Speaking out

Evidently a Oklahoma State basketball player went into the crowd during a game at Texas Tech and shoved a fan who may have used a racial slur.  Here’s where it gets both interesting and sad.

… I have over the years spoken to a ton of former college basketball players who have stories about having racial slurs tossed at them by fans. They are conditioned before games to never go into the stands, and just keep their anger in check, no matter the cost to their mental and physical health. They are also pressured not speak about it to the media after games, to keep up the illusion of college athletics as some kind of innocent, wholesome endeavor. This dynamic, as much as anything, speaks to the utter powerlessness of so-called student-athletes.

6  Moments like this are exactly why the Northwestern football players felt compelled to form a union. “Student-athletes” have no power. They have no grievance procedure. Right now, as we speak, Marcus Smart is being told that the best thing for him, his family and his future NBA draft status, would be to just apologize and take whatever slap-on-the-wrist the Big 12 or the NCAA hands down. The most upsetting part, given the economics at play, is that this is probably good advice. It might not be great counsel for Smart’s mental health, but it is for his wallet.

7  In a just world, Marcus Smart would not be suspended at all. Instead the NCAA would enact a FIFA-style response. That means they would either bar Jeff Orr for life from ever going to another Texas Tech game, or, if it is found out that “the n-word” gets dropped from the stands in Lubbock like it’s open-season on black players, then make Texas Tech play in front of an empty arena for the rest of the season.

I’m as big a First Amendment guy as anyone, but there’s a part of me that feels that when you’re talking about somebody who’s engaged in this sort of activity so often that Dick Vitale knows him and his behavior, we’re past freedom of speech.  In the meantime, why doesn’t Texas Tech do something about this guy?  Or the conference?  And if they won’t… why should student-athletes expect such behavior to be tolerated?

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85 Comments

Filed under Look For The Union Label

85 responses to “Speaking out

  1. Spence

    I know that “Congress shall enact no law” has been expanded to mean essentially any government action. That said, I feel pretty confident in my limited knowledge of constitutional law to state that a state school could kick out and ban a fan for using incendiary speech, especially the kind that is inclined to spark violence. I know I probably would have punched the dude if I was next to him.

    He should be banned from sporting events at the school, and I’m pretty ashamed for Texas Tech that it has allowed this type of behavior to go on unchecked. Regardless of if you think using the N word is appropriate (I’m sure – and sad- there are a bunch of UGA fans that use it), yelling it a kid playing for your school whom you don’t know is inexcusable under any context, and if you disagree with that I doubt you’ll have the courage to speak up in this forum (you probably troll AJC blogs).

    Before anyone gets all pissy, I’ve had a friend kicked out of Braves games for telling Barry Bonds he sucks and then making felating gestures. Funny as it was, they were right to remove him.

  2. Charles

    A grown man heckling 19 year-olds??? This is why we can’t have nice things.

    I’m sure that impotent tub of lard hurled some kind of racially charged insult at the athlete. But, that hardly makes him a racist (in my mind, at least). Unless he’s one of those racists that can make exceptions for the African-American athletes on his teams… which runs counter to the textbook definition of “racist.”

    This guy, in reality, is a bully. He knows he can indulge in whatever behavior he wants without consequence. Social shaming would be every bit as effective as an ass beating.

    • Spence

      Yelling the N-word and other slurs at 19 year-old kids you’ve never met qualifies you as a racist.

      I can’t fathom what else you have to do to meet the criteria if that’s not enough.

      • Charles

        Google the definition of “racist.” It might just surprise you.

        Flawed as we are, we all have a history of saying things that we don’t mean just to provoke other people, win arguments, manipulate, etc. There’s no doubt in my mind that what that guy yelled was spiteful as hell, and it probably warranted an ass beating. But, the issue here isn’t about racism as much as it is about what fans are allowed to get away with at sporting events. Schools certainly can’t babysit fans. So, it’s incumbent on us to confront other fans who step over the line. It’s a shame that no one ever considered reining this guy in sooner.

        • Spence

          Schools do babysit fans. Dozens if not hundreds of fans get kicked out of every UGA football game. If you went down and started swearing at opposing players you’d get kicked out. You can get kicked out for a LOT of things, most of which involve being a disturbance or acting inappropriately. Why yelling racist slurs at 19 year-olds doesn’t fit that bill is beyond me.

