White ESPN commentator Paul Finebaum said that black Americans need to stop complaining about discrimination because “this country is not oppressing black people.” Black Sports Online reported Thursday on Finebaum’s remarks, which he made on his ESPN Radio show Monday. “This country has issues,” Finebaum said, “but this country is not oppressing black people.” The sports author joined a panel discussion about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick on Tuesday where he underscored his assertion that black people in America aren’t being oppressed.
“I honestly have no idea where he’s coming from with all this,” Finebaum argued during his show. “What really gets to me is the fact that he’s capable of doing something like that when this country, which he so blatantly spit on, this country is what gave him the opportunity to rise to the stars and to be recognized and celebrated. What kind of a man is capable of doing that and giving that sort of thanks to the very community that supported him and admired him? Seriously, I still can’t get over the fact that he was that disrespectful.”
The sports host then argued that the now former 49ers quarterback managed to build a career in American football “despite the fact that he’s a member of a minority race,” and that he has “no right whatsoever” to claim that African Americans are being oppressed in any way. “Imagine the opposite situation,” Finebaum said. “What if we were in Africa right now, and what if we had a white player in whatever type of game they have over there. And if that white player did something this dishonorable and claimed that white people are being oppressed, he’d be lynched and buried within hours of such an incident. But of course, we’re not in Africa, and that’s why he’s still walking around and has the decency to call himself an American.”
“But, let me tell you what the real problem is here,” the commentator stated. “The problem lies in the fact that we, white people, were kind enough to allow black people to participate in all of our sports, thinking it would lead to greater cohesion and fewer incidents and racial tensions. And for a while, it worked. But, somewhere along the line, the brakes went down the drain and so now we have a situation where some sports are almost exclusively intended for black players. Take basketball, for example. The NBA could easily be called a black basketball league, and our national team is comprised of all-black players. Does nobody else have a problem with this?”
“They’re flat out acting like they own them, like they invented them as their gift to puny, feeble white people,” he added. “And on top of all that, now there’s a black person who disrespected his country, his people and his anthem because of a blatant lie and that’s just mind boggling. So, to summarize: black people in America are not oppressed, they’re systematically pushing out white players our of all our sports, they’re acting like they were meant to play sports and nothing else, and to top it all off – they get away with spitting in the face of America, publicly, I might add, whereas if any other white player had done the same thing, he would have been annihilated right away.”
“You want to talk discrimination and oppression? Sure. But, let’s talk about how white people are being treated unfairly and unequally, for a change. That’s the topic we should be addressing, especially when it comes to sports,” Finebaum concluded.