Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart pushed a fan in the Cowboys game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. According to Smart, the fan told Smart to “Go back to Africa” and called him a “nigger” after he fell into the crowd after making a block late in the game. Smart was assessed a technical foul and the fan was allowed to remain in the arena.
Of course Smart’s retort has trumped the words of a grown man with a history of speaking out of turn to young men barely out of high school.
If you believe slapping down the price of a ticket to see a sporting event entitles you to a Bull Connor moment with Black athletes in 2014, you’ve been grossly misled.
This isn’t 1947!
Marcus Smart should’ve been able to pick himself up and head back out to the court without being told to return to Africa by a man well aware of what those words entail. Tagged as Texas Tech’s “No. 1 fan”, Jeff Orr has engaged in questionable behavior for years with the blessings of Texas Tech school officials.
How can we allow Marcus Smart to take the weight of this incident while the instigator gets a congratulatory slap on the back from his friends and social media hits for acts of cowardice? The media has and will continue to make this all about Marcus Smart — a scholarship athlete who is supposed to show restraint, smile and ask for another — and we’re losing because of it.
A four-game losing streak and kicking a chair doesn’t require the Rorschach Test.
Bobby Knight’s spazz outs were considered passionate and epic. Woody Hayes grabbing someone’s son by the face mask was applauded as being instructional.
Marcus Smart kicking a chair out of frustration is deemed scary.
Will Oklahoma State University stand by Smart — who has already decided he is headed to the NBA after this season?
Nothing has been gained from that night in Detroit. The athlete/fan relationship in America has moved one step closer to what we’ve witnessed in soccer matches around the world.
The lack of support or understanding from Black media and fans for Smart is very disturbing, but far from surprising. I’ve read everything from, “He’s hurt his draft stock” to “If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been called the n-word.”
Sad to see the dignity of some comes with a price tag?
When did embracing belittlement or hatred make anyone feel like the bigger man?
Who is willing to step from behind their so-called brand and reveal their true selves?
These are my people — cowering as yet another litmus test is administered. Very few Black journalists have come to Smart’s defense from what I’ve read so far. Why? Because he pushed a white man who called him a nigger — a word he probably never heard directed at him from white lips in his life? Code words like “Thug” and “Saggin” (niggas spelled backwards) are being embraced and social media is the new sounding board for racists. American sports venues have become another battle ground in this never-ending battle. Riley Cooper, Richie Incognito and Jeff Orr are just a few of its minions.
Meanwhile the coonin’, shufflin’ and simpin is at an all time high.
Marcus Smart is my son, my nephew and every other Black child who I feel the undeniable urge to protect under these circumstances.
Marcus Garvey said it best: “I have no desire to take all Black people back to Africa; there are Blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there.”