7.18.2008

The Intersection of Sports and Race


I first saw this story the other day over on Deadspin. I guess it's kind of a big deal, at least in Philly, I'm surprised I haven't seen it over on Field Negro or NOISB. But one of the things that struck me about the details of this incident when I read about it, was that it is kind of the epitome of what this blog aspires to be all about: exploring the intersections of race, politics, and sports and things in between in American society.


One of the other questions that immediately popped up my head was 'I wonder how this story would have been covered, spun in local media, how much national media attention would it receive if the perpertrator had been African-American?


For those visitors who may be too lazy or attention deficiant to click on the links to the story here is the general summary. Two white female St. Louis Cardinal fans were hit by a car while crossing the street after exiting a game at Citizens Bank Park where the Cards were playing the Phillies. One of the women has died from her injuries. The driver was a white male, one Joseph Genovese, who on his MySpace page claims to have a penchant for driving at high speeds on city streets and professes to have a six digit plus income funded by the sale of illegal narcotics. It's also obvious from the stylings of his page and his charming use of ebonics-inspired lingo that he embraces the thuggish side of 'mainstream rap culture' (meaning he probably identifies with the Jeezy's rather than the Common's).


This is the perfect example of the type of story where, had the driver been a young black male, it would have been ripe for sensationalization. Drunken black male runs down to white girls outside of a Phils-Cards game in Philly? C'mon! The guy would have probably been lucky enough to avoid being 'accidentally' shot by the police. And the whole nation would have been outraged at such inhumanity.


But Deadspin was the only place I saw this story. Didn't hear anything about it on local or national media. Doesn't seem to be a very big story outside of Philly, no mention of it on SportsCenter. And I'm going to say it's because he's white (even though he wants to be black). What I want to know is do you agree?


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