Tuesday, January 18, 2011



Written by: Mike in DA
Date posted: 1/18/2011


 American Heritage Dictionary defines "peanut gallery" as:

1. The hindmost or uppermost section of seating in a theater balcony, where the seats are cheapest.

2. A group of people whose opinions are considered unimportant: "Pressure is building to force Alan Greenspan to cut interest rates and pump up the money supply. He has politely ignored these catcalls from the peanut gallery"

The Peanut Gallery here refers to #2, which is a group of people whose criticisms are regarded as irrelevant or insignificant resembling uneducated people who threw shelled peanuts on the stage to express displeasure with a performance.

A peanut gallery is an audience that heckles the performer. The term originated in the days of vaudeville as a nickname for the cheapest and usually rowdiest seats in the theater; the least expensive snack served at the theater would usually be shelled peanuts, which the patrons would sometimes throw at the performers on stage to show their disapproval. The phrases "no comments from the peanut gallery" or "quiet in the peanut gallery" are extensions of the name.

In the late 1940s and early 1950’s, I was a TV viewer and sometime audience member of the Howdy Doody Show, which adopted the name, “Peanut Gallery” to represent their audience of 40 or so of us kids who sat in the on-stage bleachers.

Who's the kid in the first row, third from the left?

For you old-timers, remember when each show began with Buffalo Bob Smith asking, "Say kids, what time is it?" and the kids yelling in unison, "It's Howdy Doody Time!" Then the kids all sang the show's theme song (set to the tune of "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay"). It was thus one of the first television shows with audience participation as a major component and my brothers and I were part of it.


On the ESPN show that aired over the past weekend (please see my 1/15 blog on the topic), the panel consisted of Jalen Rose, John Calipari, Randy Shannon, Spike Lee, Marion Jones, Michael Wilbon, and Richard Lapchick with Bob Lee and Robin Roberts acting as moderators. I might have missed a name or two due to my poor short-memory retention.

To me it was the same old shit, but in another form, however some of the things said stuck out:

As mentioned above, John Calipari was on the panel. As the head basketball coach at the University of Kentucky, he is one of the beneficiaries of the NCAA "sweatshop". He earns millions of dollars from UK while maintaining one of the worst academic performance rates in the country. He runs his teams like a professional sports franchise and his employers hire him because he wins games. His presence at Kentucky is an indicator of the school's non-commitment to educating its athletes.

Some of the advice that the panelists gave covered the most common mistakes committed by Black athletes. Calipari said that he advises the athletes who leave for the NBA to take a financial management course. He also said that if you're not educated about your money, you're simply asking to have it taken away from you. So, though I criticized Calipari above, it appears that he might be relatively good at preparing his athletes for the real world. I also give him credit for his honest, working-class approach to confronting the realities that many athletes face at home.

Professor Richard Lapchick, the director of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES), brought up an important point. Lapchick is the son of basketball legend, Joe Lapchick, of the Original Celtics and St. John’s University fame. Lapchick said that when it comes to shaping the images of Black athletes, a lot of those images are being made by sportswriters and editors throughout the country, most of whom are whites. Lapchick also mentioned that while many of these individuals have something to say about the decisions of Black athletes, most of them don't know what the fuck they're talking about.

Another part of the discussion was when Messrs. Lee, Rose, and Wilbon made a good point about pay for an athlete’s services. Rose said that even if he had good grades, if his coach decided that he didn't belong on the team, he'd be asked to transfer. Wilbon and Lee jumped on Rose's point by noting that colleges do not encourage and sometimes don’t allow athletes to choose majors that interfere with their sports schedules. That led to Spike noting that collegiate athletics is already a full-time job for these athletes and they should be paid. I disagree with that because it would cause more problems than it would solve, but that’s for another blog. Lee’s comments did get a positive reaction from many in the audience.

There was also discussion by the panel about the hat trick of Black male destruction in America: the educational system, athletics, and the criminal justice system.

When a lady in the audience asked how she can convince her teen nephew to consider career options other than athletics, several panelists mentioned the obvious: to expose the teen to practical alternatives. The problem, however, was that when the conversation was turned into Black male graduation and incarceration rates, the entire discussion was as if it's just a matter of telling these guys to "get their shit together." Personal responsibility plays a key role in the outcomes of the Black male in America, but it was brought up that Black men do not have a monopoly on irresponsible behavior.

