Apparently Al Sharpton feels neglected

A sports columnist named Steve Serby wrote an article about the ongoing tensions between NY Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress and coach Tom Coughlin.

This article has Al Sharpton up in arms. He claims it opens with a “blatant racist statement about an African-American football player with a neck injury.” The racist statement in question?

“Good for Tom Coughlin. Good for Coughlin for tightening the noose around Plaxico Burress.”

Seriously, is this all Al Sharpton does anymore? Scour the news for “racist” statements so he can stand on his soapbox and look down his nose at them? What possible purpose does this serve? If Burress were a big fat white offensive lineman would Sharpton have given a fuck? I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine the answer.

Fuck off, Sharpton. You’re not healing the racial divide. You’re driving back and forth over it with a salt truck, ensuring the wounds will never heal. Go find something else to do.

It’s a really dumb statement from the columnist. Why’d he make a reference to a noose in the first place? It doesn’t make a lot of sense and it’s inflammatory.

I read it as Coughlin is giving Burress enough rope for him to hang himself, which is a common enough expression.

One of the many great things about Obama is that he’s made Sharpton, Jackson and Farrakhan irrelevant.

On the one hand, Al Sharpton is a charter member of the Aggrieved Offenderati (Racism Division), and gratuitously stirring up shit is what he does. So I don’t take his outrage too seriously.

On the other hand, I see the point that it is rather ham-handed to speak of a white boss (coach) “tightening a noose” around a black subordinate. That’s one for the Unfortunate Connotations file, all right.

It’s also a stupid way to describe an attempt to enforce stricter discipline on a subordinate, which I gather is what the article was talking about. The phrase the writer was groping for was “shortening the leash”, or perhaps “tightening the reins”.

Not that those idioms would be totally offensensitivity-proof either, since they invoke the idea of human control over a domestic animal, but I’ll bet you anything that they wouldn’t have set off the offensensitivity alarm even in the head of Al Sharpton the way that the word “noose” did.

He said the exact opposite. If he meant that Coughlin is giving Burress enough rope to hang himself, he shouldn’t say Coughlin is tightening the noose - the whole point of giving someone else rope is that they do it to themselves. Maybe he meant for that comparison, but instead of the ‘giving enough rope’ thing, which connotes Burress trapping himself, he drew a picture of Coughlin wrapping a noose around Burress’ neck.

What’s intended is beyond me. He might’ve intended the lede to play off the “stiff neck” thing in the second paragraph, but didn’t develop it. He could’ve made Burress being a pain in the neck a recurring motif and that would’ve clarified it, but he didn’t do that either. He started off with the noose thing and just left it there. Whatever he meant to do, it was a stupid idea, poorly executed.

“Look at me look at me look at me!” It’s not that complicated.

“Tightening the noose” is just a phrase in common usage. It’s not a metaphor specific to the article, it just means Coughlin is being more strict with Plax. That’s it. No racial issues intended at all. This kind of stuff is exactly what we don’t need right now with race relations. There are enough people saying actual racist things out there that this kind of stuff just makes people angry.

Please don’t paint me as a S/J/F fan, but I think this sentiment is a bit scary. Well, not scary per se (it is close to Halloween!), but I’m not sure what word fits.

I think there is a very real concern (how large I can’t quantify) that the “but we just elected a black president” defense will supplement the Chewbacca defense. Electing Obama doesn’t mean certain statements aren’t imbued with racism, or that racism has finally been extinguished in the nation. Clearly it does say a hell of a lot, and there’s no way (IMHO) Obama could have made it nearly as close in, heck, even the 1980s, so please don’t take this post to diminish the overall victory for race relations that is Obama’s (presumed) victory.

I guess I’m saying that for some time to come, S/J/F have will have some non-trivial role to play in acting as watchdogs for racial affronts. That they often overstate the case complicates things, but as there were alligator-bait hats, watermelon and ribs dollars, and blatently racist pancake mixes being overtly sold at sanctioned Republican events, strongly suggests that we’re far from a world where race is as trivial a fact as whether a candidate has German or Italian ancestors.
Oh, I’m completely sports-ignorant, so forgive me if I’m incapable of directly addressing the OP. I will say, however, that there’s at least a sixty percent chance that Sharpton is overhyping things – but I still think we need him for the thirty to forty percent of actual cases of racism.

I think the trouble with Sharpton is that he has cried “Wolf!” far too often, so anything he gets offended about these days is ignored by most people. He’s well past his use-by date.

A very common phrase. used it as a headline describing the Israeli offensive in Lebanon.

The phrase is perfectly suited as a metaphor to describe a situation where the noosee is running out of options or mulligans as a result of the noosor.

If the headline described a black player who was cut from the team as “lynched” then I would certainly see a story there.

Absolutely (from NY, I’ve had my fill of Sharpton over the years). It’s unfortunate, though, that in some ways it takes a Sharpton or a Jackson to raise awareness of an issue, yet in crying wolf so many times they dilute their own hue and cry.

I’ve heard the metaphor. Usually I’ve heard it in regard to trapping criminals or terrorists, not benching a wide receiver, which makes it that much more hyperbolic here. I don’t think the columnist was endangering his career just to make a racist statement against Burress. It’s just a dumb choice on his part.

I agree with Rhythmdvl - this is very wrong.

Let me know when those are so I can start paying attention to them.

That’s the problem – when are they pointing out/defending legitimate cases and when are they merely grandstanding? I don’t think they themselves can tell anymore.

But it would be horribly naive to suggest that such voices are no longer needed with or without an Obama victory. The original sentiment that I referred to suggested that his victory would lead to their complete irrelevance. It is unfortunate that as far as I know, no other outlet has as much weight or pull as they as individuals do. Perhaps it’s a by-product of the overall circus, which means their buffoonishness has both positive and negative consequences.

I will admit to having neglected whatshisname.