Unsurprisingly, Schumer hasn’t said anything — like most of White America — about the “melee” that led to eight being ejected. That’s because society only blinks when fights happen in sports that are majority Black. It gives them an opportunity to call Black people thugs, say we’re animalistic, discuss why we need more fathers in the home, and somehow find a way to connect everything back to “all the violence in Chicago.” When white players fight in white sports, it’s simply a “dust-up.” Shout out to Jack Del Rio.
When it seemed like Isaiah Stewart had to be held back by the entire roster of the Detroit Pistons, and everyone on staff, when he went after LeBron James last season for bloodying his eye, the highlights ran non-stop as the conversation continued on social media for days. Just months earlier, a documentary about the Malice at the Palace had been released. And here we were, 17 years later,with Black players in a Black league trying to fight each other involved with the same franchise — the Detroit Pistons — that plays in arguably the Blackest city in America.
“Too many players in this league whose actions and attitudes bespeak kind of a thug mentality,” said Bob Costas at the time about the Malice in the Palace. Keith Olbermann labeled players as “gangster wannabes.”
Look around, is anybody saying that about the Mariners or Angels?
For some reason, white players are the only ones that are allowed to let their competitive juices flow, especially in baseball, where all of their unwritten rules are just guidelines on how to play the “white way.” And when things do get a little testy, it’s just them “letting off a little steam,” because they’re “fueled by their competitive spirit.”
Earlier this year, Owen Woodward, a pitcher for Weatherford College, speared the batter that he gave up a go-ahead home run to during the top of the sixth inning. The conference gave Woodward a 4-game suspension. His coach kicked him off the team. The attention around the bizarre incident disappeared as fast as it came. If CC Sabathia ever did something like that ESPN would do a 30 for 30 documentary on it.
And when Ty Gibbs and Sam Mayer got into a fight on pit road a few months ago, the sport promoted it on social media. Because in NASCAR, “rubbin’ is racin’.”
Ironically, with the physicality of sports like football — where people get hit on every play — and all the bumps and shoves that occur on every play in basketball — especially in the playoffs — you would think that these would be the sports where athletes were allowed to fight. But no, that’s only for sports like baseball — where you’re allowed to throw pitches at people — and hockey, a sport where muscular figure skaters are deemed tough because they lift weights and leave their beards unkempt.
There shouldn’t be any leeway when it comes to fighting in sports. Either we look down on all of it or ignore it across the board when it occurs. However, that would never happen. Because to do that, society would have to “see color.” And we know that’s something they claim they’ve never done.