          I actually don’t think other fans should have to confront him. That’s how actual fights happen. Fans watching some asshole drop racist phrases should be able to simply go to security, explain the situation, and the dude gets kicked out without having to confront him. If he’s a repeat offender, he gets banned for a year. If he comes back and does it again, ban him for good.

      • 3rdandGrantham

        It does? Please define the definition and how such remarks clearly qualifies. I’d also be curious as to why and seemingly 99% of your fellow Americans have completely forgotten about such words as prejudice and bigotry; apparently all three are conveniently lumped in together these days.

  3. Dodo

    Since when is Calling someone “a piece of crap” a racial slur.

    • Cojones

      Since no one got the follow-up on what was actually said, only what the player reported. His misquote is what kicked off the incendiaries.

      Felt the same way as the Senator until the correction came. Now the player is equally responsible.

      “Rabbit Ears” has always been a problem for players in all sporting events. Insert racism as a reason to respond and it’s another ball game. Got me ? This isn’t worth the uproar it originally started out to be.

  4. Ellis

    Ban the fan, give the player a game suspension. The racial slur is unacceptable but Smart needs to not let other people’s words control his behavior. The whole point about players forming a union was a bizarre non sequiter too and poor journalism, so I would also be ok with a fine for the writer also.

    • Alkaline

      While not directly related, I thought the reports that Texas Tech and other schools are doing nothing to protect student-athletes from these situations tied in very well to the string of larger issues the NCAA has created. This event is consistent with the NCAA’s implied message of “shut up and be happy we were so busy cashing checks that we didn’t have time to pull your scholarship.”

  5. Um. . .encouraging athelets not to speak out about this stuff is completely fucking crazy. Dave Zirin suggesting that Athelets not going into stands in these situations is somehow on the same level is fucking crazy, but considerably less so. Going into the stands is never, ever, the right answer.

    But somebody needs to grab some of these kids and say “I don’t care about what you’ve been told, if you are facing racial slurs you should talk about it to every microphone you can get in front of”.

  6. Bright Idea

    I heard an LSU fan call the Red Coat drum major the N word in 2003. I asked him if that also applied to LSU football players. He looked confused and showed me his IQ with his middle finger.

  7. Mike Cooley

    I agree that this fan is an idiot. I don’t fault the player for going into the stands. But nobody here knows whether or not he’s a racist and no, saying a word, regardless of how ugly the word is, does not make you a racist. As stated, the jerk possibly said it simply to rile the kid and cause him to do something that he hoped would get him in trouble. Also, I know there are UGA fans that act like jerks. I sat about five rows in front of a guy who kept yelling at an LSUfan that Mettenberger was a rapist among other things. But I have a hard time believing that there are dozens of UGA fans tossed out of every game and I definitely don’t buy that the number is in the hundreds.

    • adam

      The thing is… He didn’t “go into the stands” after the fan. He was making a play and stumbled out if bounds and when he stood up he was greeted by that fat idiot. Happens all the time in basketball. Only thing Smart did wrong was put his hands on the guy. I think what was said is EXTREMELY important.

  8. “who may have used a racial slur.”
    This harassment has been around for awhile. Why does it become so much more important when the “N” word is involved? Such an ugly word…with such an ugly history. Why does anyone use it?

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1946211-best-hecklers-in-sports/page/5

  9. Mike Cooley

    Agreed. Fans shouldn’t yell insults at players. Period. It is wrong to do it at all but it’s even worse to yell it at college players who are not being compensated for whatever comes with their notoriety. But it is wrong to insult any player. Black players are special. It isn’t wrong because the kid in this situation is black. It’s wrong because it just wrong for fans to insult players. Getting your undies in a bunch just because race is involved is wrong headed.

  10. Mike Cooley

    That should read, black players are NOT special.

  11. 3rdandGrantham

    I can’t stand people who scream ‘freedom of speech!’ at every turn, or when anyone says anything controversial that they perhaps agree with. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences or repercussions. I’m all for freedom of speech rights within reason (you know, the whole fire in a crowded theater thing), but don’t come bellyaching to me or anyone else when others take appropriate action based on controversial remarks made under the guise of freedom of speech rights.

