Toughness in sports

Not that long ago, as in the aftermath of the Rich Peverley incident, I came across the following image:


A certain Twitter user made the assertion people posting this image are doing so with racist intentions, even if they don’t intend to do so.

When I questioned if she’d be calling it racist if the basketball player portrayed was Larry Bird (white) and the hockey player was Anson Carter (black), her reply was that she had never seen the races reversed like that.

And I have to acknowledge I too have never seen such an image with a white basketball player and a black hockey player with a similar text to what is in the image in question. But the reason for that, at least in my eyes, is simply the law of averages. There are far more black basketballers and far more white hockey players than there are respective white and black players.

Since, on balance, those sports skew black and white respectively, we are more likely to see a basketball player who suffers a leg cramp being carried off the court who is black. And the same goes for a hockey player who collapses on the bench wanting to get back on the ice; on balance he will be white.

Maybe I am more enlightened and not so sensitive to these things, but when I saw the above image, my first thought about who was portrayed in each segment was that the above person was Lebron James, a basketball player. An athlete in a sport I view as a weakling’s sport. Ever watch basketball? It seems to me if you breathe on someone, you get called for a foul.

The bottom portrayed Rich Peverley, who is a hockey player. Hockey, the sport where, on the other hand, you can decapitate a player and play goes on.

I exaggerate, of course.

But. Maybe some of the people who posted that image were doing so with racist intentions. But unless someone says something overtly racist (e.g. “Look at that big nigger baby Lebron James! Wuss carried off the court because of a pussy cramp. Now that Rich Peverley. Good ol’ master race white guy, ain’t gonna let a little irregular heartbeat keep him outta a man’s sport!”) I simply view the image as someone laughing at how sensitive basketball players are when hockey players will play through broken legs (Bobby Baun), broken fingers, missing teeth and having their faces carved up like last Thanksgiving’s turkey.

Don’t get me started on baseball players. “Oooh, I chipped a nail. Put me on the 15-day DL!” They’re the real weaklings.

And yes. I did say nigger. I’m not going to get all politically correct. The use of the word fits the context, and I’m going to use it.