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NFL truth: Hip-hop culture hurting NFL

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  • NFL truth: Hip-hop culture hurting NFL

    Former Warren Central graduate Jason Whitlock drops some bombs in this one. Usually his stuff is pretty iffy, but this one is certainly going to get some attention for the racially controversial subject matter.
    http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/7343980?print=true
    NFL truth: Hip-hop culture hurting NFL

    Jason Whitlock / FOXSports.com

    You get one NFL Truth today. Watching Chad Johnson and Larry Johnson undermine their respective head coaches, Marvin Lewis and Herm Edwards, on Sunday gave me a singular focus, forced me to contemplate an uncomfortable truth.

    African-American football players caught up in the rebellion and buffoonery of hip hop culture have given NFL owners and coaches a justifiable reason to whiten their rosters. That will be the legacy left by Chad, Larry and Tank Johnson, Pacman Jones, Terrell Owens, Michael Vick and all the other football bojanglers.

    In terms of opportunity for American-born black athletes, they're going to leave the game in far worse shape than they found it.

    It's already starting to happen. A little-publicized fact is that the Colts and the Patriots — the league's model franchises — are two of the whitest teams in the NFL. If you count rookie receiver Anthony Gonzalez, the Colts opened the season with an NFL-high 24 white players on their 53-man roster. Toss in linebacker Naivote Taulawakeiaho "Freddie" Keiaho and 47 percent of Tony Dungy's defending Super Bowl-champion roster is non-African-American. Bill Belichick's Patriots are nearly as white, boasting a 23-man non-African-American roster, counting linebacker Tiaina "Junior" Seau and backup quarterback Matt Gutierrez.

    For some reason, these facts are being ignored by the mainstream media. Could you imagine what would be written and discussed by the media if the Yankees and the Red Sox were chasing World Series titles with 11 African-Americans on their 25-man rosters (45 percent)?
    We would be inundated with information and analysis on the social significance. Well, trust me, what is happening with the roster of the Patriots and the Colts and with Roger Goodell's disciplinary crackdown are all socially significant.

    Hip hop athletes are being rejected because they're not good for business and, most important, because they don't contribute to a consistent winning environment. Herm Edwards said it best: You play to win the game.
    I'm sure when we look up 10 years from now and 50 percent — rather than 70 percent — of NFL rosters are African-American, some Al Sharpton wannabe is going to blame the decline on a white-racist plot.

    That bogus charge will ignore our role in our football demise. We are in the process of mishandling the opportunity and freedom earned for us by Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Doug Williams, Mike Singletary, Gale Sayers, Willie Lanier and countless others. And those of us in the media who have rationalized, minimized and racialized every misstep by Vick, Pacman and T.O. have played an equal role in blowing it.

    By failing to confront and annihilate the abhorrent cultural norms we have allowed to grab our youth, we have in the grand American scheme sentenced many of them to hell on earth (incarceration), and in the sports/entertainment world we've left them to define us as unreliable, selfish and buffoonish.

    I take you to Arrowhead Stadium this past Sunday when two competent and respected black head coaches led the Chiefs and the Bengals in battle, and their efforts were periodically sabotaged by Chad and Larry Johnson, the two players Lewis and Edwards have defended the most.

    Football fans are aware of Lewis' love affair with Chad Johnson, the Flavor Flav of the gridiron. Johnson's insistence on conducting a minstrel show during games has long been reluctantly tolerated by Lewis. Johnson, I guess, is just too talented, productive and well-compensated for Lewis to discipline. So Lewis has chosen to enable, going as far as making excuses when Johnson's selfish behavior extended to an alleged locker-room shoving match with coaches (including a swing at Lewis) at halftime of the Bengals' Jan. 8, 2006 playoff loss to the Steelers.

    Coming off an 11-5 regular season and having been crowned the toast of Cincinnati, Lewis responded to that Johnson meltdown by vowing to cut the player who leaked the fight information to the media.

    Since then, the Bengals have been one of the league's biggest disappointments, finishing 8-8 last season and starting 1-4 this season. Injuries have played a significant role in Cincy's troubles, but so has a lack of on- and off-field discipline and focus. Lewis' coddling of Chad Johnson has destroyed the chemistry that made the Bengals a playoff team in 2005.
    On Sunday, with the Bengals trying to rally out of a two-score deficit, Johnson failed to finish a pass route, which contributed to Carson Palmer throwing an interception.

    Not to be outdone, Larry Johnson continued his season-long pattern of immature behavior, spiking the football in frustration with 4 minutes to play and the Chiefs attempting to run out the clock. The Bengals were out of timeouts and the spike stopped the clock, giving Cincy one last chance to make a comeback.

    Johnson, despite receiving a new $45-million contract, has brooded, pouted and complained all season. He spent the off-season promising to be a leader and has spent the first six weeks of the season spreading locker-room cancer. Edwards-coached teams have traditionally been the least-penalized squads in the NFL. This year's Chiefs are one of the most-penalized squads. Nickel back Benny Sapp drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Sunday, had to be dragged off the field by Donnie Edwards, and was spotted on the sideline arguing with players and coaches.