    For example, if a store owner exercises his freedom of speech rights and uses profanity along with prejudiced or bigoted (notice I didn’t say racist) language to customers, he has no right to complain if his business goes into the toilet as a result. Yet many Americans think this would be unfair to him as, after all, its just speech…and a total freedom to exercise it to boot.

    • I thought the controversy over Paula Deen using the N word might have been overdone. Maybe not. I don’t know. I’ve been called it, I was surprised by it the first time it happened. Anyone that has played a pick up basketball game has heard it I’m sure. “I think she has been punished, perhaps overly severely, for her honesty in admitting it and for the use of the word in the distant past. She’s apologized profusely.” Jimmy Carter.
      It’s a matter of perspective.

      I think I’ll continue to err on the safe side and just refrain from using it… I’m not black. In all honesty I didn’t hear it much until we moved stateside. Most of the time I hear it now a days it wasn’t uttered by the usual suspects. I generally ignore it.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        That sounds reasonable to me. If you are black and you say it, I spec its not my business. If I say it and I am not black, it is your business.

        They don’t ban the fan because, let me guess, he gives them money.

  12. Watchman

    Well in fairness to Smart, he didn’t “go into the stands” after the guy. He was trying to block a shot and fell into the seats behind the goal. It was when he started to get up that the confrontation got out of hand.

    The phrase “hostile workplace” has peeked above the horizon in the pro leagues without noticeable impact–yet. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that same philosophy enter the college realm as well.

    • gastr1

      In fairness to fairness, Marcus Smart was facing the court, turned toward the crowd as he got up, then walked at least two steps to get right in the fan’s face. The guy may be an asshole and may have said something he should not have, and Marcus Smart should say something about that kind of treatment to the press. But there is no justifying going into the crowd, as Smart most assuredly did, to confront and push a fan. That cannot happen.

      Kevin Prince Boateng walked off the pitch in a soccer match in 2013 and refused to play while racist chants were hurled at him by idiot Italians, causing the match to be ended in protest. This is a far more effective way to deal with fan abuse, IMO.

  13. stuckinred

    Texas Tech conducted its own investigation of the altercation that said no racial slur was heard. In a statement released through the school, Orr denied using a slur and said he was sorry for calling Smart “piece of crap.”

    “I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere apologies to Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, Tubby Smith and the Texas Tech Men’s Basketball program,” Orr said in a statement. “My actions last night were inappropriate and do not reflect myself or Texas Tech — a university I love dearly. I regret calling Mr. Smart a ‘piece of crap’ but I want to make it known that I did not use a racial slur of any kind. Additionally, I would like to offer my apologies to Texas Tech fans that have been embarrassed by the attention this incident has created.”

    Orr volunteered not to attend any Texas Tech games for the rest of the season, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

    • Spence

      HAHA. The idea that any player over the age of 4 would react to being called a “piece of crap” like that is just laughable. You certainly wouldn’t lobby to everyone you could about the fan, and have teammates change their body language towards you when you heard what was said. Check the film, you can see it all. What a joke. Dude got him a good PR agent and the school wants this to go away.

  14. SWGADAWG

    We live in a new society where if you can just get the press on your side you can pretty much avoid any punishment. BUT…if you go on the street and someone hurls a slur at you, the “big man” thing to do is punch him. Of course you will be hauled off to jail because you can’t hit someone for calling you a bad name. That is unless you are called certain names. Not just names referring to blacks, but there are a list of slurs that will get you in just as much trouble. Understand, there is never, ever an acceptable reason to use those slurs or to curse someone in my opinion, but if it does happen I can’t puch them. Or if it is bad enough use harsher violence.

    The kid went into the stands and pushed a guy. If there isn’t some kind of punishment then we are approaching a sl8ippery slope. What if a player makes a slur at another player (it happens all the time) or maybe a fan….can they give a punch??? If the fan uses slurs he should be removed, but that bar has to be set pretty high. How many fans would get ejected if using the Lord’s name in vain at a player was considered enough for ejection? Or maybe a couple hundred “you sucks”??

    No violence regardless of what some idiot fan does has got to be the rule. As well as absolutely no violence on players by any fan. I think the article sighted is as bad as the acts of the other night.

