Sporting Goods

Thursday, August 09, 2007

New York Times sports columnist William C. Rhoden joins us every Thursday in August to talk sports. Today, he looks at this week's three baseball milestones. His book Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete is just out in paperback.

Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete is available for purchase at


William C. Rhoden

Comments [4]

Daniel from Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn

Oops. I was wrong. As explained in this story (, Judge Landis presided over Jack Johnson's trial on that trumped-up charge that got him a year in jail. Guess I should have looked that up _before_ posting.

Still, it seems inappropriate to equate Selig and Landis. Selig seems to be mostly indifferent to Bonds's achievement, aside from some pro forma demonstrations of interest. Landis took part in an abusive prosecution that eventually sent Johnson to jail for a bogus crime.

Aug. 09 2007 12:58 PM
Daniel from Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn

At least one aspect of what Mr. Rhoden said should be clarified: Judge Landis, the commissioner of baseball in the 1920s, would have had little power to do much of anything to Jack Johnson, who was the heavyweight boxing champion. Mr. Rhoden's analogy comparing Landis to Bud Selig was a bit of a reach.

Aug. 09 2007 12:49 PM
Dan from NJ

Let's use the next two Thursdays for someone who is not an apologist race-baiter.

I know no one who cares what color Bonds is. He's a great player who tossed his credibility away of his own free will. Not to mention he's been a mopey whiner as far back as I can remember. Contrast his press conference with that of A-Rod's after he hit his 500th. A-Rod was happy with a good word for all. Bonds was surly even before he was asked about tainted records.

For the love of a benevolent god, Bond's biggest problem should be not getting enough sleep because he wakes up giggling all the time because he's Barry Bonds!

He is lying in the bed he's been making for years.

Aug. 09 2007 12:42 PM
RC from queens

Mr. Rhoden made two errors. 1>It's Emmit Smith not Emmit Thomas. He must have confused him with Thurman Thomas who was inducted with Michael Irvin.

2>The reason why Michael Irvin is not taken seriously is because he says stupid stuff.

>>>>Irvin said Romo is a good athlete, then suggested that must mean he has an ancestor who is black.

"He doesn't look like he's that type of an athlete," Irvin said of Romo. "But he is. He is, man. I don't know if some brother down in that line somewhere, I don't know who saw what or where, his great-great-great-great-grandma ran over in the 'hood or something went down."

Patrick tried to suggest to Irvin that he shouldn't go there, but Irvin was having none of it, continuing:

"If great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandma pulled one of them studs up out of the barn, 'Come on in here for a second,' you know, and they go out and work in the yard. You know, back in the day."<<<<

Jimmy the Greek and Howard Cossel were fired for saying far less worse stuff.

3> Also, why is it that people are comparing Barry Bonds to Jack Johnson or other blacks who faced real discrimination? I am sorry but a man who is the son of a Major leaguer who probably had more advantages growing up than many, many white ballplayers of his era can't be compared to Jack Jackson, Larry Doby, Wilma Rudolph, Jesse Owens or Jackie Robinson.

The bottom line is this.. Bond's is a cheater. Rhoden can't call himself a credible journalist and not acknowledge that. He wants to make it out to be a black white thing because he has nothing left in his arsenal. He tries to make it sound like there is a different standard for McGuire because he is white and one for Bonds because he is black. Hey Mr. Rhoden, we haven't seen McGuire in any public appearances. You know why? Because he would be jeered thoroughly.

The reason for the focus on Bonds is because he breaking a "hallowed" record, not because he is black. If Bonds took the steroids and finished with 600 homeruns, no one would care.

I really wish that Rhoden and other black chattering classes would simply say "Bonds is a Cheater." Why is it so hard for them to do this? Yes you can talk about the bigger steriod problem, yes you can talk about the steriod use of pitchers. But its like they want to absolve him of what he did.

If we use the theory, "we'll everyone does it", then Don Imus should not have been fired since so many black entertainers and comedians use the the "N" or "H" word.

You can call Bonds a cheater and not be racists. You can call Bonds a cheater and not want to lynch blacks. You can call Bonds a cheater and not want Blacks to go to the back of the bus. You can call Bonds a cheater and want to help the poor of Sub Saharan Africa. You can call Bonds a cheater and be in favor of Affirmative Action.

Aug. 09 2007 12:16 PM

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