All That and a Bag of Mail

It’s Friday and my last full day on the beach before heading back to Nashville.

My family has spent the last two weeks in a four story mansion on the beach. If you want to do the same, check out and let them hook you up with an amazing place to stay.

Okay, on to the mailbag.

We got tons of emails about yesterday’s column about LeBron. And also tons of emails about my radio show this morning talking graffiti-gate. Most of those boiled down to this dual question that I kept asking, why have we seen no evidence — video or pictures — of the racial slur on the fence and why have there been no updates at all on the search for suspects?

I feel like everyone in the sports media immediately skipped over actually asking the important questions here and went straight to blaming a white person for being racist against LeBron James. But isn’t that just using news to fuel your agenda as opposed to actually figuring out what the news is here? Shouldn’t someone have asked LeBron the following questions: Since you didn’t see it yourself how did you become aware of the graffiti on your LA home? Did someone at your LA home send you video or pictures of the graffiti? Do you have those pictures now and have you chosen not to distribute them? If you don’t have the pictures, why don’t you? If you do have them, why not distribute them? Who discovered the graffiti at your home? Why did you, or someone in your employ, decide to paint over the graffiti before police arrived? Was that your decision or your staff’s decision? Shouldn’t you have not disturbed the graffiti to better aid the investigation? Do you have surveillance video at your home? Have you or your employees viewed that video to search for suspects?

All of these are very basic questions to ask.

Instead the sports media immediately assumed a white racist was responsible for this act and praised LeBron James for his bravery and courage and eloquence. As I wrote yesterday, LeBron was not eloquent. His statement was nonsensical and absurd. The sports media as a group has totally failed when it comes to this story.

But let’s circle back around on this issue.

So far there have been zero photos or video of this racist graffiti. That seems strange to me given that this happened in Los Angeles, where TMZ can get photos and video of anything that happens, and these photos would be a huge story. If a racial slur suddenly showed up on the neighborhood gate of a home owned by LeBron James that’s visible to people on the road don’t you think someone would have snapped a photo of it and shared it on social media? Wouldn’t a random early morning jogger or walker or driver have seen this even before people at LeBron’s house did? And if LeBron immediately thought of Emmett Till’s mom leaving the casket open to show the brutal impact of racism, why didn’t LeBron distribute the image on social media himself to show the 21st century face of racism?

Reports are that someone at LeBron’s house immediately had the graffiti painted over and it was already gone by the time police arrived at the house. Wouldn’t you want to leave that graffiti on the gate to allow police to investigate this issue to the fullest extent of the law possible? You could cover up the gate with a sheet if you didn’t want the slur visible in the neighborhood. The kids weren’t there, no one was in the house, so why was the graffiti painted over before police arrived? Particularly when painting a fence isn’t exactly a fast process. Presumably Brentwood police aren’t taking hours to respond to a call like this. So there was an immediate decision made to remove the graffiti. Frankly, that sounds suspicious.

Given that there are surveillance cameras all over these mansions in the Brentwood area of LA, shouldn’t this be as simple as fast forwarding through those cameras until you see someone show up with spray paint outside of LeBron’s home? This entire investigation should take a couple of hours at most. If you can’t figure out who the culprit is, shouldn’t you put out still shots of the alleged perpetrator and ask for help? Why, as we are now in the third day since this news went public, have we heard nothing about the perpetrator of this crime.

Finally, assuming the racist graffiti actually happened, we still don’t know who the culprit is. Yet everyone in sports media immediately assumed it was a racist white guy. Given how many racist hoaxes there are right now, shouldn’t we at least find out who did this before we immediately say it’s evidence of racism?

What if it’s a black dude trying to draw attention to racism? What if it’s a black, Asian or Hispanic Warriors fan trying to throw LeBron off his game before the series starts? There are just so many potential angles to this story that aren’t being explored. Right now everyone has just assumed it’s a white racist. That seems, you know, racist.

If a black guy got murdered and my immediate response before we knew who did it was to say, “Well, a black dude probably who did it. Black guys have to stop killing each other.”

Social media would revolt against me for these assumptions. But, statistically, that would be likely because when a black murder occurs 93% of the time another black person is responsible. Yet I wouldn’t make that statement because I wouldn’t want to presume who committed a murder before there was evidence of who did it.

Well, that’s exactly what the sports media did here.

Call me crazy, but before I decide the significance of an act, I think to at least know two things: 1. did it actually happen? and 2. who did it? It has been three days now and we still don’t know either of these things.

