Friday, July 1, 2011

When Political correctness ruins sports

Originally published November 11, 2009
Mike Shaner

Oxford Mississippi-The University of Mississippi’s first-year chancellor followed through on a promise Tuesday and asked the band to stop playing a pep song because some fans are chanting “the South will rise again” at the end of the medley.

As a person Married to an ethnic minority I find this offensive. As a person who supports civil rights for all human beings regardless of creed or color, I find this offensive.

Perhaps most importantly I find this offensive as an American. The ironic thing is that no one really cares if I am offended. I write this article knowing that it could destroy any career aspirations I may have. I understand that people will call me names such as racist or ignorant.

 I also find it sad that I have to disclose that my wife is of a different race than my own just to defend myself from the claims of racism that are sure to follow. I realize this article will not be politically correct and finally I no longer care.

The people of the South have a right to honor their heritage and tradition just as much as Native, Mexican, African, or any other American. Has the South had issues with racial relations? Of course, so has Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and any where else in the world. That is not the point. First let me say that the chant has nothing to do with race. No one is chanting “The whites will rise again” no one is even suggesting that.

The chant was a way to give people hope that they could rise from the ashes of a war torn poverty stricken era. Even more important though, is the truth that its meaning and level of offense are simply unimportant in this debate. This is still the USA and people should still have the right to offend. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. offended many people with his words at one time. Words that now provide the hope and vision of America. Imagine if he were not allowed to say them because it offended so many in the main stream. Where would we be today?

I am often disheartened to hear of someone being demonized for his unpopular speech. Larry Johnson was dismissed from the chiefs for making a politically incorrect statement about homosexuals. Why can’t Larry Johnson have his opinion? This is beyond ridiculous. If you are so easily offended by what another person has to say, well, that seems to be more of a personal issue. I am offended by the idea that a person could lose his job because members of the media do not like what he has to say.

At this point in our history their is a huge debate going on about gay marriage. Should Homosexual’s be allowed to marry? I for one believe that a person can love and live with whom he chooses. I also believe the government has no right to be in the marriage business at all. In this case my opinion is probably very PC ….but if it wasn’t, if I happened to believe something that reason to have me stoned to death? How can we take a way the right to offend someone without offending someone else? I have stayed out of this type of discussion for a long time, but now it reaches the sports arena and I cannot help but wonder whats next.

Rush Limbaugh can be a polarizing person, and I often disagree with him. I do find it bizarre that many people say he is not fit to be involved with the NFL. The same NFL that welcomes back Michael Vick and Pac Man Jones. Perhaps it is not PC to offend Pac man. Rush, he is a different story.

I like to believe we have come along way in race relations. The first black quarterback to win the Superbowl was Doug Williams, The First black coach to win the Superbowl was Tony Dungy, and the first black president of the United States is Barrack Obama. I realize things are not perfect. I doubt they ever will be. I know we can continue to improve. I just cant help but wonder though, how can we ever truly be equals if it is fine to offend me yet you must be protected from such offense.

These opinions are my own and not the opinions of anyone who chooses to publish or reproduce this article. The fact that I have to write this disclaimer is very offensive to me. What do you think?

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