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On Saturday, Oregon football coach Mario Cristobal berated one of his players, Kris Hutson, for showboating after he made a big play. Cristobal had good reason to be upset. The refs immediately negated the play by penalizing Hutson for unsportsmanlike conduct, which kept the Ducks out of field goal range just before the end of the half.
However, ESPN broadcaster Rod Gilmore criticized Cristobal’s reaction, calling it “too much.” Fox Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb found Gilmore’s commentary odd. In response to Gottlieb, Gilmore doubled down and — you guessed it — racialized the story. Remember, Gilmore works for ESPN — so racializing everything is part of the job.
Take a look:
Moreover, the image of a 51 year old White man berating a young Black man so publicly rubs a lot of us the wrong way. Especially w/all the racial injustice. Bad optics. U can deliver the lesson w/o flexing your power & control. It did not make Black parents I know happy.
— RodGilmore@espn (@RodGilmore) September 27, 2021
First, Cristobal is Cuban. So Gilmore’s race-baiting is off to a rough start. Second, and I ask this often, what does skin color have to do with anything?
Rod Gilmore likely didn’t find Cristobal’s reaction racist. In fact, Gilmore ended up having to defend his stance after several people, like Gottlieb, mocked his commentary about the player-coach exchange online. Apparently, Gilmore thought racializing the matter would drop the mic.
Because Gilmore thought Cristobal was white, he followed the media’s playbook. In that book, a section says if a white person (or someone you think is white) does something even remotely untoward to a black person, call it racist immediately. So Gilmore did. In other words, an exchange doesn’t actually have to be racist for the media to call it racist. Got that?
I was willing to consider Gilmore’s point before he foolishly made it about race. Hutson’s penalty was inexcusable and hurt his team. That can’t happen and will always lead to frustration in an emotional atmosphere. However, I am not a fan of adults who scream at other individuals. It shows more weakness than strength.
That said, scolding is common in sports, particularly in football. Black coaches scold white players, white coaches scold black players, and — now we know — Cuban coaches scold black players.
Therefore, much to Gilmore’s chagrin, an action can be wrong — and, in this case, it’s debatable — but still have nothing to do with race. Did you know that?
Here we have a foolish penalty, a heated coach on the sidelines, and a story that has nothing to do with race.