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Your Black Sports: Vince Young And The NFL’s Depression Denial

October 7, 2008 Leave a comment


Vince Young and the NFL’s Depression Denial

By: Dave Zirin

Your sports page may have recently induced an unpleasant sense of déjà vu. A pro football star, by all accounts, seemed caught in a spiral of depression. Friends and advisers were worried enough about suicide to call the police. After an ensuing public-relations fracas, the player and the team assured us that it was all a grand misunderstanding.

Two years ago, this was the story of Dallas Cowboys star receiver Terrell Owens. Less than 24 hours after Owens had sleeping pills pried out of his mouth, his PR flack said that the police report was a fabrication and “Terrell has 25 million reasons to be alive” – an ugly reference to the dollars he was due in his contract.

This month it was Vince Young, quarterback of the Tennessee Titans. During a Sept. 7 victory over Jacksonville, Young threw two interceptions, sparking a chorus of boos from the home crowd. Then he seemed to be refusing to re-enter the game – and was injured shortly after he did return. The following night, when he didn’t return calls to his cell phone, the police were sent to find him. He had apparently uttered the word “suicide” to his manager, and perhaps a team therapist, and made clear that he was in possession of a gun.

But now Young and the team say that this is a whole lot of noise about nothing…

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Your Black Politics: The Slow-Witted Beast: Mass Media Sings the Devil’s Tune

September 26, 2008 1 comment

By: Tolu Olorunda

Staff Writer – YourBlackWorld.com

Unenlightened mass media has served as a covert propaganda machine for white supremacist thought, skillfully manipulating representations to convey to black folks and everyone else the notion, however false, that black life is horrible, that black people are the enemy, dangerous to themselves and others.”

- Acclaimed Scholar, bell hooks, in her highly enriching 2002 book, Rock My Soul : Black People and Self-Esteem.

The “slow-witted beast” is a phrase borrowed from a recent lecture given by Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart, in which he sat down a few corporate journalists and told the brutal and honest truth to their faces. Calling the mainstream press a “brutish, slow-witted beast,” Stewart chastised them for the “false sense of urgency they create, the sense that everything is breaking news.” The Comedy Central host also seemed to be displeased with the level of adulteration that has become normative within the cable news beltway. He said, “The 24-hour networks are now driving the narratives and everyone else is playing catch-up.” No doubt this cry from the hyper-wealthy, White-Jewish comedian is but a mere reflection of the dissatisfaction and discontent most Black, Brown, Red and Yellow peoples around the world have expressed for decades. Peoples of culture/color around the globe have suffered the sting of unfiltered dishonesty, distortion and deformation by the affluent media empires. At the crossroad of a black man rising to the highest pedestal in political platform, journalists of culture/color still remain underrepresented in Washington. It is as though the corporate press has neither the intellect, nor the moral fortitude, to see how grossly illogical it is to host panels of White men/women over the age of fifty, whose attempt – rather pathetic – to “understand” Barack Obama never exceeds the thinking capacity of a fifth grader.

The 2008 Presidential race, particularly with the emergence of Barack Obama, has exposed many, otherwise hidden, insightful details about the media’s laziness and self-obsession. NPR co-host, Brooke Gladstone, affirmed this notion in a recent appearance on PBS’ Bill Moyers Journal

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Your Black Sports: Vince Young’s Episode Documents Pressure On Black Athletes

September 16, 2008 Leave a comment

Last September, Donovan McNabb, the Philadelphia Eagles‘ veteran quarterback, ruffled feathers during an interview on HBO when he said that African-American quarterbacks were held to a different standard than their white colleagues.

“There’s not that many African-American quarterbacks, so we have to do a little bit extra,” he said. “Because the percentage of us playing this position, which people didn’t want us to play, is low, so we do a little extra.”

Then he added in reference to Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer: “Let me start by saying I love those guys. But they don’t get criticized as much as we do. They don’t.”

Shortly after McNabb made his comments, Vince Young, the Tennessee Titans‘ quarterback, was asked for his reaction.

“That is his opinion,” Young said. “I really feel like myself, black or white quarterbacks, we all go through something because that is the life of a quarterback. You have to be able to handle all the pressure, and you have to be able to handle the losses, and you have to be able to handle the media saying this about you. If you can’t handle it, then you have to get off that position and go play something else.”

In light of Young’s bizarre behavior last week, he may want to revisit McNabb’s comments. He’s not handling the pressure so well…

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