  15. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Remember when Arizona State fans were chanting “PLO” at Steve Kerr? Or Duke fans were making fun of two of Dean Smith’s African-American players for being “dumb” (prompting Smith to tell a pool of national reporters that his player’s SAT scores were higher than Hurley’s and Laettner’s – guess that was pre-FERPA)?

    Basketball magnifies the issue because fans are right on top of players – but I’ve heard plenty of fans yell things way worse than “piece of crap” at their own players at football games. The only real solution is stadium security that gets involved before things get physical. I’ve been in several situations where a majority of fans in a section would have loved to see a meat-head or two removed. Nothing ever gets done.

    • stuckinred

      Not many people know about that shit with Steve Kerr. My dad went to his grave hating ASU because of that.

  16. rocksalt76

    The players do have power. Nothing is compelling them to play. If it’s so bad then you don’t need a union – just Twitter. If the behavior at Ttech continues then nobody gets off the bench – willingly. Organize online and walk out. Wait for round one of March madness and don’t dress out. If the working conditions stink…don’t show up for work. True, you may be the “product”, but where else can the product decide not to be produced? Just imagine a similar scenario in football and Johnny football decides he’s not taking another snap until the school tightens things up. Problem solved.

    The problem is that this solution creates a classical prisoners’ dilemma. Hence the cry for a union.

    Well…all that and yes – kick the loser fan out of games. Folks get booted all the time.

  17. South FL Dawg

    That fan should have been escorted out. That’s a worse reflection on the university. But regretfully I think the player’s reaction is exactly what the fan was going for and he got positive reinforcement. That’s probably what I would tell the team – don’t play into their hands. And expect ti have another ugly incident as you go thru life because people come in all types.

  18. stuckinred

    In My Losing Season by Pat Conroy he writes about fans burning them on the legs with cigarettes while the inbounded the ball at Clemson.

  19. stuckinred

    I would have smacked his ol lady!

  20. americusdawg

    I was watching the game live when the “incident” occurred. Maybe I missed something in today’s news, but I imagine that someone nearby the “Texas Tech fan” was taking some video on his/her smart phone and caught the audio of what the “Texas Tech fan” actually said. But, considering that the previously mentioned someone is also probably a “Texas Tech fan,” we’ll never hear about it.

  21. Gaskilldawg

    This thread makes me sad in that folks are reassuring each other that a spectator making racial slurs towards a college kid is somehow not a racist act. It saddens me because it seems to be that these adults seem go want it to be okay to do that if the motivation is to make the visiting player play poorly.

    I don’t need to google anything to know that in my book a fan who yells a racial slur at a kid is a racist. Period. Whatever the motivation.

    • stuckinred

      So you haven’t used google enough to find out the jerk just called him a “piece of crap”?

    • uglydawg

      It makes ME sad that so many people have made “decisions” concerning this unfortunate event, based on nothing except their own suspicions that the guy is a racist. That’s a perfect description of prejudice. You have prejudged this event and the people involved without a f-ing bit of evidence as to what was really said. If it turns out he used a racial slur, then let him apologize or be disgraced or whatever. But until we know..quit the knee-jerking. My suspicion is that this incident had nothing at all to do with race, but with competition and mouthing. The guy was in the wrong, but why bring race into it? That is in itself racist….the mantra that if a black person is disparaged, it HAS to be because of his color. If the kid had been Chinese, what would you be saying?…White?..If any of you that are so convinced that this guy should go to the gallows for whatever he said, answer this..have you EVER spoken a slur or a disparaging remark towards a player or coach or group of players on an opposing team at a sporting event? If you say “no” then I’m prejudging you right now as a liar.

      • Skip the racism for a second. Here’s a guy who’s abusive routinely – so much so that he’s known for it on a national basis – and neither the school nor the conference feels it’s worth acting on? In other words, as long as nobody’s using racial slurs, it’s okay to verbally abuse teenagers for playing a game?

        This is the other side of the NCAA’s precious amateurism standards. If that’s meaningful, then why not step in and do something about it? Whatever these kids signed up for to play for a school, this sure isn’t part of it.

        • uglydawg

          I agree with that. But unfortunaltey this has become about “racism”. It’s really about adult spectators abusing student atheletes. It’s always happened and it will continue. However if the guy is indeed notoriously abusive as you say (and I don’t doubt it), then this is the medical equivalent of a painful boil coming to a head.

