(truly, an embarrassment to his race. Also, on the left, Michael Irvin)
Appearing Monday on ESPN Radio’s The Dan Patrick Show, Irvin pulled a Jimmy “The Greek” when suggesting that one possible explanation for Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s strong performance is that one of his ancestors got it on with one of those big man slaves to which CBS’ Snyder referred nearly 20 years ago.
Said Irvin of Romo: “He doesn’t look like he’s that type of an athlete. But he is. He is, man. I don’t know . . . some brother down in that line somewhere. . . . I don’t know who saw what or where, his great-great-great-great-grandma ran over in the ‘hood or something went down.”
Recognizing the idiocy of Irvin’s comments, Dan Patrick said, “Oh, that’s the only way he can be a great athlete?”
“That’s not the only way, but it’s certainly one way,” Irvin said. “If great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandma pulled one of them studs up out of the barn [and said], ‘Come on in here for a second,’ you know, and they go out and work in the yard. You know, back in the day.”
Irvin likely would claim that he was joking, if the standard that has been applied to white men who have made similar comments were also applied to the Playmaker. He was, after all, laughing through some of his comments.
But does that make the comments any less ignorant, or any less racist? Irvin basically is saying that, when a white man is a great athlete, there must be something out of the ordinary occurring, because the average white man simply can’t do the same things that the average black man can.
Can someone please explain to us why Irvin hasn’t been fired or suspended or even called out for his comments?
Good question. There’s no shortage of TV spurts commentators who are widely disliked. Heck, the Bristol University faculty is teaming with ’em, and there’s a couple of blogs that would be shit out of luck if these clowns were canned. Irvin causes more exasperation — much of it felt by his colleagues, if their facial expressions are anything to go by —- than any talking head this side of Fran Healey (who isn’t getting much face time these days).
But the real explanation might be more simple : when Irvin chats with Dan Patrick on the radio, many listeners (present company included) start hunting for a CD. So it is entirely possible that PFT was one of the few paying attention. And if you had to pick one day on the calendar to make a completely ridiculous statement, you might as well have done so on the same afternoon half the adult population was watching Michael Richards self-destruct on YouTube.