8.12.2005

Some additional articles on the Krueger's racist utterance

These were additional media coverage on the controversy caused by Krueger's racist utterance, some backing my opinion, some expressing other and/or opposing views:

San Jose Mercury News/Ann Killion: KNBR firings were inevitable from a business perspective (good one)
San Jose Mercury News/David Pollak: Giants, KNBR: Station made call
San Francisco Chronicle/Scott Ostler: Everybody looks bad in Kruegergate
San Francisco Chronicle/Steve Kroner: Firings a hot topic/Station made the call

Oakland Tribute/Dave Newhouse?: Sabean deserves the ax, too (very different take)

Oakland Tribune/Carl Steward: Overreaction makes KNBR talk of the town (very different take)
Contra Costa Times/Jonathan Okanes: KNBR firings surprise Giants
Contra Costa Times/Jonathan Okanes: Angel was no Giant in Bay Area (scroll down to Burying Kruegergate)
Contra Costa Times/Neil Hayes: Krueger's critics missing context
Contra Costa Times/Gary Peterson: Talk is cheap, but toll of prejudice still costly (good one)

In addition, I would like to point out certain passages in the ones I consider good. Here are a few from Ann Killion's column:

  • For his stand, some have decided to make Alou the villain in this piece. But Alou doesn't have to justify his feelings, his experiences or his right to air his grievances. Words blathered on sports-talk radio can sting, and Alou wasn't afraid to say it.
  • But, despite that, and despite the clout they wield with KNBR, the Giants say they didn't demand the firings. Though they were irritated that their flagship station wasn't more proactive about damage control, they didn't want three people fired. Neither, it seems, did Alou, who said as much on ESPN on Monday. But he wasn't going to be quiet after more than 50 years of listening to such idiocy.
  • No, the firings were required by the corporate culture. This wasn't about right or wrong or hurt feelings. This was about damage control.
I in particular want to point out certain passages in Gary Peterson's column:
  • At which point l'affair Krueger will be decommissioned as an official flavor of the week and fade into a vague memory of an unsettling time. And we will have lost a terrific opportunity to turn one man's unfortunate turn o' the phrase into Everyman's enlightenment.
  • Why, 58 years after Jackie Robinson's rookie season, 51 years after Brown v. Board of Education and 42 years after Martin Luther King articulated his dream, are otherwise reasonable people suddenly inspired to malign a group based on its heritage?
  • How do we overcome such subconscious racism? Why don't we understand the relationship between causal attitudes and the institutional prejudice that still exists in our society? Why don't we acknowledge the power of words?
  • Why do we feel comfortable dictating to others what should offend them, and what should not? Look, unless you were with Alou in Louisiana half a century ago, you don't know what it was like, and you aren't in a position to define for him the parameters of offensive behavior.
  • But the bigger story is the destructive attitudes that course below the surface in our society, inspiring people to talk about certain brain-dead hitters, minorities who lack the necessities to manage in the major leagues, blacks who are expected (jokingly! Hey, it's a joke!) to serve collard greens at the Masters championship dinner. And on, and on, and on.
  • What we never seem to find is the time or the means to address is the root cause of these polarizing attitudes. Too bad. Fire a man for displaying symptoms of the disease, and all you teach him is how to find another job. Teach him true tolerance, and Larry Krueger might be taking his regular turn on KNBR tonight.

OK, lunch hour nearly over...

EDIT (8/13): One last good one from Bud Geracie of the San Jose Mercury: In the Wake of the Week. For those who still don't get it, in it he writes, "If you're having trouble grasping the severity of Larry Krueger's offense, remove 'Caribbean' from his statement and replace it with 'African-American.' Same thing."

4 Comments:

Anonymous bacci40 said...

well you are continuing this, without laying any blame on alou for any part in the fiasco....please read this, and you decide....alou fighing the good fight against racism? or showing himself as an angry, old, hypocrite...

Source: The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec)

February 19, 2000 - G1

"Alou wouldn't mind having Rocker," by JACK TODD

It was Felipe Alou's turn to smile yesterday.
After the media mob here
had waited through intermittent showers from 8
a.m. until 1:30 p.m.,
Alou finally turned up for the annual staff
meeting that follows the
team physicals and pronounced himself as happy
with the changes in the
entire situation here as everyone else.

Then he dropped a few comments that will be heard
around the baseball
world concerning John Rocker, the Atlanta Braves
reliever whose name
has become synonymous with ''bone-headed racist
comments made to
Sports Illustrated.''

Alou repeated his earlier statement, made in
Montreal during the
winter caravan, to the effect that Rocker could
play for him.

