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Gumbel's Olympic Remark

 
 
candidone1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2006 08:20 pm
You don't see a lot of black swimmers, hockey players, divers, speed skaters, curlers, from the testaments of my black friends, " because we hate the cold and we can't swim."
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2006 07:06 am
Roxxxanne wrote:
Gumbel's remarks are not racist. Whites have not been victims of racism therefore comments like these are not racist, ethno-centric perhaps, but not racist. Figure skating is not a sport. A guy who is propelled by gravity in a luge is not an athlete. Skiing requires athleticism but there is no competition going on directly.

We no longer have the US vs. The Evil Empire or against the Soviet Eastern Europ Bloc countries. Add to that, the best athleletes in the world are not participating (many of whom happen to be black) and what you have is a sham. No wonder no one is watching.


Wow. You can tell you aren't watching, never watched, and never will watch. Better stick to guitar.

Who remembers the Jamaican bobsled team? That spectacle scared more blacks away from the winter Olympics than anything!!! Smile
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woiyo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2006 08:02 am
candidone1 wrote:
You don't see a lot of black swimmers, hockey players, divers, speed skaters, curlers, from the testaments of my black friends, " because we hate the cold and we can't swim."


Only a Gold Medal Speed Skater.
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2006 08:47 am
candidone1 wrote:
You don't see a lot of black swimmers, hockey players, divers, speed skaters, curlers, from the testaments of my black friends, " because we hate the cold and we can't swim."


I'll try to more fully address some of the... thoughts expressed here later, when I'm not at work.
But I did want to say that the idea of accessibility has a lot to do with who participates in Winter Olympics. Arthur Ashe used to talk about it, regarding the lily-whiteness of tennis. Because of people like him, we have the Williams sisters and a couple of others. Because Tiger Woods has made conscious efforts to open training facilities in areas which otherwise would never see a putting green or a 9 iron, the upcoming generation will probably have more darker complected folks walking up fairways.

Conversely, without at all buying any notion of racial superiority, I don't know of anyone who will argue the fact that blacks excel at basketball and the other two major selling sports in the US. That isn't because there aren't enough basketball goals in the suburbs. It's an interesting subject, and its too easy to start throwing accusatory bombs prior to looking at the whys and wherefores.

I gotta admit it amuses the hell out of me how nasty some folks will get right out of the chute - they can't even pretend to have expansive attitudes in matters of race, so if challenged, they simply start making juvenile jokes and accusing me of having no sense of humor.

I submit that no one possessed of intelligence and integrity at A2K can deny that race and sports (also race and politics, race and relationships, race and intelligence...etc) has potential to provoke not just defensive trading of barbs, but also some worthwhile contemplation.
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El-Diablo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2006 03:03 pm
Quote:
So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks


There's the problem. It's ridicoulously ethno-centric. He's implying these games simply CANNOT contain the best athletes because there are FEW BLACKS. Thus he is implying he believes black are the best athletes and are superior in sports. Now these comments aren't racist...he's not insulting a race, but then again neither were Limbaugh's comments. Limbaugh implied that the media was being ethno-centric. There's no racism in those comments. He didn't proclaim how blacks are not as good as whites at quarterbacking. I believe his actual quote was that "the media wanted a black quarterback to succeed and so mcnabb has been overrated." So correct me if I'm wrong but isn't DIRECT ethno-centrism worse that accusations of such, wrong as such accusations may be? And THERE draws the line where I believe Gumbel's comments are worse than Limbaugh's.
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2006 04:54 pm
Gumbel's comment is worse than Limbaugh's.

Neither was in good taste, but Limbaugh was basically speaking to his opinion that racism caused a dearth of black quarterbacks, which in his opinion, yielded a token black QB. He was therefore actually sliming one guy, who happened to be black, by challenging/attacking his ability as a QB.

Gumbel's comment translates to mean that all blacks are superior to whites in athletics.

Limbaugh's was questionable, unPC and a direct insult against McNabb.

Gumbel's was glib and racist.
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2006 05:27 pm
Some opinions..I kept the blog author's name on this one:

Home » blogs » Greg Sheffield's blog
Media 'Whiteout' Racist Bryant Gumbel Remark
Posted by Greg Sheffield on February 20, 2006 - 11:24.


Mainstream media coverage of Bryant Gumbel's denigrating remark on the racial makeup of the Winter Olympcs has been scant. The host of HBO's "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" said:

"Try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention."

Gumbel's statement on white athletes is more direct than Rush Limbaugh's statement about black quarterbacks in 2003, when discussing black Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. Said Limbaugh on ESPN:

"The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."

Bryant Gumbel's remark has not made it onto any news shows of the Big Three networks, while Rush Limbaugh's remark made it onto all three evening news shows. The only Gumbel mention by a TV network other than Fox News was a CNN segment called "Showbiz Tonight," relegating the story to celebrity gossip.

On October 1, 2003 all three evening news shows reported on the Limbaugh controversy.

ABC's Peter Jennings:

"We're going to take A Closer Look tonight at the latest controversy fostered by what someone said on television about race. In this case, Rush Limbaugh's remarks about the NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles."

CBS's Dan Rather:

"Radio star Rush Limbaugh's comments about Philadelphia Eagle Donovan McNabb brought calls today for ESPN to fire the self-described conservative commentator."

NBC's Tom Brokaw:

"In Washington, the big controversy these days is the leak about the CIA agent. In Philadelphia and throughout the sports-writing world tonight, the big issue is Rush as in Rush Limbaugh."

