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Thursday, May 03, 2001

Deion weighs in on racial tensions

Next up on Deion’s agenda: Protein sequencing and human rights issues in China.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2001 at 12:30 PM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. scruff Posted: May 03, 2001 at 01:03 PM (#67383)
Your comment was pretty funny.

But seriously, I think we put players in a lose/lose situation. Either they don't care about the community and they are selfish millionaires, or they try to make a difference and we say they should stick to baseball. I agree, maybe he should just DO it and not SAY it, but you don't know who started asking the questions here. I'm sure the reporters of Cincinnati were licking their chops for the opportunity to start asking questions. "Hey Deion, what do you think of the racial tension in Cincy the last few weeks?" If he answers, "I'm just playing baseball," he gets branded as not wanting to come down from his tower, just another sheltered athlete. If he says, "I wish I could have been here to help," people say he's overstepping his bounds. Lose/Lose. I think this type of public reaction is becomes exacerbated when there is an African-American involved.

I know Deion is flamboyant and an overrated baseball player (at least by the general public), but he's an amazing athlete, who has backed up everything he's ever said on a football field, and he's an acceptable baseball player. He's marketed himself very well, and I don't knock him for that. I like people that at least have a personality. He's having fun. I think he does care about the community. He's grown up a lot over the last few years. Cut him some slack. I saw his interview on ESPN after the game the other night, and he was geniunely moved by the ovation he received. He's not that good of an actor. I say give him some credit for showing appreciation for the fans and offering to use his celebrity to try to help a tense situation.
   2. scruff Posted: May 03, 2001 at 01:03 PM (#68169)
Your comment was pretty funny.

But seriously, I think we put players in a lose/lose situation. Either they don't care about the community and they are selfish millionaires, or they try to make a difference and we say they should stick to baseball. I agree, maybe he should just DO it and not SAY it, but you don't know who started asking the questions here. I'm sure the reporters of Cincinnati were licking their chops for the opportunity to start asking questions. "Hey Deion, what do you think of the racial tension in Cincy the last few weeks?" If he answers, "I'm just playing baseball," he gets branded as not wanting to come down from his tower, just another sheltered athlete. If he says, "I wish I could have been here to help," people say he's overstepping his bounds. Lose/Lose. I think this type of public reaction is becomes exacerbated when there is an African-American involved.

I know Deion is flamboyant and an overrated baseball player (at least by the general public), but he's an amazing athlete, who has backed up everything he's ever said on a football field, and he's an acceptable baseball player. He's marketed himself very well, and I don't knock him for that. I like people that at least have a personality. He's having fun. I think he does care about the community. He's grown up a lot over the last few years. Cut him some slack. I saw his interview on ESPN after the game the other night, and he was geniunely moved by the ovation he received. He's not that good of an actor. I say give him some credit for showing appreciation for the fans and offering to use his celebrity to try to help a tense situation.
   3. scruff Posted: May 03, 2001 at 01:03 PM (#68443)
Your comment was pretty funny.

But seriously, I think we put players in a lose/lose situation. Either they don't care about the community and they are selfish millionaires, or they try to make a difference and we say they should stick to baseball. I agree, maybe he should just DO it and not SAY it, but you don't know who started asking the questions here. I'm sure the reporters of Cincinnati were licking their chops for the opportunity to start asking questions. "Hey Deion, what do you think of the racial tension in Cincy the last few weeks?" If he answers, "I'm just playing baseball," he gets branded as not wanting to come down from his tower, just another sheltered athlete. If he says, "I wish I could have been here to help," people say he's overstepping his bounds. Lose/Lose. I think this type of public reaction is becomes exacerbated when there is an African-American involved.

I know Deion is flamboyant and an overrated baseball player (at least by the general public), but he's an amazing athlete, who has backed up everything he's ever said on a football field, and he's an acceptable baseball player. He's marketed himself very well, and I don't knock him for that. I like people that at least have a personality. He's having fun. I think he does care about the community. He's grown up a lot over the last few years. Cut him some slack. I saw his interview on ESPN after the game the other night, and he was geniunely moved by the ovation he received. He's not that good of an actor. I say give him some credit for showing appreciation for the fans and offering to use his celebrity to try to help a tense situation.
   4. RichRifkin Posted: May 03, 2001 at 05:36 PM (#67384)
I agree with what Scruff says above.

It's my opinion that celebrities, like everyone else, have the right to speak out or act out on issues they care about. And if a celebrity says something stupid or something not founded in fact, he should be held accountible for that, just as if he were a thinking human being. It's just as wrong to let someone like Deion off the hook for saying something assinine as it is to chide him just for the fact that he is speaking out on an issue when there may be others better suited to do so.

As far as what Deion claims in the article he would like to do in the future with race relations in Cincinnati, that sounds perfectly reasonable to me. To those who might say, what basis does a ballplayer have in addressing complicated issues like police brutality or public unrest?, I say: the same basis as any citizen. Why would Deion Sanders or Barry Larkin or Sean Casey have any less grounds to express themselves on these issues than someone like Al Sharpton, whose sole credential is that he paid for a mail-order Reverend's license?

What is most important is that for anyone who enters the fray in public controversies, the person be taken to task if what he says is stupid or based on prejudice and not based on the facts. So if Deion hopes to involve himself in public matters, he should (like anyone) make sure that he is first well informed.
   5. RichRifkin Posted: May 03, 2001 at 05:36 PM (#68170)
I agree with what Scruff says above.

It's my opinion that celebrities, like everyone else, have the right to speak out or act out on issues they care about. And if a celebrity says something stupid or something not founded in fact, he should be held accountible for that, just as if he were a thinking human being. It's just as wrong to let someone like Deion off the hook for saying something assinine as it is to chide him just for the fact that he is speaking out on an issue when there may be others better suited to do so.

As far as what Deion claims in the article he would like to do in the future with race relations in Cincinnati, that sounds perfectly reasonable to me. To those who might say, what basis does a ballplayer have in addressing complicated issues like police brutality or public unrest?, I say: the same basis as any citizen. Why would Deion Sanders or Barry Larkin or Sean Casey have any less grounds to express themselves on these issues than someone like Al Sharpton, whose sole credential is that he paid for a mail-order Reverend's license?

What is most important is that for anyone who enters the fray in public controversies, the person be taken to task if what he says is stupid or based on prejudice and not based on the facts. So if Deion hopes to involve himself in public matters, he should (like anyone) make sure that he is first well informed.
   6. RichRifkin Posted: May 03, 2001 at 05:36 PM (#68444)
I agree with what Scruff says above.

It's my opinion that celebrities, like everyone else, have the right to speak out or act out on issues they care about. And if a celebrity says something stupid or something not founded in fact, he should be held accountible for that, just as if he were a thinking human being. It's just as wrong to let someone like Deion off the hook for saying something assinine as it is to chide him just for the fact that he is speaking out on an issue when there may be others better suited to do so.

As far as what Deion claims in the article he would like to do in the future with race relations in Cincinnati, that sounds perfectly reasonable to me. To those who might say, what basis does a ballplayer have in addressing complicated issues like police brutality or public unrest?, I say: the same basis as any citizen. Why would Deion Sanders or Barry Larkin or Sean Casey have any less grounds to express themselves on these issues than someone like Al Sharpton, whose sole credential is that he paid for a mail-order Reverend's license?

What is most important is that for anyone who enters the fray in public controversies, the person be taken to task if what he says is stupid or based on prejudice and not based on the facts. So if Deion hopes to involve himself in public matters, he should (like anyone) make sure that he is first well informed.

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