    Race is not the determining factor when it comes to having a good or bad attitude. Culture is.

    Hip hop is the dominant culture for black youth. In general, music, especially hip hop music, is rebellious for no good reason other than to make money. Rappers and rockers are not trying to fix problems. They create problems for attention.

    That philosophy, attitude and behavior go against everything football coaches stand for. They're in a constant battle to squash rebellion, dissent and second opinions from their players.

    You know why Muhammad Ali is/was an icon? Because he rebelled against something meaningful and because he excelled in an individual sport. His rebellion didn't interfere with winning. Jim Brown, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, etc. rebelled with dignity and purpose.

    What we're witnessing today are purposeless, selfish acts of buffoonery. Sensible people have grown tired of it. Football people are recognizing it doesn't contribute to a winning environment.

    Whether calculated or not, the Patriots and the Colts have created settings in which Brady and Manning can lead and feel comfortable. I remember back in the 1980s when some black sports fans accused the Celtics of being racist for having a predominantly-white roster when Larry Bird was the star. No one remembered that Red Auerbach occasionally fielded an all-black starting lineup during Bill Russell's heyday.

    My point is that it makes sense to cater to your stars. And it makes even more sense to fill your roster with players who don't mind being led, even if you sacrifice a little 40-yard dash speed.

    If things don't change quickly, we're going to learn this lesson the hard way.

  • #2
    Re: NFL truth: Hip-hop culture hurting NFL

    Maybe Jason's next article should be about how the Pacers are going away from African-American players.

    As far as I'm concerned if the team is winning it shouldn't matter if the players are black, white, Euro, or Martian.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: NFL truth: Hip-hop culture hurting NFL

      Hip hop culture made Larry Johnson spike a football? And Chad Johnson throw fits?

      Please, this is the same garbage I heard when JR Smith got in a car crash in which his friend died. The local columnist here in Denver blamed it on JR Smith trying to be a gangster. What exactly does wanting to be a gangster have to do with you getting in a completely random accident?

      Rap music does not make people get in car crashes, beat up teammates or do drugs. There are systemic reasons for abberant behavior. To claim that someone would hear a song and act wild is insane.

      Would you break the law if Bruce Springsteen told you to?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: NFL truth: Hip-hop culture hurting NFL

        Originally posted by King Tuts Tomb View Post
        Would you break the law if Bruce Springsteen told you to?
        yes, without question
        This is the darkest timeline.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: NFL truth: Hip-hop culture hurting NFL

          Originally posted by avoidingtheclowns View Post
          yes, without question
          Rock and roll culture is hurting message boards.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: NFL truth: Hip-hop culture hurting NFL

            Disco culture caused short shorts.

            “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

            “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: NFL truth: Hip-hop culture hurting NFL

              Originally posted by Los Angeles View Post
              Disco culture caused short shorts.

              Who likes short shorts?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: NFL truth: Hip-hop culture hurting NFL

                We like short shorts!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: NFL truth: Hip-hop culture hurting NFL

                  The whole article is pretty weak, the argument wasn't even advanced very well, which I think is bollucks anyway.

                  You're always going to have some bad apples in any collection of guys as large as the NFL. There are well over a thousand players in the NFL. If 30 of them get into legal trouble, we're talking about less than 3% of NFL players here.

                  I hope it is kept on the DL on FoxSports that his guy is from Indiana, because he is a friggin embarrassment for the state.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: NFL truth: Hip-hop culture hurting NFL

                    Originally posted by dcpacersfan View Post
                    I hope it is kept on the DL on FoxSports that his guy is from Indiana, because he is a friggin embarrassment for the state.
                    Even a blind squirell finds a nut every once in a while, and he nailed the whole Ball State/Ronnie Thompson issue.

                    I sort of, kind of, like him cause he promotes BSU athletics (mostly football considering he played here), but he does write some pretty off the wall columns.
                    Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right.” ― Ricky Gervais.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: NFL truth: Hip-hop culture hurting NFL

                      Originally posted by Since86 View Post
                      Even a blind squirell finds a nut every once in a while, and he nailed the whole Ball State/Ronnie Thompson issue.

                      I sort of, kind of, like him cause he promotes BSU athletics (mostly football considering he played here), but he does write some pretty off the wall columns.
                      Ah, Ball State Football, the fans are too few and far between.

