Bootlickers Rewarded Again
On April 25, Nick Bosa, a white defensive end for the Ohio State Buckeyes, was picked second overall in the 2019 NFL draft. He gets attention as a white star in a league that is nearly 70 percent black.
Just before the draft, the New York Times profiled him in an article with an apparently contradictory title: “Nick Bosa Comes With the Kind of Baggage That Doesn’t Matter.” Mr. Bosa’s “baggage” was some tweets he had deleted:
One tweet called Beyoncé’s music ‘complete trash.’ Another described ‘Black Panther,’ a film widely seen as a triumph for pop-culture representations of black people, as the worst Marvel movie. Others reportedly expressed support for President Trump. And Bosa’s reference to the City by the Bay—the 49ers hold the second overall pick on Thursday—apparently alluded to a 2016 tweet in which Bosa called Colin Kaepernick a ‘clown.’
The reader is invited to conclude that this “baggage” should weigh heavily against Mr. Bosa. The Times article then defended Mr. Kaepernick as “the former 49ers quarterback who protested structural racism and police brutality in the United States by kneeling during the national anthem.” In benighted America, Mr. Bosa’s “baggage” is the sort that does matter, and can ruin an otherwise deserving player’s career.
By contrast, the media heaped praise on a different white athlete, Kyle Korver, who plays in the National Basketball Association. On April 8, he published an essay on The Players Tribune called “Privileged,” writing:
When it comes to racism in America, I think that guilt and responsibility tend to be seen as more or less the same thing. But I’m beginning to understand how there’s a real difference. As white people, are we guilty of the sins of our forefathers? No, I don’t think so. But are we responsible for them? Yes, I believe we are.
Mr. Korver’s distinction between guilt and responsibility is too subtle for some of us, but the New York Times lauded him as a white player speaking out against racism and white privilege. White American players are only 8 percent of the NBA, but Mr. Korver presumably got his job only through “privilege:”
How can I—as a white man, part of this systemic problem—become part of the solution when it comes to racism in my workplace? In my community? In this country? These are the questions that I’ve been asking myself lately. . . . I have to continue to educate myself on the history of racism in America. I have to listen. I’ll say it again, because it’s that important. I have to listen. I know that, as a white man, I have to hold my fellow white men accountable.
Clay Travis, the right-leaning media personality and author of Republicans Buy Sneakers Too, was one of the few who refused to gurgle happily over Mr. Korver’s bootlicking, tweeting:
Kyle Korver’s white privilege piece just furthers the pyramid of victimization. Fact [that] media praised him is evidence of far left wing bias in sports.
Racial politics long ago invaded—and corrupted—sports.