Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated has put together one hell of a column regarding the role of race in sports media. It’s an email roundtable discussion, featuring the following journalists: Cari Champion, host of ESPN2′s First Take; Jemele Hill, co-host of ESPN2′s Numbers Never Lie; Gregory Lee Jr., executive sports editor, Florida Sun-Sentinel; Tim Kawakami, sports columnist for the San Jose Mercury News; Angel Rodriguez, the Cincinnati Enquirer’s sports editor; and Darren Sands, sports business reporter and multimedia journalist for BlackEnterprise.com.
Below are some highlights from the piece. You can (and should) read the entire piece here.
On the “n word” and its use in the sports and non-sports worlds:
Hill: The n-word has been around for a long time and many of the conversations being had about it now have been had for years. But we’re having the conversation in sports now because of two white guys, Riley Cooper and Richie Incognito. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but it illustrates how when an issue moves into a certain space, it becomes something bigger. Anyway, I don’t think it should ever be used in professional settings, but how people use the word with their friends, in their home and in their personal lives is not for me to determine. I think it’s culturally arrogant for anyone to tell groups of people how they should relate to one another.