To wit, this headline in Deadspin about David Whitley: “Who is this hack who wrote about Colin Kaepernick’s tattoos. And why is he such a racist dicktroll?”
You could say many things about Whitley, but the AOL FanHouse columnist at SportingsNews.com is not a racist.
In an earlier post today, Whitley defended himself in the wake of a column he wrote about Colin Kaepernick’s tattoos. He said: “If they were old enough to read, my two adopted African-American daughters would certainly be disappointed to find out I’m a racist.”
Indeed, they would.
People who know him know better about Whitley. ESPN’s Jemele Hill said in a tweet:
I worked with Whitley in Orlando. I don’t agree with his column, but he’s a terrific guy.
Whitley pointed out in his response to me that his column wasn’t based on race. There are plenty of white athletes with tattoos, he said.
Isn’t he right? Just look around, folks. White Pitchers, white linebackers, white power forwards, white hockey players, etc.
Whitley’s point is you don’t see many NFL quarterbacks sporting tattoos like Colin Kaepernick.
Was Whitley guilty of stereotyping? Sure. He makes it seems like anyone, white or African-American, who gets a tattoo is one step away from San Quentin.
Whitley is a funny, entertaining fellow, and his columns usually are in the same vein. Perhaps he missed with this one.
Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz said in a tweet:
I’m not going to pile on David Whitley today. We’ve all swung and missed on columns. He’s a terrific writer who missed the mark. It happens.
It’s become fashionable to accuse media people of being a racist. Earlier this year, New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick was called a racist for a column on the Brooklyn Nets. Mushnick might have gone over the line in making a point, but any regular reader of his columns knows it is absurd to call him a racist.
I’m sure some people will say I’m a racist for defending Whitley. I already got a note with this lovely opening: “You are a fuckin idiot….You gotta be kidding….Hypocrytical peice of trash trying to come to the defense of a blatent closet racist.”
Thanks for writing.
I’m sorry, but calling somebody a racist is too much of a knee-jerk reaction. And it’s about the worst thing you could call somebody. It’s just irresponsible, especially coming from somebody in the media.
Just think about it. How would you like it if somebody hung the racist label on you?
It could happen. Just ask David Whitley.