Is there a Double Standard in Sports?

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These past few weeks leading up to the kickoff the 97th NFL season have been pretty interesting to say the least. However, the most talked about incident is Colin Kapernick’s decision to stand during the playing of the national anthem. I’m not surprised by the actions of those that felt as if he was a disgrace to the country, its 2016 and the color of our skin is still an issue to people. Land of the Free? Yeah right, Colin has been vilified for his freedom of speech, for his choice, for his decision to stand up against injustice. And let’s not forget that people have wished badly upon him, they’ve burned his jersey, they taunted him on social media and attacked him. And then they wonder why he refuses to stand for an anthem written for a country that doesn’t practice what they preach.

This rant isn’t about the unfairness that Colin has endured, there are enough blog entries about that. Instead I’m going to rant about the double standard in sports  and I don’t believe enough people are discussing this issue. As a fan of football and sports I’ve noticed that certain players can do certain things and get away with them, while other players are made an example of, slandered by the fans, they lose endorsements etc. I hate to make this a black & white thing but clearly it has come to that. How come African-American athletes are held to a different set of principles compared their white counterparts?

So for the record a double standard is; a rule or principle that is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups:

 

So back in August the “boy from next door” Ryan Locthe lied about being robbed at gun point while in Rio during the Olympics. Not only did he tell a little white lie he left out the part that the caused a ruckus in a gas station, trashed the gas station, and urinated in the gas station alongside his swimming buddies. But the media didn’t’ drag his name through the mud, they didn’t call him a thug, they didn’t call him a disgrace to our country (which he is) he did lose endorsements and was suspended from USA swimming quietly and we haven’t heard a thing since. On the other hand we have a bi-racial athlete that has witnessed the oppression of African Americans in our country just as we all have and he decides to respectfully protest, not causing any noise, no public statement prior to the protest and the country is upset, disgraced, and embarrassed?  What a joke!

 

Need another example? I have one for you; Johnny Manziel the rich white kid from a great family in Texas is the star quarterback for his college team the Texas A &M Aggies. America loves him, he’s the Heisman Trophy Winner, talented QB all around American boy. But Johnny had several off the field issues during his tenor at A & M and we knew about them but the country didn’t label him, they didn’t make him the talk of sports talk shows for weeks. In fact it wasn’t until his character flaws surfaced while in NFL that we learned of all the issued Johnny had. But he was still America’s sweetheart. Then comes Jameis Winston star quarterback from Florida State University, black kid from Alabama with a southern drawl and an infectious smile, heisman trophy winner as well. But do you remember when allegations of rape were bought up against him and the people attacked him? His face was plastered on ever news & social media outlet, they labeled him guilty before the even knew the facts. Or the time he was acting like normal college kid? Shooting a BB gun on campus, filling up his water cup with juice and the infamous crab legs incident. The country labeled him a thug, blamed his upbringing when they were unaware that he had come from a great family environment, they mocked him, and attacked him and look who has the better professional career?

 

There a several other examples I could present; Ben Roethlisberger, Riley Cooper, Al Netter, Cody Grimm, Matt Bush and others never received the negativity and backlash  that Michael Vick, Kobe Bryant, Colin Kapernick, Cam Newton and other African American Athletes have received. How come black athletes are held at such a higher standard? Why that is this country will find everything wrong with black athletes when they don’t conform to their ways? How is this fair? It’s really true that we have to have to be twice as good as them to half of what they have. It’s unfair and we can’t continue to allow them to force this standard on us, I’m tired of it. They love to spotlight all the “bad” we do but they never highlight the amazing things we do and accomplish. Or if they do, it isn’t discussed to its entirety like our downfalls. It’s time to end this double standard and treat everybody with the same across the board. Only in a perfect world right? I guess we’ll have to stay tuned.

 

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