Thursday, November 10, 2005

Thursday Primetime 3-7 PM

I will throw out a topic today, which
In light of the recent controversy surrounding the Sacramento Kings insulting the city of Detroit during pregame introductions a couple of nights ago, I think this is another classic case of overreaction and going overboard with political correctness.

Consider the following:

1) The video was a general stereotype of a CITY, not an idividual, not a race or ethnic group, not even the team itself.
2) The message that Detroit is a bad place is actually accurate. Detroit ranks #1 in a recent listing of the 32 most dangerous cities in the country, based on crime rates. Don't believe me?
3) Detroit also has a crime level that is higher than the national average in the eight major crime categories, with the only exception being Larceny/Thefts.

The biggest mistake here is that it was the team itself doing so---the actual organization. They should not have, and it was inappropriate. But it wasn't the BIG DEAL that everyone is making it out to be.

Here in Portland, we should know better than most cities, what it is like to be stereotyped. But when people refer to our city as the home of the "Jailblazers" we don't demand that whoever did so take out a full page ads in newspapers, even though the current roster isn't the same one that actually EARNED the nickname a few years ago.

But the quesiton is, what is crossing the line? My opinion is that line is far more blurred when you are talking about an individual as opposed to a city. If the Kings would have had a picture of a yellow Hummer getting pulled over by the police, would that have been crossing a line with a certain power forward on that team?

In my mind, the rules are different for professional athletes versus guys in college. I don't think a personal attack on a college kid is every appropriate. Criticism and opinion, without cheap shots is a fine line to be sure. If you accept the scholarship as a college athlete, you are in the public eye and there are some burdens you will carry.

But for a professional athlete, the rules are different. And for a city, I think all bets are off. Dirk Nowitzki took some major shots at "the city of Utah" a couple of years ago. I don't remember Mark Cuban making any apologies.

Detroit is a hell hole. Live with it. The crime rates tell the whole story. What Sacramento did wasn't really appropriate, but it certainly isn't deserving of the constant criticism that the Kings are receiving. And more important, consider the source! We are talking about Sacramento, a place where the Cow Bell is considered a musical instrument.