      • uglydawg

        And please don’t misinterpret my remark as defending “showing one’s ass” at a sporting event or anywhere else. I believe in good manners and sportsmanship, (but who among us hasn’t said something ugly about a football official, coach or player? A qb for AU….a certain SEC official or Coach…a woman in skinny jeans at the ‘Bama / OK game? How about the pic on here of the “country looking” Alabama fans admiring the NC crystal ball a while back? Is that “prejudice”? ) I’m just sick of seeing people rush to judgement and condemnation over every little thing…(.ie, the loud critics of anyone who was in the unfortunate position of “making a call” during the recent snow storm). People are imperfect…they screw up…they do stupid things sometimes…me and you included…Don’t be so judgemental is all I’m saying. The day’s going to come when you need some grace too. I hate this incident for ALL involved. It’s just unfortunate.

      • Spence

        It makes me so sad that people have made decisions that this dude didn’t use a racial slur. How can you possibly come to that conclusion or even be leaning that way?

        Here’s the facts: Jeff Orr is a crazy dude who gets insanely hyped, and a basketball player who is an otherwise good kid snaps for no reason and pushes him, then tells his coaches that racial slurs were used against him. The film shows his teammates trying to calm him down, then hear Smart tell his story, then their body language changes. Smart continues to point to the guy and make his case to officials and coaches for the next several minutes. This notoriously obnoxious fan, an air traffic controller with a lot to lose, texts a friend and says he said something he shouldn’t and feels bad, as reported by a major news outlet. Then he later denies using racial slurs after the national media gets his name everywhere and his picture. Texas Tech, obviously embarrassed as hell, says it conducted an investigation and concludes there is no evidence a racial slur was “heard.” Kevin Smith has not retrac

        The clear weight of this evidence points to what? Your “suspicion that this incident had nothing at all to do with race” is based on what other than the word of Jeff Orr? Does Smart seem like the type of kid that was dying to make a political statement in the heated minutes of a close game?

        WHAT KID SNAPS AT BEING CALLED A PIECE OF CRAP?!? What adult calls someone a piece of crap? I haven’t heard anyone say that since 2nd grade.

        I’m less concerned that there are a tiny number of bigoted fans yelling at kids out there than I am this overwhelming reaction on blogs everywhere that this had nothing to do with race, despite the clear and convincing evidence that something was said.

        I’m relying on this as my news, http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/10428708/marcus-smart-oklahoma-state-cowboys-suspended-3-games-shoving-fan, and if someone else has something more current I’ll amend my comments.

  22. Gaskilldawg

    The comments to which I responded are comments that say that men who making racial slurs to kids are not engaging in racist behavior. Whether Orr called Smart an epitath or a child of God does not bear on whether a fan calling a student a racial epitath is a racist act or not. It is.

  23. JAX

    Is there any proof whatsoever that Jeff Orr said “N”?

    ANY PROOF AT ALL???

    Then Senator, there is no reason to mention it, unless you are race baiting.

  24. The soccer fan in me laughed out loud at the notion that FIFA is some sort of paragon for dealing with racism on the part of fans. First of all, FIFA isn’t the primary entity to provide a response. That usually falls on a continental governing body (for instance, UEFA in Europe) or a national governing body (for instance, the FA in England). Second, I’m not aware of any team being forced to play in a closed stadium for an entire season. At most, teams have had to play behind closed doors for a game or two. Third, shows of open racism are far more prevalent in Europe, especially Eastern Europe and (I’m sad to say, since I am a fan of this league) Spain. The Spanish are notoriously lax for handling monkey chants on the part of their fans. Just last week, Real Madrid’s left back Marcelo was racially abused by the Atletico Madrid fans who were still in the stadium at the end of a game:

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/feb/05/real-madrid-marcelo-racial-abuse-atletico

    I doubt that Atletico is going to face any sanctions for that behavior. The English are better at dealing with instances of open racism, but they still have their issues, for example the anti-Semitic chants that are routinely directed at Tottenham fans:

    http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/west-ham-fans-filmed-shouting-antisemitic-slurs-in-tottenham-8866985.html

    Dave Zirin might think that West Ham are going to play behind closed doors for the rest of the year, but he would be sadly mistaken in that assumption.

