One hundred years ago Jack Johnson thwarted James J. Jeffries attempt “to reclaim the heavyweight championship for the white race”. In their July 4,1910 bout dubbed “The Fight of the Century” Johnson pummeled Jeffries for 15 rounds – only a white towel of submission saved Jeffries from being knocked out by Johnson.
Johnson’s victory set of an unprecedented chain of events across the country which left 25 people dead (23 Blacks) and hundreds others arrested and injured. There were riots, attempted lynchings and shootings. The peaceful celebrations held by Blacks around the country were interuppted by humiliated white supporters of Jeffries who sought to avenge their fallen hero at the expense of anyone the same hue as Johnson.
Ninety-eight years after Johnson felled Jeffies, Barack Hussein Obama was elected the 44th President of these United States. While there were celebrations across America by all people, there remain a large group in sports media coupled with those in high places that vow to bring the Black Athlete or anyone of Black importance to their knees, so help them James F. Jeffries.
There have been several incidents involving Black Athletes leading up to a following the election of Obama some questionable and other reeking of racism.
- Don Imus’ “nappy-headed hoes” reference to the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.
- Michael Vick serving out his sentence Leavenworth Federal Prison
- Barry Bonds’ Blackballing from Major League Baseball
- Excessive suspensions to Adam Jones and the late Chris Henry
- ESPN’s Selective “Journalism”
- Brandon Jennings
- Marvin Harrison’s alleged involvement in a murder
- The de-clawing of Tiger Woods
- Reggie Bush returns the Heisman trophy
- Donovan McNabb, Vince Young and Jason Campbell
- The Cam Newton Scandal
Of course this just scratches the surface.