The press has covered to death Michael “Ookie” Vick’s 23-month prison sentence for dog abuse. But how come no one has broken the news of what Atlanta Falcon’s owner Arthur Blank just said during the second quarter of the Monday Night game against the New Orleans Saints? Is the press afraid to cover it? Are we that angry with Ookie that we can allow apparent racist comments to fly under the radar?
I didn’t write it down word for word, but I sought second opinions and confirmation on whether Blank really did say: [paraphrasing] “Vick should be able to play again in three years if he doesn’t eat too much fried chicken in prison …”
HOLY COW!!!! I saw the uncomfortable gazes from Kornheiser and the other announcers and they abruptly ignored what he said and moved on.
Now, there is argument going on right now on whether Blank, the creator of Home Depot, was stereotyping or if he just accidentally said something meant to be innocuous that’s tinted with racism. THEY DON’T SERVE FRIED CHICKEN IN PRISON!!! What the heck was he trying to say? What did he mean? Was fried chicken just in his head? Did he eat at Popeye’s before the game? Does he not know the danger in his comments? No one gets fat in PRISON!!!
Arthur Blank, with whom fans across the country sympathized since the Vick scandal, has now caused a controversy of his own. Did he not see all the Vick jerseys at the game? People still love Ookie, as bad as he is. But should Blank get a free ride for his public comments on National Television just because Vick is a monster sitting in prison?
Not on this blog. I am going to point it out and let you all decide: Is Arthur Blank just dumb or was he trying to tell a funny racist joke?
Remember what happened to Fuzzy Zoeller in 1997? Zoeller came under press fire for these statements at the Masters after Tiger won:
“That little boy is driving well and he’s putting well. He’s doing everything it takes to win. So, you know what you guys do when he gets in here? You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year. Got it?” Then Zoeller smiled, snapped his fingers, and walked away. Then he turned and added, “or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve.”
One of Zoeller’s sponsors at the time, Kmart, criticized the colorful golfer, Zoeller. In a statement, the retailer stated that “comments recently made by Fuzzy Zoeller following Tiger Woods’ Masters championship were inappropriate and offensive. Regardless of the context, they are contrary to Kmart’s longstanding policies that ensure our words and deeds are without bias.”
As a friend of mine pointed out, why do some comments become big deals, like Zoeller’s, while similar ones sort of float under the radar. Why is that? Is it because Vick is now a bad guy and Tiger is a saint?