Home Sports Statues, awards honoring those with poor values not new in sports

Statues, awards honoring those with poor values not new in sports

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To think that Mike Francesa begged Buddy Holly not to board that flight.

What’s going on now — the indiscriminate often reckless and wanton destruction and wishful, cosmetic reconstruction of American history — is nothing new in sports.

In 1935 the Heisman Trophy was first awarded. Named for John Heisman and presented to the best college football player every season, candidates then had to meet the antiquated qualification that they be a young gentleman and sportsman in “pursuit of excellence with integrity.”

In other words, even in 1935 one had to swallow hard in consideration of Coach Heisman’s 1916 Georgia Tech team narrowly defeating Cumberland College, 222-0 (confirmed by ESPN).

The Eddie Robinson Award, in 1987 named for the longtime coach of Grambling football, is annually presented the NCAA Division I coach of the year.

Always left ignored by the media is that Robinson, the black coach of a black team, was notorious for weekly cruelties against black opponents, mercilessly running up the score to win by 50, 60 and 70, even calling timeout in slaughters for two-point conversions. Robinson enjoyed humiliating opponents.

Grambling
Former Grambling coach Eddie Robinson.AP

ESPN has named its Humanitarian Award for Muhammad Ali, who popularized and helped perpetuate trash-talking, public disrespect for opponents. Among opponents he trashed was Joe Frazier, who he racially mocked as “a gorilla,” and former heavyweight champ Floyd Patterson, a gentleman and sportsman Ali needlessly belittled.

Yes, the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award.

Ali, with the full indulgence of the media, called Cassius Marcellus Clay his “slave name,” which was extraordinary nonsense. Cassius Marcellus Clay was a courageous newspaper publisher whose business was torched in Lexington, Ky., for its strong abolitionist content. He reopened in Cincinnati where he continued his anti-slavery activism.

But it now seems too late for Teddy Roosevelt, as even the mayor of NYC plays ignorant or is ignorant of Roosevelt’s history. In 1901, Roosevelt knowingly infuriated much of America, especially Southern whites, by inviting black educator Booker T. Washington to the White House.

The New Orleans Times-Democrat declared, “When Mr. Roosevelt sits down to dinner with a Negro, he declares that the Negro is the social equivalent to the white man.” A Memphis paper reported that Roosevelt committed “the most damnable outrage ever perpetuated by any citizen of the United States.”

Roosevelt also insisted upon black representation at Republican Party conventions, reminding delegates, “We are the party of Lincoln.”

But out you, go, Teddy. The new history is in town. Yours is a statue of limitations.

Same with you, Matthias Baldwin. A mob in Philadelphia posing as racial activists (or at least identified by the media as such), determined his statue be desecrated and covered in spray paint. Did the vandals know — or even care — that he was a courageous early abolitionist? In 1837 — 26 years before Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation — Baldwin advocated for voting rights for blacks.

But two weeks ago, a mob determined Baldwin had to go.

One statue I suspect is safe is the one in Baltimore of NFL head-hunter Ray Lewis performing his post-play blood dance.

Blood? Lewis copped an obstruction of justice plea in an unsolved double-stabbing murder of two black men. The blood-soaked white suit Lewis was seen in that night went missing, and Lewis curiously paid a settlement to the families of the two slain men.

The NFL would eventually hire him to push products. Roger Goodell embraced him on the field before a Super Bowl. ESPN hired him to try to talk football. A lifelong bachelor, he has six children from four women. American dream. I think his statue is pretty safe.

Ray Lewis up, Teddy Roosevelt trending homeless. Soon common sense will be outlawed, traveling the high road no longer an option.

If you point out slurs in rap lyrics, Rosenberg thinks your racist

As unmitigated racist, Marge Schott’s name is removed as the namesake for the University of Cincinnati’s baseball stadium, and ESPN-Radio New York’s Peter Rosenberg latest unsupported spew that I’m a racist — as I’m not, I don’t fear being called one — no better time to twin the two misanthropes.

If I’m a racist, how would Rosenberg explain what begins on page 243 of Mike Bass’ book, “Marge Unleashed” about Schott?

Peter Rosenberg
Peter RosenbergGetty Images

Examining a wrongful termination suit filed by team controller Tim Sabo, a suit that exposed her bigotry, Bass wrote:

“It would be an important day for the Reds owner, but not because of her apology. On that day, halfway across the country, the Marge Schott story was finally escaping the invisible walls of Cincinnati.

“Phil Mushnick, the New York Post’s entertaining and irreverent columnist who loves to expose the hypocrisy and idiocy in sports, had been following the Sabo case more than most out of town journalists, writing initial lawsuit allegations.

“On Friday, Mushnick ran a chunk of excerpts from Marge’s deposition in his column. ‘Her defense — stupidity — would be admissible if only she were believed to be that stupid,’ wrote Mushnick. ‘It’s incumbent upon all right-headed sports fans to note some of the [racist] dialogue from the suit’s deposition hearing.’ ”

MLB, at first unmoved, then suspended Schott for a year.

Back to Rosenberg, a tough-talking coward. He claims my attacks on rap music are racist, when he knows that my attacks are on the vulgar, sexual degradation of women, love affairs with guns and regular references of black men as the N-word. World we live in. Complain about the use of the N-word and you’re explained as a racist.

Rosenberg must be in favor of such content, thus he ripped me. Fine. But he can’t make me like antisocial, backward-pointed garbage, particularly the N-word. I was raised to consider it the worst of slurs.

So I challenged him to read some rap lyrics on his ESPN sports show, the same place he staged his initial attack on me. He declined, proving both my point and the absence of even a flake of courage in his convictions. And that challenge, tough guy, remains.

Carton return would be gamble

So let’s say Craig Carton returns to WFAN. How will he work around all those gambling ads? Meanwhile, readers wonder why Carton served only one year of a 3 ½-year sentence. Why? Perfect attendance.


Reader Len Geller finds it ironic that at a time when New York City has been overwhelmed by lawlessness, Tiz The Law won the Belmont. He’ll soon be renamed Twas The Law.


Poor Jessica Mendoza. Apparently no one at ESPN has told her that viewers don’t watch to hear her speak as if reading aloud from the primer, “How to Play Baseball.”


Lookalikes: Submitted by reader James Vespe — last week’s Trump rally in Tulsa and the upper deck of a Marlins game in Miami.

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