Even Howard Stern was willing to discuss Bryant Gumbel's remark, saying that he thought Gumbel himself was white.
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2006 05:36 pm
I'm going to go on a limb here, and say that his critique of figure-skating because of subjective scoring is totally bone-headed. Surely, no one will claim that Olympic boxing isn't a sport. Heck, it was part of the original Olympics of ancient Greece, and it's scored by judges. I rest my case.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2006 05:40 pm
Strap that dude on a board and send him down a snowcross run with Lindsey Jacobellis, she'll kick his ass.
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Feb, 2006 11:29 am
yitwail wrote:
I'm going to go on a limb here, and say that his critique of figure-skating because of subjective scoring is totally bone-headed. Surely, no one will claim that Olympic boxing isn't a sport. Heck, it was part of the original Olympics of ancient Greece, and it's scored by judges. I rest my case.


they got boxing in Winter Olympics now?
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Feb, 2006 01:17 pm
hockey games might have some boxing in it. but if subjective scoring makes competitors pseudo-athletes, then boxers are pseudo-athletes. if Mr. Gumbel was critiquing Olympics in general, i wouldn't make an issue of this. but since he repeatedly emphasized Winter Games, i presume he doesn't feel the same way about the Summer Games. then he's inconsistent if he dislikes skating judges but doesn't mind boxing judges.
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Feb, 2006 01:23 pm
Yeah, I can see that - unless there's a knockout.
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Feb, 2006 01:30 pm
Is there anyone who wants to address the issue of accessibility to certain sports, as in the connection between accessibility and excellence in a sport?

I think there's a discussion to be mined there.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Feb, 2006 01:53 pm
Accessibility is an issue, of course. Why else have poor, urban kids historically gotten into boxing and basketball? This was true when there were plenty of Jews, Irish and Italians in those sports.

Skiing, in particular, is an expensive sport to get into, even as a recreational activity.

Re Gumbel: Maybe he's just hyping March Madness because he's got a gig with CBS...
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Feb, 2006 02:16 pm
Skiing can be fairly cheap - if you work at the resort or happen to live nearby. Yearly passes at many places are as low as a couple hundred bucks. Equipment costs are high, but it can last a long time.

I'll tell ya' though, it ain't cheap here in Michigan. Yikes.
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Feb, 2006 02:44 pm
snood wrote:
Is there anyone who wants to address the issue of accessibility to certain sports, as in the connection between accessibility and excellence in a sport?

I think there's a discussion to be mined there.


it's ironic to me--unless Gumbel intended the irony--that he should mention March Madness. there will be an abundance of African-Americans, which is why he's looking forward to it i suppose. but that's not simply a matter of access, as far as i'm concerned. there's also a lot of money involved, just like in the winter games. athletics--football & basketball, basically--are cash cows for univerisities, and some of it trickles down to athletes in the way of scholarships, of course, but realistically a lot of student-athletes are looking for a ticket to the pros. if skiing or skating were more lucrative, and football & basketball less lucrative in the US, we might see more African-Americans in the winter games. so i suppose the US winter olympic squad may not consist of the greatest US athletes, but that's no reason to assume that the squads from Scandinavia or Eastern Europe don't feature some of their best athletes.

even in the case of the US winter team, i'm not prepared to write off the womens' squad, since women don't play football, and women's basketball isn't the industry that men's basketball is. it would be interesting to compare how the US women stacked up relative to the US men in medal count, say.
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Feb, 2006 03:12 pm
Thanks yitwail and D'art. The point is well taken about there being a lot of Jewish, Italian and Irish in boxing at a certain time in our history. There probably were limited healthy outlets for that kind of physicality then, and I think that's the same kind of energy that fuels a lot of inner city boxing gyms and basketball courts today. Unfortunately it is true that a lot of those urban youth see their athleticism as their financial ticket out, but I think their initial exposure to sport is more a function of availability, and not conscious choice.

So, I think a case can be made that if all the potential athletes haven't had the opportunity to try lugeing or skiing, etc, then all the best athletes might not be represented there.

(and now to stir the pot a little) But how does that reasoning translate when we observe the paucity of white pro basketballers? That certainly isn't a function of accessibility.
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Feb, 2006 03:31 pm
good point about paucity. my theory is there's a bit of an inferiority complex involved; white kids believe white men can't jump and so don't bother competing. this isn't farfetched, a Stanford psychologist, Claude Steele, calls it stereotype threat with respect to African-American students taking standardized tests:

Quote:
By the term "stereotype threat" what we have in mind is simply being in a situation where a negative stereotype about your group could apply. As soon as that's the case, you know that you could be judged in terms of that stereotype or treated in terms of it or you might inadvertently do something that would confirm the stereotype. And if you care very much about doing well in that situation, the prospect of being treated stereotypically there is going to be upsetting and disturbing to you. And if you're a member of a group whose intellectual abilities are negatively stereotyped, this threat might occur. That negative stereotype will be applicable to you right in the middle of an important standardized test. And our general reasoning was that this threat, this prospect of confirming a stereotype or of being seen that way would be distracting enough, upsetting enough, to undermine a person's performance right there in the middle of a test.


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/sats/interviews/steele.html
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Feb, 2006 04:02 pm
I think that's what happened during the quantitative part of my GRE. Laughing
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Feb, 2006 04:04 pm
There are still some good white basketball players, both in college and the pros. And let's not forget the Europeans in the NBA. I don't know how they fit into this argument, but they're white and they can play...
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