few of these athletes are either married too, or have been involved, or are involved with white women.
5) The issue of using illegal substances while playing their sports
without paying the consequences.
These five points are directed at African American athletes
Mentioning the name Barry Lamar Bonds, faces turn red, people hyperventilate and their veins pop out of their necks. This is the same reaction to the name Michael Vick. This is not by accident. This is done on purpose to create an emotional reaction. Keep these men in the public eye. The American media keep pushing the agenda that Black men are dysfunction, dishonest, are sexual deviants, and will never fit in the American system.
What a grave mistake !!! Because we have an intelligent African American male at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. who is currently the leader of the most powerful country in the world. African American men are doctors, lawyers, chief city executives, and of course writers, all across this great nation.
Anyone who recently watched a newscast would believe that Black males were wild crazed animals that cannot control themselves killing each other, playing sports, entertain the masses, or being servants. This is the old slave mentality.
America should be praising Philadelphia Eagle quarterback Michael Vick for turning his life around leading a profession football team to victory. Vick should be a beacon for other black males in the prison system. Mr. Vick should be the inspiration for other black men, but no the negative drum beat continues. At the current time fans in South Philadelphia are singing E-A-G-L-E-S. Let Michael Vick make another mistake or have a bad game at Lincoln Financial Field he will returned to the number one hated sports figure in the United States in 2010.
If the Eagles with Michael Vick win the NFC Eastern Conference crown all will be forgiven or will it? Remember Mr. Vick will always be an ex-convict and many non-minority fans will throw that into the face of Black America and Vick. Michael Vick currently is the new number one hated athlete until America can find another one to fill the spot.
What happened to Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry who admitted he cheated with sand paper, nail files, and the spitball when he was on the mound? There is not the rage, not the anger; Perry is just one of the home folk boys, having fun. Cheating is part of baseball.
Where is the anger with Boston, Toronto, and New York Yankee pitcher Roger Clemmons? He still remains arrogant about his use or non use of steroids, the rage is just not there.
Where is the anger when you hear the name of Mark McGwire? Mark was hired last spring as a hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals. The baseball community and the American public welcomed him with open arms. While homerun king Barry Lamar Bonds could be teaching the Giants how to hit the baseball, a person that has 700 plus homeruns has not been offered a job. He could be an asset to any team in baseball but alas I digress.
Where are the red faces, heart-throbbing veins, and raised voices when it comes to Minnesota quarterback Brett Farve who will not leave the game of football. Brett enters training camp whenever he feels like it or not even practice at all. Let an African American quarterback do the same and see if he is still playing in the (NFL) No Fun League. Farve has thrown two teammates under the bus and distracted another teams plan in the process. Refusing to help Aaron Rogers in Green Bay three years ago, leaving the New York Jets in limbo the whole summer two years ago, and now blocking Travis Jackson in Minnesota. Stunting Jackson’s growth at the quarterback position. Not a single comment from the writing brethren.
Where was (NOW) the National Organization of Women when it came to this summers legal allegations on Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisburger? Big Ben was accused of sexual assault on a young college coed in Georgia. This is the third time that Ben Roethlisburger has run afoul with the law. No anger here, no hate here, and he might have violated women’s rights.
The American sports media corp. ignored the fact the Olympic swimmer and gold medal winner was caught on film with a bong full of Marijuana by the British Press. Michael Phillips just got a slap on the wrist and moved on with his life. No anger here, no hate here. In fact Mr. Phillips received a commercial with the Subway Sandwich Company.
All of these events begin to add up. It’s the little things that provide the pattern. The pattern is definitely clear. The rules have always been different for minority players and they change constantly to suit the powers in charge.
This is the mindset of American. The first seven athletes on the list are people of color, it’s neither a misprint nor a mistake and it reveals the mentality of the American sports fan and the sports writer.
Let’s go back in time once more. The Number one spot was reserved for LaBron James only months ago for his departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat. Yet everybody forgets why LaBron went to Miami.. It is to win an NBA championship. Is that not what most profession players play for? Mr. James gave the ownership of Cleveland a chance by staying in Ohio for eight years. What more could you ask from any individual. The owner of the Cavaliers could have traded James at anytime and that would have been alright. Yes, LaBron might have announced it in a bold manner on ESPN and that might have been a mistake but to receive such emotional hate is just unacceptable.
Not more than a year ago the number one golfer of the world owned the number one spot on this list, Tiger Woods for his infidelity to his Swedish wife. Which was none of America’s business. How dare Tiger Woods cheat on a beautiful blonde haired blue eyed queen.