Other topics covered were the lack of funding for inner city education, the incarceration increase over the last half-century, the lack of media access and control for those who seek to portray more positive and diverse Black imagery, and the fact that Black men are more likely to be arrested, convicted, and sentenced than members of other ethnic groups, even when they commit the same crime.

Though I’m not a Black man and have never walked in one’s shoes, I can see that things aren't always simple for Black men, at least compared to my life, even when they try to make the right choices. One old Black guy once told me that America is a country that has been designed to exterminate Black men, as the number of obstacles they face are many.

The timing of the show right around Martin Luther King Jr. Day was perfect. If you go through most neighborhoods across the country, you'll notice that a large number of Black kids want to become either athletes or rappers. The panel said it's important that the mothers and fathers raising these kids understand what's going on inside their kids' heads. If they do, it will make everything around better. But that’s just cheap talk. Action needs to be taken.

With that said, below are comments from the Peanut Gallery with regard to this weekend's "ESPN Town Hall Meeting - Image of the Black Athlete":

Texas Mike: “All talk and no action. Yes sports is not color blind. The show reminded me of church services with the preacher preaching to the choir and everyone feeling good and no one changing their actions. All talk and no action. Do you think the show changed anyone's mind?”

Suitman: “Could not agree more. There is an issue with the image of black athletes in sports. My wardrobe consulting company would like to offer our services. Our vision is to empower males regarding image, wardrobe, and etiquette. Our slogan is, "Your First impression may be your only opportunity." If anyone is interested in learning more, please contact us at http://www.emiwardrobeconsulting.com/

FCTejas:MLK gets a whole week now?

Titan Man: “So there's a $1 million discrepancy between white coaches and black coaches. Guess what, there are more white coaches than black coaches. Which means that there's a greater chance that most of the successful coaches will be white. The more successful the coach, the higher he will be paid (in most cases). If they wanted to accurately compare coaches and race, they should compare the salaries of first year black and white coaches. ESPN needs to use some common sense before they create an issue where there is none.”

Xcal9: “Zzzzzz.”

Rexs Slut Wife: “Funny how a segment called "Content of Character", is solely focused on the color of their skin.”

Northern Wolverine: Al Sharpton=Content of character

OntoNY: “Just another show to start race comments. MLK R.I.P. God bless!!!”

99MAG: “fu espn”

sfitz76: “ I watched a basketball game earlier today...... not one of the players on the court was white. Shouldn't we have some white minority thing in college basketball now? Aside from that, ESPN should leave this crap out of sports. Sports should not be about this crap that ESPN likes to report on for their own sake. STOP IT!!!!”

JacobAKerr999: “Is ESPN just asking for a race war out of this???....This should just be left alone. Bad job by them. Yes we know that there are differences in sports because of race. There are more white coaches than black coaches. But, there are more black players than white players. It’s uneven on both sides. And for someone to say that black people are more athletic or that white people are better at motivating and game planning is stupid. It's sports!!! This should have been left alone. Way to go ESPN. You guys just #### the bed again like you did with the UCONN women’s basketball coverage when no one honestly cared except for Rebecca Lobo. Leave some things alone. You are only causing more controversy.”

Davetheknave: “I wonder what the world would be like if people stopped trying to blame everyone but themselves for their shortcomings.”


“I want to know more about the whole Rooney Rule and the hiring of minorities. Because what I truly want to know is, is it about minorities or is it about African-Americans. Because that’s all that’s ever talked about. It’s always about giving black people more opportunities. NEVER ONCE have I seen or heard of anybody commenting on the lack of Asians on the field as players and especially in positions of authority whether it be a coaching job or front office. How many Asian coaches are there in college football or the NFL? Or in any sport for that matter?

I hate it when ESPN brings up the subject of a lack of minorities in this or that when in reality they are saying there is a lack of African-Americans. Why don’t they ever talk about the lack of other races? ESPN and the rest of American sports are racist against Asians!! There’s only a couple mixed Asians in the NFL, a couple more in the NBA, none in the NHL that I am aware of and a decent percentage in baseball. But nowhere do I see any coaches or managers or head office Asians. Let’s talk about that! Or are you too racist?!

If race doesn't matter, then why do we have these stupid months that point out a certain race's best people, like we're all divided? MLK was great, and I believe in racial equality, but why do you have to make these months up if race doesn't matter? A person shouldn't be recognized in history for their achievements solely because of their color. You might say that these months are just trying to give recognition to people that aren't recognized normally, but that sounds like you're saying "Whites are ignorant for not recognizing them year round and we need to forcefully educate them." There are several great black athletes throughout history, and they've gotten the recognition they deserve. It feels like these race months imply that white people hog up the other months with their history other than Hispanic Heritage month. That just comes across racist as well.”