                      I have plenty of friends that are seniors at the school, and they said that out of their four years, the team seems to be the best it has ever been this year and the program could improve in the future.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: NFL truth: Hip-hop culture hurting NFL

                        He does lay out something interesting though - that the Pats and Colts have the most white and non-black players. That's interesting. I think the rest of his argument is poorly structured (i.e. you get white players so that the white QBs feel comfortable but at the same time when you have a guy like Randy Moss come to the Pats, you have to think that Brady loves him and feels perfectly comfortable).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: NFL truth: Hip-hop culture hurting NFL

                          From the Phillip B.Wilson blog on IndyStar.com. Dungy's response to the Whitlock story:

                          http://blogs.indystar.com/philb/
                          Dungy's take on Whitlock's story

                          Controversial Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock stirred the pot this week with a column on how today's black NFL athletes of a hip hop culture have prompted successful franchises such as the Colts and New England to "whiten" their rosters.

                          I'm not bringing this up just to get a rise on racial views. It's an issue Whitlock broached and his opinions were not shrugged aside, at least not by Colts coach Tony Dungy, the first black head coach to win a Super Bowl and a man who has always been proud of his African-American heritage.
                          Whitlock wrote that the Colts opened the season with an NFL-high 24 white players on their roster. New England, he wrote, had 23 non-black players. His summation is that these two elite franchises tend to stay away from the hip hop, self-publicizing athletes. Whitlock criticized Cincinnati's Chad Johnson, Kansas City's Larry Johnson, Dallas receiver Terrell Owens, Tennessee's suspended cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones and suspended Atlanta quarterback Mike Vick as examples of American-born black men who will leave the NFL in worse shape than they found it.

                          Dungy didn't agree with everything Whitlock wrote, but he did agree with some of it. I know from being around Dungy that he has always expected black athletes to set a positive example for youngsters. He hates to see black players get in trouble because for some, be it media or fans, it perpetuates an ugly stereotype.

                          The Colts have always taken pride in drafting character guys. This is not to say other teams don't look for the same. That's why NFL combine athletes are grilled through extensive interviews. Coaches and those who evaluate the talent want to know as much about what is between the ears as what they can do on the field athletically. It's fair to suggest the Colts have had a better track record than most teams in adding character guys to their locker room in recent years.

                          "It struck me as very interesting," Dungy said. "I thought he made some good points, a lot of points I agree with. I didn't necessarily agree with the 'whitening' of the Colts. We don't necessarily look at it in those terms. We do look for a lot of the things he talks about, guys who are dependable and guys who are going to be good teammates and fit in. I don't think that necessarily means anything one way or another (racially).

                          "But I think he made some points about what it takes to win, team players over individual. I just happen to think that can come from anywhere."
                          My Star colleague Mike Chappell followed up with a question about Whitlock's contention that today's hip hop culture athletes are not as committed to team as opposed to individual success.

                          "I think that's what he was saying," Dungy said, "but he specifically pointed at the black hip hop culture. You'd have to ask him if that's what he was saying, but that's (how) it came out. As I said, I think he made some good points. I don't know if you can always broad down racial lines or position lines."

                          Dungy said he was surprised by Whitlock's contention the Colts are 47 percent non-African-American. My colleagues came up with a number that was a bit lower, around 30 percent.

                          "It's not anything we particularly look at," Dungy said of race. "We do look for Colts-type players. I think he hit Colts-type players on the nose the way he described what we're looking for."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: NFL truth: Hip-hop culture hurting NFL

                            "He hates to see black players get in trouble because for some, be it media or fans, it perpetuates an ugly stereotype."

                            This is it right here.

                            When just one guy "makes it rain on hos", it strengthens a negative stereotype to the point where it is blown up to be a failure of an entire group.

                            Flip it around to the 80's. Back then, guys like Jim McMahon and Brian Bosworth were an eyesore. But since they were white, the "culture" they participated in wasn't under attack, just them as players.

                            Give them black skin, and suddenly the individual is no longer responsible, it's a problem with the way "black people act."

                            Full responsibility should rest on the individual and be based on their actions.
                            “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

                            “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: NFL truth: Hip-hop culture hurting NFL

                              Interesting article on arrest rate in the NFL:

                              http://frontier.cincinnati.com/blogs...e-arrested.asp

                              • The overall arrest rate for football players is about half of the general population. In any given year, about one in 45 NFL players -- a little more than one per roster -- gets arrested. The national rate is about one in 23, according to the FBI. [78]
                              • Drunken driving arrests accounted for a third of the arrests. Still, the drunken driving arrest rate is about one in 144 for NFL players -- slightly better than the national rate of one in 135.
                              • Fifty players were responsible for 40 percent of arrests, with multiple DUI and other charges.
                              So NFL has higher percentage of black players and hip hop culture than society at large, but still has lower arrest rates. Could it be that...RAP MUSIC DOESN'T MAKE PEOPLE MISBEHAVE?! Some people just misbehave, they could listen to country and they'd break the law. I think Jason Whitlock might have a hard time with that notion.

                              Remember, this is the same guy that said you shouldn't support the Jena 6 and that Peyton or Eli Manning could never win a Super Bowl because of how they grew up. He's a fool, people only give him the time of day because he's black. If a white guy wrote this garbage he'd be fired immediately.

                              Comment

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