Thursday, May 01, 2008

LZ Granderson rips Josh Howard for no good reason

LZ Granderson, a writer for ESPN whom I enjoy, wrote a very well done article about the cartoon character that is Kimbo Slice and the way he perpetuates negative African-American stereotypes. I encourage all to go read it. It is brief, well-written and compelling - until the last paragraph.

"Yes, I do wish black men like Slice, Josh Howard and Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick would take time to think (or care) about how their actions reflect on the few and/or influence the many."

I get Slice - your piece proved that point. I have no idea who Kilpatrick is but he has nothing to do with sports so, who cares?

But Josh Howard? I assume Granderson is admonishing him for admitting to smoking pot. I say assume because casually dropping his name with no specification won't make sense in a year, or even a week, when this whole pot thing blows over.

And didn't he admit to this a year ago? To Henry Abbott, an ESPN colleague? Furthermore, what does smoking pot have to do with Kimbo Slice acting "coonish?" I understand there is some stereotype associated with African-Americans and marijuana, but a lot of people smoke pot.

Says Abbott, "It's hard to even find presidential candidates who haven't done what Howard says he has done. The club of people who have smoked pot has membership in the millions. Has anyone here ever spent any time on a college campus? At a rock concert? I swear I smelled pot smoke in the bathroom at the Sixers game this very night."

I think Howard handled the situation well - he told the truth, wasn't arrested by police or suspended by the league (yet, anyway). Let's hope Abbott is right when he says ,"My bet is that in six months we look back at this and learn that the biggest news about this news is that it's not news."

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