Sports

The Greg McDermotts of the world keep holding society back

It’s tiring.

It’s tiring.
Illustration: Getty Images

Honestly, I’m tired of talking about this.

It’s the same cycle over and over. Coach, executive, and/or owner makes a racially insensitive comment. They apologize, they get scolded by Twitter and the media and everyone moves on to the next story.

Enter Creighton’s head men’s basketball coach, Greg McDermott, who said “Guys, we got to stick together. We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can’t have anybody leave the plantation.” after his team’s loss against Xavier last week.

Watching the cycle unfold has become exhausting. But to be transparent, I’m not even really that offended by the statement itself. Don’t get me wrong, I should be. But I’ve become too numb to racially insensitive comments by white men. They don’t get to me anymore.

However, what does tick me off is that we continue to have these same conversations over and over again about racial sensitivity and we dedicate so much energy to identifying what’s offensive or not when we should be past all of this. It’s time for us to work to find solutions to the systemic problems that still exist for Black people and other minorities in this country.

Especially when many of these systemic issues like exploitation of Black labor have been exacerbated by the NCAA and the rest of the sports world.

I’m sick of these white power figures in sports saying racist things and diverting the conversation from the issues that we should be focused on. Whether or not, McDermott “meant well” or has “good character” is something I couldn’t care less about right now. He might be a really good guy, I hope that he is. But the fact of the matter is that we have had an entire news cycle centered around the stupidity that came out of his mouth and no conversation about redlining, voter suppression, or minority health care.

These are issues that we should be focused on, even in the sports world, because these things impact all of us.

The institution released a statement on the actions of McDermott saying that his comments were “deplorable” and “inconsistent with the university’s values and commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment.”

Assistant coach, Terrence Rencher, who is a part of Coaches for Action an initiative founded by assistant coaches in the Big East to help tackle societal issues and help their players, released his own statement saying that he was “deeply hurt” by the words of McDermott but that he has “never witnessed any racist energy from him.” Rencher says he will support the players as they go along with McDermott as head coach.

Time will tell us if there will be any further action taken against McDermott. Some people are saying that the coach should be suspended.

I don’t really care what happens to McDermott, what I care about is advancing the conversation and breaking this cycle that leads to nowhere but notes app apologies and angry emojis.

It’s time for us as a society to move forward, I need these white sports figures to stop holding us back.

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