Before you get all up in arms, which a number of us no doubt are, relax. It’s a quote… one that isn’t really a quote. This morning, Mike Greenberg, a respected ESPN sports commentator, had a slight slip of the tongue on his morning radio show, one which has garnered far too much attention.
As you can see, Mike Greenburg said “Martin Luther Coon, King Jr. day.” It was a slip of the tongue, nothing more. But as is usually the case, the attack is under way.
In a case like this, the individual needs to be examined as an individual, and based on the individual’s history. Mike Greenburg’s history is without fail. There has never been anything resembling a racist insinuation toward him. Here is his response:
I just came home from the Knicks game and found out about the mess that was created by my garbling a sentence on our show this morning; I apologize for not addressing it sooner.And I’m sorry that my talking too fast — and slurring my words — might have given people who don’t know our show the wrong impression about us, and about me.I feel horrible about that, because nothing could be further away from who I am and what our show is about.I would never say anything like that, not in public, or in private, or in the silence of my own mind, and neither would anyone associated with our show, and I’m very sorry that my stumble this morning gave so many people the opposite impression.
I have been listening to Mike Greenburg for years, and the speaking too fast and stuttering is almost a trademark of his. He is an extremely intelligent man, and common sense tells us that if he was going to make a racist comment, he would be smart enough to do so in a far less conspicuous manner. This whole discussion is, to be blunt, ridiculous.
I know what’s next… some bleeding heart jackass will say “Racism is not ridiculous!” I agree. Racism is far more prevalent in today’s world than most of us are willing to admit. We actually encourage many forms of racial profiling now. New Orleans showed that in many aspects, African Americans are still at times treated as second class citizens. We run to the defense of some nations, and ignore the Genocide in Somalia, which I think is purely racially motivated.
But Mike Greenburg is not a racist; at least not based on this statement. This is a classic case of over reacting and over publicizing, and needs to be nipped in the bud now, before it becomes a false cause. Let’s save the fight for the wars that need to be fought.