Everyone has an opinion on the Winter Olympics. Some people are interested and some could care less. Some people think the Olympics has peaked years ago and is just another example of "sports saturation." These are all normal comments and are expected. However, the mention of race with these games is certainly not normal.
The focus on black speed-skater Shani Davis is somewhat expected although getting tiresome. The media loves to focus on a black athlete who is the first at something. Davis has won a couple of medals and, well, good for him.
But it seems most people are past the point where making a modern-day black athlete the equivalent of Jackie Robinson a major issue. Davis is simply viewed as an American and nothing more. However, there are always those that still want to use race as a "battering ram." Columnists and talk-show hosts have been denouncing the Winter Olympics as "too white." HBO Sports big-shot Bryant Gumbel likened the whiteness of the games to a "GOP Convention" and spoke poorly of the athletes as if they are not athletic.
One thing is for sure: Gumbel would be no competition.Make no mistake. These are very athletic people. The things they do very few of us of any race could ever do.
As usual, when an event is filled with white faces, something must be "wrong" and in need of "change." This never quite applies to the NBA or the music industry.The fact the games are overwhelmingly white should make us shout, "So what?" That is a true sign of racial progress. People like Gumbel and assorted hosts will be very quiet when the Summer Olympics comes along because the racial make-up is to their liking.
To call them hypocrites and maybe a little worse would be appropriate.There is a little secret out there that people know but do not say in the open: There are many good white athletes in all fields of sport. For them to be degraded because of jealousy, ignorance or racism is pathetic. If you earn it you belong there. All of these people at these games earned it because they are darn good. Enough with the racial "bean counters.
"..Robert Carberry is a freelance writer from New York.
By: Robert Carberry