  25. Gravidy

    There really was no other way for this comment thread to turn out, was there?

    • I think we could end it on this note?
      “Here’s a guy who’s abusive routinely – so much so that he’s known for it on a national basis – and neither the school nor the conference feels it’s worth acting on?” That needs to stop.
      The year that Bobo came back following surgery the Boo Birds were terrible at our stadium. Using profanity laced shouts at our every miscue. First we stopped taking the kids, then we left mom and dad out. Dad’s BP couldn’t handle the F word around my mom. Finally, we stopped taking our brides. One night game against Texas Tech? when they had that speedy back that signed with the Falcons. My best bud sat there in the rain and he turned to me and said, “I don’t know if I can put up with this crap tonight. If those idiots behind me don’t shut it down I’m going to shut them up.” Fortunately, the rain was too much for those “fans” and they left. We were practically by ourselves in our section. Behind late in the 4th Bobo, Edwards, Champ, and Mr. Everything took ‘em down the field and we scored. Hines did a HW leap into the endzone. I think TT tried to come back and win it on a fg but missed. Pulling into the garage we were wet but happy. Our kids had placed a poster of the score on the back door. Along with the score was the phrase “HOW BOUT THEM DAWGS!

      • Gravidy

        I’ll take that.

      • mwo

        I was at that game also, Byron Hanspard was the rb for TT. We were 0-2. There was a red headed guy with a boiler standing up behind us yelling ” Bobo you suck” the entire game. That was the first time I heard a “fan” rip a player openly by name.

  26. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Interesting how many boards have posters up in arms over the use of the word “racism” with this incident.

    Several former players have mentioned they recognized the spectator on sight from the video because of the “crazy” things he says. White man goes to basketball arena and develops a national reputation for hurling invective at mostly black athletes. Gee, how could that be perceived as racism?

    Orr’s a loser. We don’t need to know or care whether he’s a racist loser.

    • Charles

      The same white man who drives tens of thousands of miles a year to support teams with rosters filled with black athletes???

      • Bulldawg165

        don’t let facts get in the way here, Charles

      • Always Someone Else's Fault

        Lots people drive 10s of thousands of miles to support their teams. How many have developed a national reputation for the words and gestures they use while doing so?

        • Bulldawg165

          being a jerk or a dbag isn’t the same as being racist, but some people refuse to acknowledge that fact. For some people, if something bad happens to a black person it MUST be racism period, even if there is no evidence of such.

          • Charles

            Ed Zachary. And to take that a step further, one can hurl racially charged epithets without being motivated by a belief in the superiority of one race over another. Being an unbelievable asshole with a desire to provoke someone is usually sufficient motivation…

          • Gravidy

            It sure would be nice if we could end this thread with this comment, but something tells me we won’t.

            • Charles

              Well since you’re so enlightened on the issue, why don’t you tell us what we all should think and what’s appropriate for discussion.

              • Always Someone Else's Fault

                True story, one of my earliest CFB memories

                Parents took me to the house of their friends. Alabama-Tennessee on the tube. Their friend was watching the game, cheering the Vols. Vols won. Shot of black Alabama male cheeleader hugging a white Alabama female cheerleader after the game in consolation. Many just went ballistic. Unhinged. Did I note he had a doctorate in physics?

                Man swore he wasn’t racist, and he loved his Vols, no matter the racial composition of the roster.

                So, forgive me if I see the possibility for racism behind Orr’s actions. And stop being so simplistic in your rejection of the possibility.

                • Always Someone Else's Fault

                  “Man” went ballistic, not many. Sorry.

                • Charles

                  You give me one anecdote and I’m being “simplistic”???

                  • Always Someone Else's Fault

                    You’re the one arguing that a man who cheers for teams with black athletes can’t be racist. I’m the one pointing out that’s ridiculous.

                    Want another one? Wrestler from Cleveland starting screaming “stupid N” at the TV when Ernest Byner fumbled against Denver in the 4th quarter. Wrestlers from Newark and Raleigh immediately had his back when people took exception. Nearly started a riot in the dorm.

                    Want a few million more?

                    • Gravidy

                      “You’re the one arguing that a man who cheers for teams with black athletes can’t be racist.”

                      Yeah. That’s EXACTLY what he said.

