The League

Gene Wang
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Gene Wang

A sports staff writer at The Washington Post

Chinese Olympics

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My first reaction was that these guys did not cross the line. The humor is racially motivated -- although not particularly funny -- and inappropriate to some, but because Martellus and Michael Bennett are African American, they have license to clown about stereotypes within their ethnic community.

Remember that Seinfeld episode where Jerry thinks his dentist Tim Whatley converted to Judaism just so he can tell the jokes? It's sort of like that, except instead of Jewish jokes, the Bennetts are taking a jab at the absurdity of black stereotypes.

Let's say I did a similar video with Timmy Chang that had chow mein eating, a math-off and dry cleaning, and we called it the Chinese Olympics. Would that be offensive to anyone?

I asked an African American colleague on the sports copy desk to give me his thoughts on the Black Olympics video. He said that type of humor could be funny among friends in a private setting. Posting it on the Internet is another story.

He also said the video didn't offend him personally, but when he sees frat boys from the SEC having a pimps and hookers blackface night, well that's obviously offensive.

"So I kind of put it on myself to say if it's not okay for other people to do that, then it's not really okay for us to do it, at least not on YouTube," he told me.

The more I thought about it, the more that made sense. Then I remembered the time Shaquille O'Neal used a mock Chinese accent to take what he intended as a playful swipe at Yao Ming.

Not funny, and neither is the Black Olympics video.


By Gene Wang  |  July 16, 2009; 5:59 AM ET  | Category:  Dallas Cowboys , Gene Wang , NFL , Race Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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My first reaction was the same as yours. If these guys were Chinese few would care, and I wouldn't be reading about it. (I'm not Chinese by the way.)

Although the victims of past and present forms of racism and discriminatory laws the Chinese have excelled in our country. If anything they are further racially discriminated against today by affirmative action taking seats from higher qualified Chinese students in favor of blacks students -- particularly in California.

I guess I'm saying Chinese are respected, and perhaps feared, enough not to warrant special treatment. Blacks, like women, however, require special treatment.

These guys, funny or not, you have say they have enough self confidence to make fun of themselves and their own. I respect that.

Posted by: ram_xxx_ram | July 16, 2009 10:56 AM

"Shaquille O'Neal used a mock Chinese accent to take what he intended as a playful swipe at Yao Ming."

=========

How much play did that gey by the way? What were the consequences to Shaq?

Nothing.

Imagine Steve Nash taking a playful swipe at black players using mock black accent.

It would be huge. He would be persecuted.

Posted by: ram_xxx_ram | July 16, 2009 11:29 AM

"Let's say I did a similar video with Timmy Chang that had chow mein eating, a math-off and dry cleaning, and we called it the Chinese Olympics. Would that be offensive to anyone?"

No, but you better copyright that idea before MadTV and Bobby Lee get their hands on it...

Posted by: ozpunk | July 19, 2009 12:25 AM

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