Sports Columnist Upset By Pacers’ Pre-Game Music Choices

05.08.14 3 years ago 4 Comments
Lance Stephenson, Bradley Beal, David West

Lance Stephenson, Bradley Beal, David West (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)

Before last night’s Pacers-Wizards game, Washington Post columnist Mike Wise was in the Pacers’ locker-room. What he heard coming from the speakers offended his delicate sensibilities. He took to Twitter to express his outrage, and almost demanded commissioner Adam Silver intervene. The Thought Police applauded the call for action, but his tweets revealed a larger, racial issue as noted by Deadspin’s Samer Kalaf

Here are Wise’s tweets:

If the David Stern-instituted dress code before and after games caused a hullabaloo earlier in the millennium, than we can only imagine what would happen if a player’s musical choices were censored while preparing for a game in their own locker-room. That’s their space, and they can listen to whatever they want in there. The media, Mike Wise included, gets the privilege of going back there to ask questions.

I’m white, though technically I’m an ethnic mutt of Irish, English, German and Scandinavian descent. I’m so white, in fact, that when I lived in a predominantly black East Harlem neighborhood, the guys who chilled in front of my building called me “Snow Man.” While the pigment of my skin shouldn’t preclude me from the discussion of the n-word, something Charles Barkley and others — including Mike Wise — discussed earlier this year after the Matt Barnes tweet seen ’round the world, it absolutely does.

I don’t use the term. Ever. I speak up whenever a white person uses it, but I don’t have a problem when it’s used by a black person in a myriad of different contexts. My personal belief is hundreds of years of slavery, segregation and the much more nefarious — because it’s harder to expunge — covert racism that still persists in the highest levels of power TODAY, gives black people the right to either use the word, or not. It also gives them the right to dismiss other black people who do, or not. They get to make that choice. I do not. Neither does Mike Wise. If this is a form of reverse racism, then so be it.

If Wise reads this, he’ll probably say I’m a coward. I just don’t think I have the right to tell any black person whether or not they should use that specific word. They get to make that determination on their own. I feel the same way if a woman uses the word b**ch. I’m not a woman, but if they want to use that word, or not, that’s their decision, not mine.

There’s a lot more to write on the subject, but that’s not what’s concerning about the tweets. The fact Wise thinks the commissioner of the NBA should legislate the pre-game music players enjoy in the locker-room is ridiculous enough to dismiss his whole argument, even if it’s an argument about race that’s important to be having. For now, though, Mike Wise should probably just avoid the locker-room if he finds the music selections of the players so offensive.

(via Deadpsin)

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