Recently, the topic of race and how it applies to the terms used amongst broadcasters and journalists alike was discussed in Issues in Sports. Jena brought up an interesting point that certain adjectives were used when describing white athletes in comparison to black athletes. Across the board, white professional athletes were described as hardworking, gritty, quick, while stereotypically black athletes were termed as naturally-gifted, athletic, articulate, fast. The black athletes are spoken about as if the media should be surprised that they are as talented as they are, whether performing on their respective court or field or speaking at a press conference. As a class, we were asked to pay attention to the coverage of the March Madness tournament that is currently going on and note how many times racially charged terms were used.
In all honesty, I’ve never been one to follow college basketball. I like basketball, I find that college basketball just doesn’t hold my attention as much. However, I accepted JJ’s challenge and started to watch on Sunday night, starting with the Louisville versus Duke game. My drama sensor must have been very in tuned because as we all know, that was the game that Kevin Ware suffered his freak injury. I watched Ware jump up to block the shot of Duke’s guard Tyler Thornton and as he came down, his ankle twisted, his leg wobbled and then buckled in place though his upper body did not stop moving. I watched in horror as Ware fell to the ground and staff members ran to him, thinking that he has definitely torn something and must be in an incredible amount of pain. Little did I know how badly it was, though I got some hints from the shocked and disgusted looks on the faces of the people in the crowd. It wasn’t until later that I saw a picture of Ware’s “gruesome” injury, of his bone sticking out of his leg as it twisted under him like a piece of cooked spaghetti. I couldn’t bear to watch any more Mach Madness after that.