Tommy Tuberville is racist. How many college coaches are like him?
GOP Senator Tommy Tuberville is an outright racist. We knew it. I knew it. Saying that is not even controversial anymore. It’s like saying that the Earth is round. And the thing is, Tuberville continues to prove how racist he is. Again and again.
At a recent Donald Trump rally in a rural part of Nevada, Tuberville said the Democratic Party is “pro-crime, they want crime”. He added: “They want the crime because they want to take what you have. They want to control what you have.
“They want reparations,” he said, shouting, “because they think the people who committed the crime owe it! Bullsh–! They don’t deserve it.”
Let’s be clear about what Tuberville is saying. Reparations are usually associated with black people being compensated for centuries of slavery. He equates reparations with crime. He actually calls black people criminals. Not individual blacks. All Black people.
“Senator Tuberville’s comments are downright racist, ignorant and utterly sickening,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in a statement Monday. “His words promote a centuries-old lie about black people that throughout history has resulted in the most dangerous policies and violent attacks on our community.”
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There was an exchange on CNN after the Tuberville explosion that perfectly sums up how delightfully pre-war Tuberville commentary was. It was started by CNN’s Abby Phillip:
“I mean, just outright racism from a sitting US senator,” she said. “But really talking to white voters about their own preconceptions that black people are responsible for crime and don’t deserve anything as a result.”
So, yes, Tuberville is an absolute racist. We knew it. I knew it. Saying that is not even controversial anymore. But there’s an even bigger story here.
Tuberville spent decades as a college coach, both at the University of Mississippi and at Auburn. How many college football coaches look like Tuberville? How many are doing what he apparently did: making millions from the work of black athletes while apparently hiding their contempt for those same black people?
Did Tuberville view black players as different from those other black people, all living Blackish and whatnot, with our repairs and our basketball and our fried chicken/watermelon spiced grape juice? All of this while we are also committing massive amounts of crime. We are indeed a talented people.
It’s a nice trick to do. Enter the homes of black parents, recruit their sons to play for you, while hating black people.
It is unfair and inaccurate to say that all white college football coaches feel the same way as Tuberville. But if you think that’s just a small number of college coaches, you’re a fool. You didn’t pay attention.
Last year, UT-Chattanooga fired an assistant coach for a gruesomely racist tweet about Stacey Abrams, who is now running for governor of Georgia. Former TCU football coach Gary Patterson used the N-word with his players. He is now an assistant coach at the University of Texas.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has had many racial issues. University of Iowa football players sued the school for racial discrimination. There was the resignation of Cale Gundy. There was the embarrassing and tone-deaf use of a photo of Trayvon Martin by Ohio State to enforce the team’s rule banning the use of hoodies.
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There are many other examples.
There are plenty of great leaders in college football, but it’s clear there are others who probably didn’t see issues with Tuberville’s racism.
Every college football writer should ask every coach they cover to comment on Tuberville’s remarks, because he’s still a big name in the sport. Every college football coach should condemn what Tuberville said.
Each of us should note that Tuberville was cheered by the crowd around him as he spoke.
It’s important to avoid Tuberville because his lyrics aren’t just shameful. They are extremely dangerous.
“His comments are about the most vicious, vile, disgusting, parochial and racist things I have heard in a very, very long time,” Rep. Kweisi Mfume, who is also the former head of the NAACP, told MSNBC. “That’s how violence starts against black people, like in the case of Buffalo.”
He added: “Because people take (what Tuberville said), the sick, and they think they have to do something to extend the philosophy of the senator. I hope all elected officials on both sides of the ‘gone condemn that. He’s a bigot, and until he says something different, he’ll still be considered a bigot.”
So, yes, Tuberville is an absolute racist. We knew it. I knew it. Saying that is not even controversial anymore. But the question, the most important question, is this:
How many others are there like Tuberville? Hide their true feelings? Coaching black players and entering black houses to recruit sons? While holding white nationalist views?