Originally posted on BlackSportsOnline  |  Last updated 2/12/13
To answer the question bluntly, no it wouldn’t be the same. That has been my issue with the media since I was 16 years old. You want equality in the media, just like you want equality in life. You should want all athletes held to the same standards. Shouldn’t matter if GRONK is black, white, avatar, Kaepernick or Manti, your opinions of his actions shouldn’t be based on his race, but the actions he is partaking in. Black NFL player to me: “If Rob (Gronkowski) was black, these various things he’s doing wouldn’t be viewed so lightly by media and fans.” — mike freeman (@realfreemancbs) February 12, 2013 Let me take a step back before I get more into that. I have no issues with what Gronk is doing (just be careful when you are dancing). It is the offseason, he is young, single and rich. As long as he isn’t driving drunk, doing drugs, beating on women or anything illegal he can do whatever the hell he wants in my opinion. If he was black the paragraph above would be exactly the same. The problem is everyone doesn’t see things like that. Society as a whole is skewed by stereotypes and perceptions of race. The media by in large are older caucasian men whose perceptions have been shaped by these stereotypes. James Harden spending $20k at the club and Gronk spending $20k in Vegas is seen differently by society and the media. It isn’t fair, but it is the reality that African-American athletes have to deal with. It just isn’t sports it is life. Me walking into Neiman Marcus is different from a white man walking into Neiman Marcus. We can’t turn a blind eye to that, so what do we do? First, don’t blame the person. Don’t blame GRONK, don’t blame Johnny Manziel for others ignorance, they has nothing to do that and it isn’t their fault. Second, try to change that perception. Don’t use it as a crutch to just complain, try to educate people that there shouldn’t be any difference.  My grandfather told me once that my actions doesn’t just have an effect on me, but it affects the next 10 black men that person encounters.  That always stuck with me, because if you aren’t doing your part to change the perception, you are just part of the problem. If you think it is cool for GRONK to have fun during his down time, it should be cool for Vernon Davis. Don’t feed into the 1st Take mentality of Cornball Brothers, down for the cause and Skiptized view of sports. Use some common sense and form logical opinions. Don’t look at the color or the name on the jersey just look at the situation, because the situation is never just black or white.
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