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Is the hate on Rondo a racial issue?

Posted by shawn cassidy on February 13, 2013 at 5:20 AM

It's been about a week since this article came out, but I finally got a chance to write about it.

Celtics are not better without Rajon Rondo-WEEI

"But what's struck me most about the reaction to this five-game run is the absolute glee of the professional Rondo-haters, this has been sports pornography for them, some kind of validation that doesn't really exist. There's been more celebration directed toward winning without Rondo as opposed to the actual winning. And it continues to lead me to this question: If Rondo looked like John Stockton or Mark Price and acted the way he does, would the word "punk" be used so liberally? No chance. He's not a saint by the loosest definition, but I'll bet you all the money in my pockets against all the money in your pockets that if he were a white point guard he'd be called "gutsy" and "scrappy" a lot more than he is now. Rondo gives off the impression that he doesn't care if you like him or not (and who knows if that's true) and that drives some people bonkers."

Do I believe it's a race issue? Do I believe it's his personality? Do I believe it's something else? We all have the ability to think for ourselves, or decide what we believe in. First of all this guy is using two of the clean cut white guys. Stockton is my all-time favorite player. In his day everybody hated him. He was scrappy, and maybe even a dirty player. But he never gave the media issues. Of course Stockton was a shy, and low key guy. He never gave the media a lot to work with. But he was never suspended for anything. I agree that the media may love when a white player comes around. But he uses a bad example I believe. What about Jason Williams?

I believe that race could play about 5% into it. But I also think the league doesn't have a ton of white players. So you can't get an accurate read on it. I think Rondo has haters because Rondo doesn't care if they like him. They also hate him because he disrupts that status quo. He's not like a Rose, or Paul. Both guys open up about personal things. Nothing is wrong with that. But people can relate with someone like Chris Paul who lost his grandfather in a tragic way. Rondo is the recluse artist. Nobody understands him, and I have no idea who he is either. But I love his game, and I love his passion. Rondo is an easy target. He's not a guy that you instantly love because he makes you laugh. Like a Kevin Garnett who brings the world into his mind. 

I wouldn't be telling the truth if I said that racism doesn't exist anymore. It faces everyone in some kind of way. You may be Mexican, or an African American. Maybe your picked on because of your sexual preference, or because of a disability, or if your poor. Racism is usually based on the color of your skin. But the point I'm trying to make? Rondo is picked on because of who he is. He happens to  have brown skin. I think for some journalists race could play apart. Rondo has a lot of haters. Rondo should be thrilled that he has haters right? Every great player does. Kobe had them, and he still does. Lebron has them, and maybe some have cut him slack after he won a title. But every great athlete has critics. All of us have critics in some fashion. I do believe that the criticism is upsetting when it comes to Rondo. But the hate for Rondo cuts deeper than his skin.  They hate him because he bumps refs, and gets into messes. They don't pay attention to his skills. They pay attention to the drama, or other issues that Rondo may be apart of.

But if you look past that. You have a once in a lifetime talent. They should get the stick out of their asses, and grab a beer, and enjoy the guy play.

I want to know what you guys think. Please rant away..

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Reply paul
5:46 AM on February 13, 2013 
I think we still live in a massively racist society, but it's always coded now. For example, most white folks don't mind 'good' black people, I'd say, like Barack Obama, or Colin Powell, but they also don't mind the fact that many blacks in America live in arguably worse conditions than they have lived in for decades, and with less freedom, due to the 'drug war', which has turned black neighborhoods especially into war zones, and has caused a massive percentage of black folks to be more citizens of the United Prisons of America than the United States of America. How can it be that most white folks (and many black folks too, though) turn their backs on situations that clearly blight the lives of the black minority disproportionately, were it not for racism?

Racism is coded today. It's the Drug War. It's hatred for 'illegal' immigrants (really economic refugees). It's support for wars, as long as the bombs are dropping on those supposedly violence loving brown folk thousands of miles away.

Is hatred for Rondo based on coded racism? I think it is, at least to some extent. I think folks won't say this, but I think they see him as that 'lazy, uppity black kid'. But again, they'll never say it exactly like that. They may not even acknowledge to themselves that they see Rondo this way.

Racism can be a slippery and stubborn thing. I think we all harbor some of it in our hearts. It's hard not to, when we've all grown up in a racist society.
Reply Franklin
10:19 AM on February 13, 2013 
Its coded in away. Sure it is. I think u said 5% shawn,and id say its more than that.
Reply paul
10:53 AM on February 13, 2013 
I think class enters into it too. There's this idea that a worker (Rondo) should never talk back to his bosses and social betters, like the league brass, refs, etc.. I think the writers are especially sensitive on this score, because their own social status is ambiguous. Are they proles? Or are they elites?