Fox Sports commentator and former ESPN personality, Jason Whitlock have made a career causing controversy. Whether his words and opinions are his actual beliefs, or whether he’s speaking in these tones to appease his viewer, it’s proven to be detrimental and offensive to the black community.
This detriment isn’t severe and not anything the black community hasn’t endured beforehand. However, it does strike a chord seeing that Jason Whitlock is himself a black man.
By no means am I painting the picture that Whitlock’s controversial statements are reserved for the black community, he’s proven to be wrong about many things outside of racial matters. However, Whitlock’s views on LeBron James home being vandalized and Serena Williams weight have caused many to view him more as a troll than a sports analyst.
In 2015, as the editor and chief of ESPN’s sister site, The Undefeated, Whitlock heavily criticized Williams weight and work ethic. This criticism came at the time when William had 11 majors. The most of any active tennis player but presumably not enough for Whitlock as he went on to say:
“She’d rather eat, half-ass her way through non-major tournaments and complain she’s not getting the respect her 11-major-championships résumé demands. She complains about being ranked No. 2 in the world when she’s not bitching on Twitter or her blog about new rules that forbid Wimbledon players from eating in the locker room.
Seriously, how else can Serena fill out her size 16 shorts without grazing at her stall between matches? I know, you think I’m a hypocrite. No, I’m not. Sportswriters are supposed to be plump and lazy. I’m fulfilling my destiny.”
The end of that quote explains Whitlock’s health and physique. I’d rather not stoop to the level of Whitlock and go in-depth to attack someone’s body image. Let’s say, chances are he has to buy two seats on a plane to sit comfortably.
The statements made about Williams are outlandish. Due to the fact she is one of the best athletes of our generation, male or female. Furthermore, Whitlock shouldn’t throw stones if he lives in a glass house.
He goes on to speak about her lack of sex appeal and athletic potential. Whitlock feels Williams can better herself if she belonged to a strict workout regiment. One that he himself is unwilling to commit to. It gets worse:
“She’s chosen to smother some of it in an unsightly layer of thick, muscled blubber, a byproduct of her unwillingness to commit to a training regimen and diet that would have her at the top of her game year-round… Right now I’d put on Serena on par with Paris Hilton… Serena’s greatest feat might be avoiding establishing herself as the greatest tennis player of all time.”
His rhetoric towards a world renowned athlete clearly depicts his lack of credibility. Not only did he slander Williams for what he felt was a lack of effort to stay in shape. He had a few choice words for LeBron James after his home was vandalized and had the n-word spray painted on his home.
“…LeBron’s comment about ‘no matter how rich you are, no matter how famous you are, it’s tough being black in America. That is a lie. It’s not tough being Oprah Winfrey. It’s not tough being LeBron James. It’s not tough being Jason Whitlock.”
“Racism is an issue in America but is primarily an issue for the poor. It’s not LeBron James’ issue,” Whitlock said. “He has removed himself from the damages and the ravages of real racism.”
The absurdity of these statements gives you a glimpse into the clouded and biased thoughts of Whitlock. Yes, being financially stable and admired by the general public would grant benefits. However, in no way will that abolish racism. Being rich doesn’t hinder the fear the majority of minorities feel when they’re confronted by law enforcement. That is something Thabo Sefolosha can attest to.
Atlanta Hawks guard/forward Sefolosha suffered a broken leg at the hands of the NYPD. The incident took place April 18th, 2015, outside 1 Oak nightclub in New York. Sefolosha felt he was targeted because of his skin color. He has filed a lawsuit against the NYPD for $50 million.
In the case of Sefolosha, has he removed himself from the ravages of real racism? The answer would be no. Sefolosha has played in the NBA for 10 years and stands 6 foot 7 inches tall. He still was unable to avoid discrimination and violence from law enforcement, due to his skin color.
So I ask Whitlock, what is the ideal weight of a tennis champion? What configurations equate sex appeal?
What is real racism, and is there such thing as fake racism? How much money will it take for one to not receive hate and harm due to the color of your skin?
I’ll be waiting for an answer.