Oh, it’s arrogance. It’s naivete. It’s old-school coaching thought process, or lack thereof, on full display. But it's not racism.
While an array of media minds ranging from low-watt bulb to “should know better” baits an audience starving for any news – good or bad, real or imagined – to latch onto that relates in some way, any such way, to its beloved Birds, the realities of common sense and accountability have been cast aside.
Two high-profile players and a quality backup were moved by Philly’s pro football franchise because those in charge, chiefly Chip Kelly, deemed them not as valuable on the team as they were off it, leading to DeSean Jackson’s end-around racial insinuation last year, LeSean McCoy’s outright declaration of it earlier this year and, just recently, Brandon Boykin’s gutless “he can’t relate to men of our culture” transparency of it.
Enough already. If the media wants to feed into the race card, then maybe it ought to flip it in the face of the guys’ claiming it. Sheer numbers make a mockery of their claims as the vast majority of the players Kelly continues to coach are, as the claimants themselves are, black. So, too, was the primary replacement for McCoy … and the secondary one.
It’s understandable that players get hurt, emotionally, when they put their heart and soul into an organization, after they become part of that family, and then they’re shipped out like a broken-down piece of merchandise. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the beast. They are, when push comes to shove, property.
Still, these are young men who have taken a severe blow to their ego. A move, a trade, a dumping, that taps into their insecurity … and, perhaps, with Kelly’s apparent awkwardness in being the outgoing or welcoming “buddy/father” figure that most players want anymore, maybe they always were insecure under his rein.
But victims of racism, no.
Kelly, for all his reputed Xs and Os acumen, has shown flaws – most notably in not realizing how the impetus for the racism talk would never actually lead to it. Either he believed he was above reproach with any decision he made after the Riley Cooper drunken, N-bombing rant at a concert two summers ago or he never realized how much the locker room would be affected by it – then and even now.
Regardless, Kelly misread the situation, at least in terms of how it would be viewed or taken by some individuals, if not all.
With that, misinformation and misrepresentation remains the order of the day.
Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org