JP652LD:Jackie Robinson should be the only black figure on ESPN for something like this.”

Artpil50: “Cam Newton, ‘content of your character.’"

JonathanTuttle 23: “Dr. King was right, we ought to judge by character and NOT the color of one's skin. However, his followers have embraced the opposite. The Rooney Rule FORCES us to look at skin color rather than character.”

Seedor023: “As an Italian-American I don't understand why many people get MLK Day off and not Columbus Day. Columbus freaking found the new world for God's sake!”

gunrl44: “We're all governed by the same laws now and have been. It’s time to start scaling back the black special programming.”

bdhvette: “Race? There is trash in every race.”

Dubdawg: “Am I the only one that thinks that the "Wake up everybody" song that they played for the segments is the most annoying song ever?”

jredman5000: “I was raised in a very liberal household and even I'm sick of the double standard. White Pride is racist, yet Black Pride is encouraged. One white on black crime makes national news, yet black on white crime happens daily. White students in mostly black schools are threatened EVERY SINGLE DAY by black students. I am speaking from experience. Who stands up for them? Nobody. The days of White Guilt are over.”

Mcgillttn: “It’s that time of year, wait I believe this is a year long thing? They will put this crap on TV to bring in viewers and raise the ratings. But when we oppose it we are called "racists" by the same LIBERAL MEDIA that keeps the race card going. You want us to be equal, but you treat the real minorities like garbage because it gets you those ratings and votes. Separation of church and state, separation of race and sports. Have your month. Ill take the next 11.

ztexz: “I'm sorry, but the notion that marching for the basic, fundamental rights to vote, eat at a lunch counter, and use the same toilet as everyone else is somehow comparable to how many head coaches are black is - to use a technical term - freaking absurd. One was an often-times life and death struggle for equality. Those rights affected millions of people, and the authorities would sick attack dogs on those protestors. More black head coaches is, at best, a "nice to have" and absolutely pales in comparison to the work of Dr. King and many others.”

49ersDominate: “It’s time for Whites to show some backbone and look out for their own race. Every other race does it.”

Lessfilling21:“Outside of the KKK and skinheads, whites do not have media that is for white people only. Considering the majority race is white in America, it’s not surprising that there are going to be more whites than any other race on a show. Most media is for all people to enjoy, especially sports. People try nowadays to make sure at least there's one person of each race on a show though. Yet if there's not a huge race difference on a show or in a book, it’s labeled white-only? The thing is, most things aren't racist until someone tries to point it out to be.”

Veejay800: “The reason why Whites feel that African-Americans always use the race card is because the discrimination is not their reality. If they were disenfranchised in the proportion that African-Americans are then and only then will Whites understand. Whenever Whites are discriminated against, regardless of by whom, they tend to sue. Why is that, because it's wrong! Equality is the key to curtailing the racism. Whites always think their accomplishments are due to their hard work and some of it is, but it's primarily because they are given the opportunity, which affords them the success. But if they weren't given the opportunity then maybe they would understand why race is at the forefront of everything. ‘Until you walk a mile in my shoes...’ For many Whites, pray you never have to.”

SeeMeFloppin: “Who cares? I have a dream too, in fact, I have them almost every night.”

JuicyLK: “I saw some of the town hall meeting and to be honest, was this really needed?”

psumule: “More PC garbage being shoved down our throats on a supposed ‘sports’ website.”

RPMcMurphy: “Evidently one of the bosses up in Bristol just checked a box on their 2011 PC objectives....sheesh. Really ESPN? Really?”

James from La Grange: “Whites always want to know why we have: black networks, magazines, history months, and the likes. Looking at Ebony mag on my coffee table one even asked me why do we need our own magazine? Can you see the ignorance in that? Don't they see that EVERYTHING is white? They're so used to it until they can't see the forest for the trees.”

jelway311: “Equality for mankind is why great men like Dr. King knew what he was talking about. USA sports and military rock. The dream is coming true”

hondosooner: “If someone criticizes an African-American, it must be about race. Not because their actions were self-centered, illegal, or otherwise unpleasant, but about the fact that they are African-American. I see jobs all over the Internet for African-American candidates. I see zero for white males who after 10 years are still paying for their college education and struggling to get by. Not every white was a slave owner, and not one living American was a slave. So, whites need to publicly move to the back of the line, just because, and African-Americans, all of them, need to be entitled to everything that I might have ever worked for. Before me. How is that equality?”

