Ethics Dunce: ESPN

protest-mizzou

ESPN has announced it will give the University of Missouri (MU), a.k.a Mizzou, football team a special humanitarian award in July to honor the team for its strike  in 2015. You know the one, right?  If you did, then you are probably retching.

This was the Black Lives Matter-esque fuse that caused over a hundred universities to explode in racial unrest and cave in to pressure from black student groups to yield to demands supposedly addressing various imagined, concocted or politically exploited race-related problems on campuses, ranging from microagressions, to inadequate race-consciousness, to unidentified people saying mean things.

That last, in fact, was what caused the Mizzou foolishness. There, three unrelated episodes caused the “crisis”:

  • Payton Head, MU senior and president of MSA,  published a Facebook saying that he was walking around campus when the passenger of a pickup repeatedly shouted the “nigger at him.

No one confirmed his claim.

  • The Legion of Black Collegians posted on social media that the group was rehearsing for a performance at the University’s Traditions Plaza when a “young man” talking on his cellphone walked up to the group, was politely asked to leave, and hurled “racial slurs” at LBC members.

Was he a student? Nobody knows.

  • Someone draw a swastika using human feces inside Mizzou’s Gateway Hall.

Funny, I think of the swastika as an anti-Semitic symbol, not anti-black one, but hey, whatever it takes, right?

None of these involved perpetrators who were identified, or who were shown to be students. None of them  were remotely within the control of the University; nor were they coordinated in any way.  Black groups on campus, however, harassed the school’s president, Tim Wolfe,  and demanded that he resign. A black graduate student began a hunger strike, promising to forgo all food and nutrition until Wolfe was ousted. Finally, black University of Missouri football players announced that they would not participate in team activities or games until the university yielded to various demands, including Wolfe’s dismissal. The coach and the rest of the team backed the black players, and the university caved.

In addition to sparking many other conflicts on other campuses, disrupting students’ education, making U.S. ccolleges look like the inmates were running the asylums (because they were) and increasing racial tensions, the episode had the effect of  causing a huge drop in enrollment that has cost Mizzou about $32 million.

Isn’t that great?

Good job, everybody!

Apparently ESPN think so, anyway.

The sports network announced last week that the 2015 team will be collectively honored at its second annual Sports Humanitarian of the Year awards,  held along with the ESPY awards. On July 12, the team will be given the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE award, named in honor of the ESPN anchor who died of cancer last year. The award “celebrates someone that has taken risk and used an innovative approach to helping the disadvantaged through the power of sports,” ESPN said in a statement.

Wait–just who were “the disadvantaged” here? College students? Football players? Power mad brats who wanted to demonstrate their power by ruining a man’s career and disrupting a campus? Who was “helped” in this shameful scenario? Where are the benefits that cost a school’s reputation and 32 million bucks?

Babbled ESPN in its release…my comments may intercede here and there, if I can’t resist…

Racial tensions were becoming increasingly strained at the University of Missouri last fall. [Yes, caused by the activists that the team sided with. Three random incidents do not constitute a racially tense campus until someone exploits them to cause racial tensions.] Frustrations gave rise to protests — one of the most notable coming when a student at the school began a hunger strike. [ Yup–a grandstanding, absurd, and unjustified hunger strike by a campus politician, who ought to have been ignored until he grabbed a double cheeseburger.] Students were demanding action, and the Mizzou Tigers football team stepped in and announced that they would boycott their upcoming game unless changes were made. [Never mind that the changes were destructive to the school and its students.] The players took a huge risk [No, they didn’t–because they knew that the University of Missouri, like most big football schools, cares more about sports than education, and care more about money than either. It was blackmail, and involved no risk whatsoever.]— their scholarships could have been revoked and their futures hung in the balance. But their actions indicated it was a risk worth taking to help bring action to this critical issue. [What critical issue? Go ahead, ESPN, explain what the issue was that the team was bravely fighting for? Explain how the strike helped.]

The eight demands the athletes struck to accomplish included race based hiring–you know, instead of credential and ability-based hiring– and mandatory indoctrination programs, as well as various apologies and acts of supplication to the offended black students.

This is what ESPN apparently believes is worthy of a nationally broadcast honor. What is the right adjective for this? Irresponsible? Ridiculous? Reckless? Stupid? Insane?

I guess I’ll stick with unethical, with a dash of cynical, for this is pandering on a grand scale.

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3 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: ESPN

    • Au contraire, Monsieur Dragon. If all the black players had left “the Missouri program,” it would have been doomed to having to play with white guys. I still view college football as nothing more than a competition among plantations where all the wealthy white “fans” sit in the stands and eagerly assert “Our black guys (about whom we don’t really give a rat’s ass, and certainly could care less whether they go to class or learn a thing while they’re here toiling away ‘on the field of play’) are way better at bashing each others’ brains out than your black guys! Hurray for us!”

      And of course, this wonderful plantation system is the source of ESPN’s and it’s parent’s, The Disney Company’s, largest revenue stream, barring the continued un-bundling by cable TV providers. ESPN is responding to a self-induced shake down. They’ve clearly decided their best defense is a good offense. If black sportswriters and athletes and former athletes stopped supporting ESPN, all the white guys in Bristol Connecticut and at Disney HQ would be paddle-less and you know where.

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