As I mentioned in my previous article about Ronda, I’m not done with her. That is to say my last word regarding the Rowdy one for the time being will be in her defense, the views I expressed were pretty harsh, but in order to be consistent with myself I have to come to her defense.
Speak for Yourself (SFY) is an FS1 show hosted by Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock. I have no problem with the ‘Herd’, I don’t follow him too closely but from what I’ve seen he takes a reasonable stance on things and doesn’t back down; so I’ll leave him out of this.
My beef is with Jason Whitlock. Now, normally I would stay out of any race-baiting behavior but their recent post has roped me into this like a mule. While likely meant to cause such a reaction, this has no place in sports or sports journalism if you ask me.
Whitlock: Progressive media hyped Ronda as bigger/badder than Serena. Conservative sports meritocracy predictably exposed the fraudulence. pic.twitter.com/bTICydxh2O
If you watched this, I hope you are as disgusted as I am. As a person who is offended by basically nothing, I can say I’m not offended, I’m just fed up with such stupidity being rampant in “main stream media” and I’m disappointed that it made it’s way into MMA.
First I’d like to mention how his logic here is insanely inverted. Like a person who uses inverse controls in a video game (you’re not flying a helicopter Dave), Whitlock has it backwards.
He claims social justice warriors are going to be/are against him, and progressive media pushes poorly thought-out narratives; that being the Ronda Rousey hype machine. It’s almost as if a younger person told him buzzwords like “social justice warriors” and “progressive media” and he was like cool, let’s put that in. I’m surprised the term ‘white privilege’ didn’t make its way into the video.
For those of us who live in reality though, it’s the exact opposite. Social justice warriors and progressive media push this agenda all the time, that everything they disagree with is due to a bias against anyone who is non-white.
Next his statement that Ronda was considered the “Muhammi Ali” of the sport “because she was the “prettiest white girl in [the division]”. Not only does he mention that, but he also claims the sport had no real history and the division was in it’s infancy. I can partially agree with the latter, but to act as if women’s MMA was unheard of before Ronda shows his lack of in-depth knowledge of the sport. Women’s MMA was around before the UFC made it’s first female division, just as other promotions exist with them today.
It’s sort of like saying if Toronto got an NFL team, Canada has no football history, forgetting that there is a Canadian Football League.
The argument though, does not hold up. Gina Carano and Miesha Tate are two immediate examples that come to mind of girls that most men find more attractive than Ronda, are white, and were around for at least four years longer than Ronda.
But there’s more, he mentions how Serena Williams deserved the awards Ronda got and this is where he claims racial bias. Again, this is a losing argument.
Not only do most men (especially in North America) not give a shit about women’s tennis, Ronda is more popular (one metric being she has double the Instagram followers), was undefeated, and was much more ground-breaking being the first incredibly popular woman in a COMBAT SPORT. Did Serena Williams join a women’s football league that became as popular as the NFL? No.
No disrespect to Serena, but I think you’d be hardpressed to find a majority of men who think Serena is hotter, cooler and more impactful than Ronda. I don’t think Whitlock believes that, I feel he knows otherwise but is doing this to get a reaction.
What also gets lost in these types of arguments is that two-thirds of America is white, yet we are supposed to think it’s weird unjust when white athletes are popular.
For whatever reason, Speak for Yourself isn’t too shy to take on race issues, this seems to be a theme with them. As you can see above, they saw fit to debate about Atlanta Hawk’s GM making a joke about having a black wife. If it were me, I wouldn’t even put that shit on TV because it doesn’t deserve the attention.
Having said that, Whitlock does come across much more reasonable in this one, as he realizes it’s obviously a joke and not worth making a national story out of.
However, saying some one got where they are because of their skin colour is racist. It minimizes everything Ronda has done (which is a lot) and despite what you think of her persona, if the shoe were on the other foot and some one said “Serena Williams is only popular because she’s a thick black girl” there would be riots in the street and that person would be fired from their job.
If anyone doesn’t like an athlete because they are black, white or whatever, that’s racist. His argument suggests that the majority of sports fans and sports media are racist, which I don’t believe for a second. I don’t know anyone who won’t watch LeBron throw down a monster jam because he’s black, nor do I know anyone who thinks PK Subban isn’t a good hockey player because he’s not white.
This is why I think the SFY team knew exactly what they were doing, and it’s very, very disappointing. So perhaps Whitlock, take your own advice and speak for yourself.