While off field trangressions featuring Adam Jones tend to dominate headlines and sports yack radio alike, an altercation between the likes of Kevin Harvick and Nils Lofrgen tribute act Carl Edwards draws fewer calls for either participant to be suspended or fired. Sports On My Mind’s D.K. Wilson considers the brawltastic world of stock car racing and concludes, “forget all the football, basketball, and baseball players who have had run-ins with the police for DUI or speeding. Forget all the steroids and HGH abusers. Forget the potheads. When Carl Edwards takes Kevin Harvick and slams his head into the hood of Harvick™s car hard enough to dent it and must be put into a headlock to be restrained, there is something fundamentally wrong with the white world of NASCAR.”
In every other sport it is a must that athletes conduct their affairs, from on court or field or course behavior, to postgame interviews, to their private time, with aplomb. Those who do not act in compliance with their leagues™ and association™s desires and mandates are fined and suspended, and regularly raked through the coals by the sporting press.
Yet Brian France, NASCAR™s CEO decided this year to relax the rules regarding fighting
Imagine the uproar if NBA Commissioner David Stern decided to allow on-court fights to go unpunished, or to give warnings to the participants instead of automatic fines and suspensions because ratings are down in the post-Michael Jordan NBA era. Imagine the response by the media if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told NFL players that as long as the helmets come off first, a la gloves in hockey, it is fine with him if there™s a scuffle or two to help further grow ratings.
Imagine if a black athlete was teed off to the point of fighting for what ticked off Carl Edwards; he took exception to being portrayed as a œpansy by Harvick. We all know what the pundits at ESPN would say. We all know what every columnist around the country would write.