Marcus Smart, a 19-year-old basketball player at Oklahoma State University, recently pushed a Texas Tech “super fan”, Jeff Orr. After being fouled, Smart fell into the crowd. While Smart was getting up Orr used a racial slur towards him, Smart claims. The racial slur was what triggered Smart to push him. This incident quickly sent the media into a frenzy. The NCAA mentioned the incident online and several articles were written about Smart’s incident where they referred to him as inappropriate and having a temper.
Black athletes, in general, when portrayed in the media are generally never in a positive way. Although black people shouldn’t be put in the same category, they usually are. When black men, specifically, in the media are portrayed negatively, it reflects negatively on black men in general. Not only are they portrayed negatively, but the whole story is never told. The story only covers just enough to make them the aggressor. For example, Richard Sherman recently participated in an interview where he said, “Don’t you ever talk about me! Don’t open your mouth about the best or Imma shut it for you!” directed strictly toward Micheal Crabtree. Straight after that interview, he was portrayed in the media as a “thug” and inappropriate. Muhammed Ali, to name another, was portrayed as a non-American because he refused to fight in the Vietnam War.
All of these stories coincidently involve African-American athletes with actions done onto or words exchanged with a Caucasian male or a predominately Caucasian audience. But it’s not a coincidence that these stories skyrocketed through the media. It’s the age-old story of White versus Black. These stories are being looked at through one angle, the angle of the African American taking the fault while the Caucasian reaps the benefits. Jeff Orr, not only was not accused of being inappropriate but he was promoted in his position at Texas Tech. what position did he have? There was no thought given to what words were exchanged by Crabtree and Sherman on the field, but only an examination of what Sherman had to say in response. And the media portrayed Sherman as everything other than a Stanford graduate with a 3.9 grade point average. For Muhammad Ali, the media didn’t focus on the fact that he was Muslim and that his religion didn’t permit him to fight in the war.
With these incidences occurring in the present and past, there is something that needs to be said about African Americans portrayed in the media.
Stories need to be looked into deeper in every aspect. It’s unfortunate that African Americans in the media fall victim to this mistreatment of the media often. What can be done for African Americans to be portrayed more positively in the media? Stories overall need to be looked deeper into for African Americans to be wrongfully accused for their mistakes and rewarded their right doings.