                      If you’re going to argue with the man, do us all a favor and argue with what he actually said, rather than making stuff up.

                    • Always Someone Else's Fault

                      “The same white man who drives tens of thousands of miles a year to support teams with rosters filled with black athletes???”

                      If he wasn’t suggesting that a man who roots for teams with black athletes could not be a racist, then please feel free to provide an alternative interpretation for those comments followed by 3 questions marks.

                    • Gravidy

                      Since it’s too late to say nothing, which is what I should have done in the first place, I’ll say the next best thing. Arguing over these kinds of subjects in this forum is pointless. I’m done with this fruitless exercise. I’ll spend the rest of my evening helping my kids with their science projects, which is a much more productive use of my time. You have a nice day, sir.

                    • Charles

                      “If he wasn’t suggesting that a man who roots for teams with black athletes could not be a racist, then please feel free to provide an alternative interpretation for those comments followed by 3 questions marks.”

                      I’m relieved you at least picked up on my punctuation, because you sure are having a hard time understanding the actual substance of the discussion.

                      Or, you’re purposely putting words in my mouth. If that’s the case, then Gravidy is right – there’s no point in having a discussion with you.

                • uglydawg

                  I went to military basic training during the Vietnam War..(so you see how old I am). I was accused of being a racist and there was an altercation that I neither instigated or wanted. Since it was the first few days of training and I knew no one (San Diago, Ca.) and had not even had a conversation with anyone, I couldn’t imagine how this accusation was being made. When things got sorted out, I recieved an answer…”because you’re from Georgia”..(I was the only Southerner in our company..most guys from east of the Mississippi went to Great Lakes Illinois for basic). But that was it…honestly…I was prejudged to be a prejudger by a couple of do-gooders from California…they just knew I was all about race because, after all, they were watching the news in the 60s and saw what a bunch of backwards rednecks we all were. Apparantly they had never met a Southerner but had made up their mind that when and if they did, they would make him pay. So there you go. Brilliant.
                  I learned a lot that day. People get so worked up about injustice that they become the purveyors of it…(see “The French Revolution..Citizens Council”). It’s all the same…everybody has the right intentions, but forget their own flaws.
                  Honestly, if you admit to “tolerating” something that you know is wrong and you know is hurting someone, you have little room for moral chest beating because by tolerating it you are an accessory to it.
                  (But, admitting my own shortcomings, I will still be compelled by my dark side to yell at Penn Wagers).

              • Gravidy

                First of all, I believe you and I basically agree on this topic, so that makes your snotty comment even less explicable than it would have been otherwise.

                Secondly, I won’t waste my time typing out my opinions on this subject. They would fall on deaf ears and would not change a single mind.

                And lastly, let the record show that I was correct. The discussion didn’t end on that comment, did it?

                • Charles

                  Well, I apologize for coming off as snotty. But, all the same, “It sure would be nice if we could end this thread with this comment, but something tells me we won’t” adds nothing to my (or anyone else’s) understanding of the topic and is mildly condescending. Regardless of all of that, you’ve made your point.

          • Spence

            So the player is a liar and Jeff Orr is telling the truth?

  27. uglydawg

    Both parties have apologized. I think some good will (has…dialogue is always good) come from this. I think Jeff Orr certainly has overstepped the boundries afforded a spectator at a sporting event…and Marcus Smart made a mistake in letting his anger get the best of him. Either one of the two could be me or you at some point in our lives. The colleges should take note as should the refs…there are boundries and spectatores as well as players must honor them.
    Smart just wants to play basketball. He doesn’t go to the gym every day and run his butt off and practice so he can get into an altercation with some obnoxious fan..I do believe he was provoked. But I believe the low key and “less said best said” approach by OSU is the right one.

  28. I almost always fall on the side of the players, but this is a simple fact:

    Someone’s mere words are no justification for violent, physical contact.

    That is a core element of our “civilized society.”

    If someone says something hurtful to you, you can say something hurtful back. But you don’t get to hit them.

    • Spence

      I agree, and I think our great civic leaders like MLK would agree. That said, I wouldn’t go around slanging N-bombs and racial slurs and NOT expect to get punched or worse, regardless of whether violence is right or wrong. It’s incendiary speech of the worst kind, and hiding behind being a “fan” at a sporting event to use that speech simply is cowardly.