The sports media has totally abdicated its responsibility to cover the story in favor of banal and insipid anti-racism statements. Ask yourself this, why is Outkick the only place asking these questions? Did the sports media learn nothing from the Mizzou “protest” coverage.

You can’t just accept someone’s allegation of racism without questioning the details surrounding it. Particularly when, as is the case here, LeBron James and his brand benefit from this because everyone feels sorry for him. Remember, LeBron’s and his reps chose to make this public. No one would have ever known about this if LeBron’s crew hadn’t leaked this information and garnered fawning media praise for his illogical and unintelligent response. Based on the public details we have so far, something about this story just doesn’t smell right.

Hadley writes:

“Yesterday as I was walking into the hall of fame park decked out in my preds gear, which is one of the old school blue sweaters with the preds skull just so you know i’m not a band wagon fan. My uncle has been season ticket holder since day 1, which means I got tickets to all of the Cup Finals games for $56. If outkick wants to come to the game up in 306 make me an offer.

I digress, but these two photographers walk up to me and I have the following exchange.

“Hey we are with ESPN and are taking fan portraits to use on our various platforms, would you mind having your picture taken so we can use it for our online content?”

“Oh so you are with ESPN?”

“Yes we are”

“Well then no, fuck ESPN”

Turned and walked into the park, all he could do was awkwardly laugh.


Well done.

Josh writes:

“I usually agree with your assessments on things, but I have to stringently disagree with your valuation of Chip Kelly. As a Former Student of Texas A&M, I am in abject fear that we’re going to fire Sumlin in order to land Kelly first. I’m not saying that Sumlin is the guy to lead us to the next level, but I’m almost positive that Kelly’s not the guy. If you look back at Kelly’s accomplishments in the context of the state of college football at the time, I don’t see the attraction. He won 3 conference titles when the Pac-10 was down and demonstrated an inability to win against most opponents that had more than a week or two to plan against him. I think the coaches in the SEC West are licking their chops at the opportunity to pick apart Kelly’s offense, Saban in particular.

There’s a whole list of schools that apparently want Kelly as their coach. I’m hoping that any of the others get him.”

Chip Kelly went 46-7 in four years at Oregon, 33-3 in the Pac 12.

He left Oregon in such great shape — thank you Marcus Mariota — that the Ducks went 24-4 under Mark Helfrich in the first two years after he left.

Find me a big five conference college football coach who has won 87% of his college football games over four years and then sucked at his next job.

There has never been one.

So could Chip Kelly suck at his next job? Certainly. But if he did it would be the first time that has ever happened in the history of college football.

Whichever SEC team gets Chip should be really, really optimistic about what he will be able to accomplish.

Jerry writes:

“I saw via twitter that the donations were up to $80,000 for Carrie Underwood to throw a dead catfish on the rink during the Preds game. I had to explain the whole scenario to my wife. My wife replied “She won’t do it.” I then stated “I’d fuck that dead catfish for $80,000″ She then notified me if I did, I would be cut off for life from her. This went into a ridiculous discussion that led me to get other opinions. My friend said he would definitely have relations with a dead catfish for $80,000 (which I think most men would). I then told him about being cut off forever from my wife. He stated his wife said she would only require a condom from that point on. First off, I think all this is ridiculous from the women’s standpoint. It’s nothing that won’t wash off. But this got me thinking. How much money would it take to be required to wear a rubber for the rest of your life? I’m 37. I have very few pleasures left in life. Raw dogging once a week is practically at the top of this list. I mean how many marriages are due to nothing more than the privilege of being able to raw dog a woman from that point on without having to worry about getting heroes? It’s sad but true. I said no way, I wouldn’t wear a condom for the rest of my life for $80,000. My friend disagrees. He says he would forfeit raw dogging for life for $80,000. I think he’s nuts. Please settle this debate oh wise gay Muslim.”

All questions about how much money you’d need to do (insert act here) are ultimately defined by how much money you have.

For most American men $80k would roughly equate to two years of salary. So would your average American man give up sex without a condom with his wife for two years of salary? (This is where before or after taxes guy always shows up. I hate before or after taxes guy, he’s always a fucking loser.)

I’m 38. I probably have 10-12 years of “good” sex left. (By good sex I mean like four minutes a time, roughly twice a week.) Figure on a few more blow jobs since I could guilt trip my wife into them because I’d talk about how I was giving up sex without condoms for the betterment of our family. Also, we’d get millions of extra dollars and women are more likely to sleep with you the more money you have. (This is science).

So, yeah, I think I’d give up sex without condoms for two year’s salary. Your buddy is right.

Okay, headed to the Sandestin Hilton now for the final day of SEC Media Days.

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.