Along with Colts coach Tony Dungy, count Sports Illustrated’s Jeffri Chadiha amongst those who think the stink over the Terrell Owens/Nicollette Seridan MNF pre-game sketch is as much about race as anything else.
If you’re black — or any other minority — you deal with race every day. It’s a fact. If you’re white, you deal with race mostly as it impacts you. It’s a choice. Moments like the one that occurred on Monday night force us to come face-to-face with how we really feel about the subject and that is a good thing. In fact, I tell you what’s been the most amazing moment for me since Monday night. It was a friend telling me that one of his buddies was shocked by the suggestion that all this controversy could’ve had anything to do with racial attitudes. As my friend’s friend said, “Aren’t we past the days when we have to think like that?”
No, we aren’t. If you want to know how touchy the subject of black men hooking up with white women is, take a quick poll of America. There are plenty of black women who will have something to say about it. There are still plenty of interracial couples who know what it feels like to be stared at when they’re out together. And there are plenty of parents, black and white, who are petrified by the thought of their sons and daughters proclaiming their love for somebody with a skin color different from their own. And when it comes to sports, there are plenty of people uncomfortable with the notion of a black man bedding a white woman.
I guarantee you that if Peyton Manning had been the man Sheridan jumped on, there wouldn’t be half the controversy. If it had been Eva Longoria, the Latina co-star of Desperate Housewives, there also wouldn’t be as much of an outcry. Two minorities locked in a sexual embrace isn’t as shocking a thought in some of those red states. This is the same type of thinking that is all around Hollywood. When’s the last time you saw Will Smith, Taye Diggs or Denzel Washington smooch a white woman? I can’t recall it either because the people who make movies know they’d face the same response as ABC is dealing with now.
Ken Norton Sr. was unavailable for comment.