Football player Terrell Owens took the number one spot when he was re-negotiating his Philadelphia contract in the City of Brotherly Love. Remember in 2005 the Monday Night Football commercial with Desperate Housewife star Nicolette Sheridan. Terrell was smiling all night being in the locker room with another beautiful woman as she dropped her towel. The American rage mounted with each passing day. Let me remind all that Mr. Owens owns many of the NFL receiving records and has proven time and time again that he is one of the best wide receivers in the league. The hate still is vented in Terrell’s direction.
Two years ago, Yankee third basemen Alex Rodriguez publicly confess to the use of steroids. Some people have yet to forgive Alex Rodriguez. Oh by the way other players in the league were using steroids. People claimed that Alex was not sincere in his apology for his use of steroids. What more can a man do?
Then there is Barry Lamar Bonds. You could have started a bond (pun intended) fire with the venom directed at Barry Lamar Bonds. It was o.k. for Bonds to hit home runs as long as he did not get near baseball’s sacred records. It was o.k to put fannies in the seats of ATT Park supporting a losing team. The San Francisco Giant owners did not complain. Once the records were in sight, the hate started coming out. Bonds became the most hated man in American at the middle 2000’s.
Then there was the fire storm at the Turin, Italy in 2006. Shani Davis was called out for not being a team player. He trained in Canada not in the United States for the Olympic Games. He did not to partake in the USA pursuit team practice because only four years earlier he was denied the spot which these skaters were granted without trails four years later. Shani also had only trained for the long distance events 1,000 meters, 1,500 meters and the 5,000 meter races, not the pursuit.
Many Americans thought Davis was the son of Satan because he did not help the American Pursuit Speed Skating Team.
Standing up for his choice made Davis that winter’s number one on the now famous list. Many Americans did not know nor care what has transpired at the United States Olympic training site. Shani Davis was another uppity Negro that had to be put back in his place. Davis still won gold and silver medals the past two winter games.
Of course there was the summer of Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Utah alleged sex affair. It was so bad that Bryant changed his number from 8 to number 24. Mothers would not let their children wear the Bryant jersey. Kobe became a villain within 24 hours and stayed that way for months even years. Bryant is still trying to rehabilitate his image among the masses. The most hated man in America in the 90’s. A decade has passed and Kobe is still on the list.
Then came 1984 and the slow police chase of the Ford white Bronco down the Pacific Coast Hi-way with a distraught and depressed O. J. Simpson in the back seat. Mr. Simpson was acquitted of the alleged murder of his ex wife. The venom started seeping out all over the country. Most white people thought O.J. was guilty. While most Black Americans might have thought he was guilty but they never spoke out loud in fact they cheered after the verdict was read. The beloved comedic movie actor Simpson, the running back for the University of Southern California Trojans and the Buffalo Bills was now and still is one of the most hated men in America.
Everybody has an opinion and anyone can make a list. Here are my most disliked players in sports in my opinion. Don’t like the word hate it is a very strong word and evokes very strong emotions. But this list just like the ten most hated players in sports list conveys the point, if you want to make a political, social, economic, or racial statement. Paper and pen can help you establish this point.
1) John Caripari
2) Ben Roethlisburger
3) Roger Clemmons
4) Brett Farve
5) Pete Rose
6) Curt Schilling
7) Bill Laimbeer
8) Al Davis
9) Bud Selig
10) Dan Gilbert
These are the men that The Gray Leopard Cove thinks have cheated the sports world. These individuals will not be on the 10 most hated athletes list anytime soon. But again, this list would be prejudice because it does not include any Black players and that is the problem about making an unintelligent meaningless list like the above.
The difference in the way Blacks view their sports heroes and the way whites view their sports heroes could be that African Americans do not deify or glorify their athletes or made them holyier then thou. So if these individuals make a mistake it is not a serious matter.
These sports figures are just individuals that have the talent to play football, baseball, or basketball and get paid very well doing so. So it takes the hate factor out of the equation, something America should learn.
The question is why was this list produced and what is its purpose? We all know the answer and America needs to look in the mirror and stop this nonsense.
Gary Gray is a freelance writer and host "THE GRAY LEOPARD COVE" that airs every Saturday from 4p-5p Eastern time and can be frequently heard on "The Batchelor Pad show" airing every Mon-Fri from 6p to 8p Eastern time. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.