Dexter Rogers

Dexter Rogers

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Why is ESPN turning the other cheek on Mike Greenberg’s ‘Martin Luther Coon’ slur?


I expected ESPN radio personality Mike Greenberg to at least address his “Martin Luther Coon” reference on air. That’s the least he could do since he made the comment on the morning of Martin Luther King Day.

I guess expectations are overrated huh?

I’m also quite perplexed that I’ve received feedback from some African-American readers suggesting Greenberg should get a pass. It’s being suggested Greenberg merely made a mistake and it was a “slip of the tongue.”

Please.

Wake up and smell the coffee. Stop trying to accommodate and fit in.

You African-Americans who think Greenberg’s “coon” comment was a mistake should brush up on the historical development of this country. I know some of you are so elated there’s an African-American in the White House you think racism is gone. You think racial slurs shouldn’t be addressed now since we’ve come so far right?

Anyway, let me break it down.

Mistake or not the word came out of Greenberg’s mouth. Millions of listeners heard it.
For Greenberg to have said “coon” it was on his mind. He said it clearly, kept on with his opening, and didn’t miss a beat.

Perhaps it was something Greenberg was thinking or discussing with his side-kick Mike Golic before they went on air. Perhaps he was reminiscing on what he and his buddies use to say back in the day when MLK day came around.

I’m left to assume here because there’s not been any on-air clarification whatsoever. But one thing I don’t have to assume is Greenberg clearly said “coon.”

ESPN has said nothing. I took the liberty of contacting ESPN. I wrote an email to Don Ohlmeyer. I certainly won’t hold my breath on getting a response.

Bottom line: ESPN and Greenberg not addressing this situation suggests its fine to call MLK a “coon.” It’s fine to make such a reference about a man who gave up his life for his calling.

It’s not fine on my watch.

Besides, if it were truly a mistake why didn’t Greenberg address the matter on his radio show? Since he made his “coon” comment on the air he should’ve clarified his stance on the air.

Greenberg was wrong for not clarifying his stance and ESPN is complicit by adopting such a cavalier attitude about this matter.

Many are too willing to give Greenberg a pass. For those of you merely think it was a verbal slip and shouldn’t be addressed that’s your opinion.

I think you know my stance.

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