Doubledave45: “Thank you very little, ESPN! It can NEVER be JUST ABOUT SPORTS! DISNEY and POLITICAL CORRECTNESS HAVE KILLED ESPN!!! Jon Gruden is the ONLY SMART decision they have made in a DECADE!!”

CanMan: “The only color that matters to any of these people is green!!”

DaveMcD3: “Less than 50 years since his Death a mixed (sorry I don't know the proper term for 1/2 black 1/2 white person) man has become our president. There will always be racial issues as long as we are humans. But I don’t even think MLK would have predicted that a white man wouldn't be president in 2008.”

XGroove:Spike Lee is a worthless irrelevant f*** in the world of sports. WHY is he on the front cover of ESPN.com? And a fired head coach? There are MUCH better representatives they could have up there.”

mcdowejm: “How and why is MLK Jr. on ESPN? I know he's a huge figure, but did he play professional sports? Manage a team? Make a huge trade? Sorry, but I'm a firm believer in there's a time and place for everything and MLK has nothing to do with sports....Next they'll pimp his legacy on the Cooking Channel.”

MirBayWatson: “ There has been and always will be recruiting scams in the NCAA. Whites and blacks especially when money is the thing we all need to survive. Don’t blame a young black man because he just wants his family to be secure in this world of greed. Can I get you to pay my rent? Basic things are hard to come by lately for every race. Cam’s not a bad guy.”

RobertWL: “We have taken Dr. Martin L. King's words and we have transformed them into social needs first instead of taking what he said in the spiritual sense first. It is not what goes in a man that defines him, but what comes out of him. The things that we are taught tends to shape our thinking. Ingest and then we respond from that teaching. Dr. King was talking and teaching God values to change our perceptions in the equality of man. This will come into play in the hiring of athletes. Color becomes non-existing and content of character becomes most important. The panel on ESPN becomes mute because they have reached the pinnacle of their life and thus their opinion is just an opinion because they are not in a place of power to change things. Only those at the top can effect a change.”

LLCoolA: “With the double-standards STILL going on in this country when race gets brought up, there's no way I'd say Dr. King's vision is realized. Yes, it's certainly better than the days of Jim Crow, but we still got a LONG way to go for TRUE equality.”

SoonerBob: “Arguing about having African-American's in executive and ownership positions in sports is, in all actuality, trying to change the past. These organizations would not exist if it were not for the original owners. Unless you start your own franchise, it takes time to buy a team. It’s not every year that a team is up for sale. Personally, I am sick and tired of extremely wealthy individuals saying that they are not being given enough. Save your money, invest and prepare yourself for ownership if that is what you want. How many whites do you see asking for "white" air time in the media? How many whites are publicly quoted as saying ‘I am sick of having the race card shoved down my throat?’ I haven't heard any. Whites cannot have a white history month, a white entertainment channel, etc. It takes time, hard work and integrity to reach your goals. Figure out what they are, map out a plan and try to follow that plan no matter what color your skin is.”

DeninDave33: “Credit MLK for getting minorities equal rights, but there is some irony in content of character. They have proven he cheated on his wife multiple times with multiple women. (He was actually committing it when he was brutally murdered in that hotel room. A little heard of fact.) He plagiarized most of his work while getting his doctorate at Boston University from another author. And King's "I Have a Dream" speech was taken from a sermon by Archibald Carey written by him in the 1950's. Yeah that's a good content of character.”



1 comment:

Earlis said...

I think you will find that a first year white coach makes more money than a first year black coach...it is a problem in society in general
the trends in the NFL reflect the trends in the over all society..a white female professional earns less than her white male counterpart with the same level of experience hence if you think that same dynamic does not exist across racial lines you really have not paid attention to what really is going on in the workplace or society in general. There are more whites coaching in the NFL because they get more opportunities to coach, you cannot have experience if you do not have opportunity...hence if you don't have a shot at being a coordinator you cannot become a head coach....if you don't get interviews you cannot become a head coach...hence the Rooney to insure that people of color get in the process.. You need to get interviews  to know how to give a good interview... You need interviews to let people in 
management know who you are through out the league.