''I don't mind Rocker,'' Alou said. ''Y'know that
old foreign stranger
Rocker was talking about? Well - that's me. But I
love his fastball
and I don't believe that kid was trying to put
anyone down. I think he
was just frustrated. I did a poll around, some of
the Dominicans who
were his teammates in the minors, and they were
shocked that he would
say those things."

Fri Aug 12, 03:15:00 PM PDT  
Blogger obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

First you get mad at Alou for not being forgiving then you get mad at Alou for forgiving someone. If there is any of you out there who hasn't done something that contradict something you've done before, then you are a better person than I. Humans are funny that way.

Anyway, I don't get what your point is, do you want Alou to be forgiving or not? It appears you are mad because Alou didn't forgive the person you liked but you don't really care about the person you don't like. Perhaps Alou, over time will forgive Krueger, like he did Rocker, you don't know that won't happen. Then will you be happy?

And if you want to assign blame, I guess you could assign Alou blame. Blame for putting up with racist behavior when he was the lone black man in a white environment. Why didn't he speak up then, you are saying. Why now?

Blame for having a chip on his shoulder for putting up with years of discrimination, when he was winning all those games in the minors while lesser white men got promoted to MLB manager. Why, he should not be so sensitive, it was all context, he was actually be complimented, yeah, that's the ticket.

Blame for chosing now to combat racist statements, he should wait for someone truly racist to come around and beat upon him with truly racist words. Don't beat up the nice guy, my buddy, my pal on the radio.

But as I noted, it doesn't matter who the messenger of the racist statement is, how nice he is, when you are the host of a public forum, your message gets carried out, as KNBR puts it, on a 50,000 watt flamethrower, across the Western United States. For all intents and purposes, you are the deliverer of the racist statement.

In any case, my main point has been that racism doesn't belong in baseball. If Alou may have forgiven someone at some point, or said something that management wanted him to say, won't be the first time a manager had to swallow their pride, well that's not really material to my point.

Racist remarks don't belong in baseball. Period. Don't matter what the motivations of any of the parties involved, don't matter if anyone is contradictory in their actions, don't matter if it was the biggest mistake in the world made by the nicest guy in the world, it don't belong, period.

Sometimes people make a mistake that costs them big. Like you said, it's an ugly world and essentially you said to me, "deal with it." I find that to be good advice in this case as well.

Fri Aug 12, 05:27:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous bacci40 said...

how many times do i have to prove to you, that this had nothing to do with racism?

i think you need to change the name of your blog to closed minded giants fanatic

Fri Aug 12, 06:05:00 PM PDT  
Blogger obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

You are entitled to your opinion.

But you still haven't proved to me that it has nothing to do with racism. Krug has already apologized for uttering a racist statement and he knew it was bad enough that he felt the need to go to Alou to apologize. Almost all of the media accounts refer to the statement as racism. You are one of the few to still not acknowledge it.

Unfortunately (there goes that word again) for Krug, he's learning that intent doesn't count for very much in this world. You and I may know that he didn't intend it. His friends in the media may know that he didn't intend it.

But all the racists out there who heard the rant, saw it posted there for everyone to see, saw that he "got away" with his racist comment with a slap on the hand, they are doing mental high-fives with each other and perhaps think that they can get away with it the next time they see someone non-white. That's one step closer to the dark side.

You are the one closed minded, you have tried many arguments and I have answered them all with no response at all except another angle at proving your point, which I end up answering and getting no response from you. Why can't you muster up a response to any of them?

Do you want Felipe to forgive or not? Is there a time limit involved?

Does the Constitution win or not by allowing Felipe to speak his mind?

Where does it say that Alou has to fight each and every racist statement out there?

How does what Alou did differ from the examples you gave of Ghandi and MLK Jr.? He offered non-violent resistance. And do you really think that MLK Jr. would not have reacted in the same way if he were attacked in a similar way?

Why can't you see that a Christian would call someone espousing non-Christian statements a "messenger of Satan"? And again to your point, isn't that his Constitutional right?

What was your point about Alou and his millions when he would make his millions even if he never took a stand?

Why can't you see that one week suspension is nothing for something racist said like that, even if unintentional?

Why don't you open your eyes to all the racism that still exists in America AND STILL they get away with outrageous acts or feel like they can do that and not get punished?

Why can't you see that people are free to talk about "their own kind" and get away with things that other people can't get away with?

I'm getting tired of answering all your questions and not getting a response back, just getting another try on your part, either to be funny (about that Bernie Ward) or whatever (the Constitution???). I'm burned out, you're probably burned out. Thanks for the discussion but we're not getting anywhere anymore.

Fri Aug 12, 10:29:00 PM PDT  

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