Tag Archive | roger goodell

Why Nothing Good Happens to Black Women in Elevators

Come on, everyon knows this is how girls fight!

I didn’t mean it–everyone knows this is how girls fight, anyway!

So after a rambling on-air deconstruction of the woman’s role in the Ray Rice domestic violence case and suspension, ESPN “First Take” commentator Stephen A. Smith has been suspended himself.

While the majority of the public, including his ESPN colleagues, loudly condemned the NFL’s pitiful punishment of benching Rice (who knocked his fiancee unconscious in a casino elevator then dragged her by her hair) for only two games (guys who smoke marijuana get more), Smith used his platform to dance around then eventually land on his point: that women should avoid provoking men to attack them.

A week after he made his points, and, to be fair, several apologies, the network suspended him for a week. Whether that includes pay is unknown.

Naturally the social media universe lit up over Smith who, unlike the more jovial natures of other ESPN anchors, tends to play the “angry black man” shtick, and much to his favor–he has 2 million Twitter followers.

Meanwhile, tart-tongued badass Michelle Beadle, host of ESPN’s “SportsNation”—herself a victim of an abusive relationship—had a few things to say to her colleague via Twitter:

Twitter_MichelleDBeadle_So_I_was_just_forced_to_watch_..._-_2014-07-30_11.24.20She also tweeted that she does agree men and women can be the attackers. For example, Beyonce’s sister Solange Knowles made international news three months ago when elevator footage turned up of her attacking brother-in-law Jay-Z. It’s still unclear what the fight was about, but if that was “provocation,” Jay-Z handled it correctly by walking away.

(I’ve never been sure exactly what Solange does, but I don’t think she got suspended from it.)

So here’s the thing. I don’t think Smith meant that women are at fault for being attacked; I do think, however, his comments blabbed out from a longtime unconscious belief in men, and some women too, that women play an equal role in an abuse situation by what they wear, what they say, what they drink, or yes, even their physical actions. That by being female, we must be aware at all times of our power to seduce–sex or trouble–a belief expressed more outwardly in many other cultures in which women are closeted, under clothes or literally, at best, and persecuted or killed at worst.

In other words, sometimes our unconscious beliefs can manifest themselves into dangerous realities for those perceived physically (or mentally) smaller and weaker.

Or darker. A recent study shows that people, including medical personnel, assume black people feel less pain than white people. Why? Because they have been through more hardship.

So similarly, while on some level crediting blacks for their suffering, we use it against them in a “well they knew better” manner.

The good news, I think, is just what a ruckus this has all raised. I’m actually pleased at the comments I’ve heard from local and national commentators who came down on Roger Goodell and the NFL and didn’t take the sensationalized way out Smith did, perhaps thinking it would get him more attention.

Congrats, Stephen A. It did.


Baby, Baby, Baby, Ohhhh (Crap). Plus the Extra Point’s Future, Billion Dollar Brackets, and Tiger Declawed

—1—“The kick is up, and it…is…” no longer existent?

So, baby, you mean, baby, if I can't beat these charges, baby, I can't be an NFL kicker? Ohhhh.

So, baby, you mean, baby, if I can’t beat these charges, baby, I can’t be an NFL kicker? Ohhhh.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suggested this week that the league do away with the extra point or “PAT,” point after touchdown. “The extra point is almost automatic,” he told NFL Network Monday. “I believe we had five missed extra points this year out of 1,200 some odd attempts. So it’s a very small fraction of the play, and you want to add excitement with every play.” Instead he suggests making a touchdown worth seven points instead of six, with an extra play after from the scrimmage line worth an eighth point. But, if the team fails, their touchdown is only worth six points.

You would think concussions and crime would be enough “excitement” for the NFL any given day, but I must admit I am intrigued.

—2—Ahhhh, Warren Buffett. Gazillionaire, Philanthropist, College Basketball Fan. And now he and Quicken Loans are offering a $1 billion cash prize to anyone who correctly predicts this year’s men’s NCAA Tournament Bracket in the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge. Unfortunately, the odds of getting all 63 games right, are around 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. That’s nine quintillion. But if you do win, you get 40 annual installments of $25 million or a lump sum payment of $500 million. If there are multiple winners, the pot is divided, and the 20 brackets closest to the perfect outcome will still receive $100,000 each from Quicken Loans to purchase or remodel a home or refinance a mortgage. Contest starts March 3.

—3—There are two new sheriffs in Tennis Town. If tennis players wore hats, spurs and funny mustaches. China’s Li Na had been contemplating retirement, but defeated Dominika Cibulkova (who had ousted #3 Maria Sharapova) for the Australian Open crown, and at 31 became the oldest women’s champion in the Open Era. Known for her funny remarks in broken English, Li joked in post-match interviews about her husband and his snoring, and thanked her agent “for making me rich.”

On the men’s side, it was Switzerland’s #8 Stanislas Wawrinka who finally hoisted the trophy after defeating #1 Rafael Nadal. Nadal had previously knocked out Roger Federer to reach the Australian Open final for the third time. It would have been Rafa’s 14th Grand Slam title. But he struggled with several small but nagging injuries, including a blister on his serving hand that drew gasps from the crowd when one TV camera got a little too close. Wawrinka was the first man in 21 years to beat the #1 and #2-ranked players (Novak Djokovic) en route to a Grand Slam title.

—4—For the first time in his career, world #1 Tiger Woods failed to make the PGA Tour’s secondary cut at Torrey Pines in San Diego. His 7-over-par 79 was his worst in an event he has won seven times. And it all means….meh, nothing. It’s the start of the season, and now, with girlfriend skier Lindsey Vonn sitting out the Olympics, they’ll enjoy a few free days before heading to Dubai.

5Finally, Saturday Night Live did two great sports parodies on “Weekend Update” the other night, one with Russian villagewoman, “Olya Povlatsky.” “So Olya, are your surprised the Olympics are coming to Russia?” “I surprised anyone would come to Russia…What was the other options, Haiti or middle of ocean?” The other had Kenan Thompson playing the Miami police officer who arrested Justin Bieber for drinking and drag racing. “You must have been shocked to pull someone over and discover it was Justin Bieber.” “Oh Cecily, I work in Miami. Nothin’ shocks me. When I pull somebody over, they usually got a tiger in the back seat, and an alligator in the trunk to guard their cocaine. It’s the only city where NBA players are the best behaved people.”