Bigotry and sports

Not sure what area to post this in…

Can someone with a hate for people of ethnic persuasions cheer on their favorite team?

In other words, Say Joe Q Public doesn’t have an affinity for african-americans, yet he is a big football fan.

His favorite team has black players on it .

Does he look past it?

It’s easier in football because the uniform and helmet mostly hide the actual player and you are cheering for your team more than for individual players. The NBA does suffer from this since its more individual based and the grand majority of their stars are black, people want their team to win but they go watch Lebron/Kobe/Wade play.

“Let me explain myself,” he huffed. “They’re black, but they’re not really black. They’re more than black. It’s different.”

Pino, from Do the Right Thing

Well, if you think that black people are naturally stupid then having a lot of them as athletes isn’t really a shock to a bigot.

I suppose if you were to survey the crowd at a football game, identify the racists and get out safely, you will get one of two answers as to why they are cheering for the black players at the game.

  1. He may be a nr, but he’s our nr so he’s OK.

  2. Hey I don’t mind cheering for the man on the field, I ain’t gonna hire him or vote for him.

This is paraphrasing but 11 years with Eagles season tickets and you hear a lot of dumb shit. I am sure you can hear the same things at a Giants or Redskins game.

Moved MPSIMS --> The Game Room.

No cite, but I believe that at one time the Boston Celtics had a national fanbase mainly because they were the only predominantly white NBA team for a long time.

When you say “racist”, are you taking about hardcore Stormfront RAHOWA seig heil Bell Curve northern Idaho types, a blue collar Joe that feels uncomfortable when a black person moves in a few houses down, or someone who doesn’t like rap music?

People frequently make exceptions for racism. Someone might say Black people are idiots, but recognize that Bill Cosby isn’t(or the President, for that matter).

My gut instinct (not as a fan, but as someone who watches fans) is that today, with free agency and frequent roster changes, even bigoted fans end up rooting up more for the uniform than whoever happens to be wearing it.

Historically, the evidence is mixed. On the one hand, IIRC, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were two of the last MLB teams to integrate their rosters. Supposedly, the main reason was because ownership feared the fans would reject black players. It turned out the fans didn’t care much one way or the other.

When future Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith was feuding with St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, far more white fans lined up behind the black Smith than the white LaRussa.

But when Ben Kerner moved the St. Louis Hawks basketball franchise to Atlanta after a couple of seasons of terrible attendence, he cited two reasons:

A) the St. Louis Blues hockey team had become the hot winter sports ticket in town, and
B) the Blues were an all-white team, while the Hawks were nearly all-black.

When a black athlete hits a certain level of say Superstardom… like Walter payton… or say Micheal Jordan… to a certain extent they can escape this barrier… (sometimes. lol Jordan was refused membership in a Country club in the north suburbs of Chicago… )
Though i do think sports can do more to help than to add on to the ignorance. Jack Kemp always believed that this was so… and demonstrated it in his public career.

Really? When? Where? Is that LOL?

Yes and no. I was once at a party with a guy who was a Eagle’s fan and he said that they would not make the Superbowl because the QB was the wrong color. (Apparently other positions may have black players, but the QB must be white, or something.) I literally turned my back on him. There is no way to explain racism, because it is not rooted in logic.

Howard Stern has had Daniel Carver of the KKK on multiple times, fascinated with his views on race. Carver has steadfastly maintained without exception that he doesn’t particularly hate blacks. He feels blacks are literally animals like horses or dogs. All he wants is separatism, preferably sending them back to Africa. (As opposed to Jews, who are the devil.) If that is the racist context, it is no harder to root for blacks on your team than it is to root for the horse you bet on down at the track.

Although black quarterbacks (and starting quarterbacks) are now pretty common, there was a long time in the NFL where the lower skilled positions were predominantly black, but no QBs were.

The same thing obtained for head coaches and their immediate subordinates.

The prevailing theory seemed to be “Need big, strong, fast? blacks OK, in fact best. Need brains & poise under pressure? Gotta be white.”

We seem to have gotten mostly past this silliness. Blacks are still under-represented in the senior coaching roles, but those also are not entry level positions. I’d give it 5 more years for the first large cohort of black coaches to rise to the senior ranks.

I’d think the reaction would be similar to a bigot’s reaction to entertainers like Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, etc. They would listen to and enjoy the music, but wouldn’t want to mix with any of them.

Fans would root for Black athletes on their own team, as long as they stayed on the field and not at their lunch counters or hotels.

To an extent yes, but from my experience way more prevalent with Eagles’ fans than Redskins’ ones. Depressingly so, in fact.

And what experience is that?

Multiple Eagles and Redskins games. 5 years living in each city. Well just about - Alexandria isn’t officially in DC…

I’ve never come across racism as deeply imbedded as I found it in Philly. Not saying there may not be many other cities worse than it, but in my experience, the other (US) cities in which I have lived (Chicago, Nashville, DC, Charlotte briefly) have been bastions of racial tolerance in comparison.

Obviously its anecdotal, and it shouldn’t be read as an attack on all Eagles’ fans, but there is a fringe of Eagles’ fans I encountered who were vociferously racist (I’ve even had the pleasure of having a couple of them thrown out of Fed Ex Field), and that fringe seems to be more noticeable with the Eagles than with other teams.

Can’t comment on the Giants, as I have only ever seen them on the road.

I wouldn’t deny that you certainly have that element at Eagles games (or in the city in general). Although I did think your comment came off as a bit of an attack on us. Even though I am a transplant, having moved here from Ohio, via DC, I tend to be protective of my fellow fans here. Believe it or not, they get a lot of shit that they don’t deserve.

Certainly racism is an issue in the city. And unlike other NFL cities, that element has a much easier time procuring tickets to games than they might elsewhere. But I also think its more overt. Whereas someone down your way with negative feelings might not express it as openly or crassly, I think the on/off switch might not be as functional up this way.

The other thing that I will say about that is that most of your trouble in the Linc doesn’t come from the guys who come to lots of games. You have a lot of guys who go to one or two games a year and feel the need to overcompensate by projecting that “Philly attitude” (as they perceive it) in ways that embarrass most of the people around them. And often that includes what you have described. Then they can go and tell the guys at work what jackasses they were. That apparently impresses some people.

The Celtics were also one of the first NBA teams to have black players. They were the first NBA team to have 5 black players in their starting lineup. They were the first to make a black man, Bill Russell, their head coach.

So, how do you figure they’re the white racist’s favorite team?