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Indians Indians Archive The Weekend Wrap
Written by Brian McPeek

Brian McPeek

Wrap copyJust a quick Weekend Wrap this week to touch on a couple national issues that caught our attention and led to a lot of conversation. In both cases I’d like to see a whole more shutting of the cake holes and whole less of what most people think.

Except for my thoughts and opinions, of course. Because those are valid and correct and clearly deserving to be read and discussed.


I’ll be a happy man when this A-Rod suspension comes down in the next day or so. He bores me with his narcissistic and arrogant approach to baseball and life and we’ll all be better off when he’s gone for a year or two.

And make no mistake that A-Rod will be gone for longer than the other steroid cheats but not for a lifetime ban.

Baseball wants to make sure the Rodriguez is penalized more than the others because of his willful, wanton and reckless efforts to bribe and buy his way out of his lies. He’s clearly going to catch some punitive time for being a d-bag and a PoS but he’s never been in danger of a lifetime ban.

Bud Selig isn’t going to utilize the ‘Best Interest’ power he could utilize because he doesn’t need to here and because A-Rod’s career is pretty much dead anyway. Selig apparently promised the player’s union that he wouldn’t invoke the clause with A-Rod and it sure as hell seems like that placated the union. You haven’t heard a thing from them while these latest rounds of steroid cases have played out and you especially haven’t heard squadoosh from them on A-Rod, probably because the evidence against him is so overwhelming.

But like anything else, this all about negotiations. Baseball floats ‘lifetime ban’ out there and ARod says he’ll fight to the death on that. Truth being both sides probably had a pretty solid idea that A-Rod would get more than the others but still save enough face to come back in a year or two and resume what’s left of his career.

That’s how things work. As usual, the act itself isn’t as harmful as the lying and the bribery and the clandestine, underhanded undertakings to try and get out of the jam.

Invoking the 'Best Interest' clause would open a can of worms that baseball and the union would much rather not open. Both sides would prefer to get this over with and move on with repairing the damage already done.


Man, did Riley Cooper step in it or what?

The WR for the Eagles got lit at a Kenny Chesney concert and hit the launch button on a racial bomb. Now he’s on a leave of absence from the team and seeking counseling (that should fix him). Mark May is probably devoting endless hours researching whether Cooper learned the word under Urban Meyer at Florida and how Cooper’s remarks reflect on Ohio State, Marcus Vick is $1,000 worth of mad and a boatload of players and writers are basically shaking their heads and doing the equivalent of crying at a some guy’s funeral who you don’t know to make sure everyone knows how wrong it is say to what Cooper said and making sure we all know it’s not acceptable and they disapprove.

Riley Cooper may be ignorant. Riley Cooper may be a racist. Riley Cooper may be best served not drinking alcohol and attending country concerts. I don’t really know because I don’t know Riley Cooper. What I do know is that the launch button that Cooper pushed is a finicky button in that it only launches destructive missiles when a white guy pushes it.

That’s not a complaint and it’s not an excuse. It’s simply a fact. If LeSean McCoy or DeSean Jackson or any other African American player on the Eagles roster (or any other roster in any other sport) had said what Cooper said I highly doubt that there’d be this level of interest or angst in the story. There is a failure to launch when an African-American presses the button, simple as that.

I can’t tell you how many times I heard ‘that word’ when I was in an NFL locker room for a couple seasons. It was a word used so often that it didn’t even register after a while. It was often preceded by ‘That’ and followed by ‘crazy’ or something to that effect. And if a white guy was clowning with some black players or vice versa and the phrase was turned containing the word, not a head was tilted nor was an eyebrow raised.

That’s why I can’t help but be sickened by the hypocrisy of the players, media and people who are ‘outraged’ by Cooper’s stupidity. I don’t imagine there are many people who closely follow sports, cover sports or play sports who haven’t used the word at one time or another and in one context or another. I’ve heard both black and white NFL players use it a thousand times with each other.

I personally hate the word though I won’t say I never used it. I’m sure I did when I was young and dumb and a lot more cavalier about how I spoke. Same as when I was growing up the word ‘fag’ was a staple of any conversation. As you grow up and gain more perspective and understanding you realize how damaging such words can be and how ignorant it is to use such words derisively, regardless of context. There are ugly words used to demean and hurt and Cooper used what might be the most inflammatory word in any language at the Chesney concert.

But I would also submit that anyone who uses the word is perpetuating the problem. I don’t care if it’s gang members, prisoners, football players or country music fans. The best way to demonstrate that the word isn’t acceptable at any time or in any setting is to simply not use it. Not as a term of endearment, not as a sign of common heritage, not as anything, not by anybody. Otherwise the lines get blurred and the word that may be used safely in one setting sets off a shit storm in another. Can I quote Denzel in ‘Training Day’? Can a white woman married to a black man use the word? Can someone of mixed race safely navigate those waters? Can a gay couple refer to each other as ‘fags’? Can I joke with good friends who are gay and use it? What if I’m with that gay couple and another gay individual? Will he or she be offended and call my character into question?

Cooper was caught on camera and became a YouTube/video pariah when he got stupid. But what about this:

Is that video funny? Is it cute? Is it pathetic and sad? Or does it depend on your race and your world view?

In my opinion some words are simply poison. They’re ugly, toxic, explosive, offensive in nature and potentially life altering (as Cooper would probably attest). There’s no need for them to be used in any company. Not by anybody regardless of one’s race, creed or color.

Riley Cooper was flat-out wrong and stupid for using the word he used. But so is anyone that uses ‘that word’ and perpetuates its use. And if there are people out there who express vitriol and disappointment with Cooper yet still use the word themselves, they’re as wrong as Riley and as much a part of the problem as he is. 


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