sucker punch or punching a sucker? sport and the influence of racial perspective

Oregon University running back LeGarrette Blount has earned a name for himself in the media these days, but not for his rushing prowess.  Many have already seen the video clip of Blount punching Boise State’s Byron Hout in the face at the end of Oregon’s defeat, but many have not seen what precipitated Blount’s so-called “sucker punch”.  The cable news networks have repeatedly shown the punch, but have utterly failed to show why the punch happened in the first place.  Take a look at this full video clip and listen closely to the commentary provided by the ESPN analysts.

If you watch what led up to Blount’s punch, it should be clear to any observer that Boise State’s Hout ran up to Blount as he was walking away, said something to him and laid his hands on Blount’s shoulder pads.  Hout turns away from Blount and Blount lays him out with a right jab to the chin.  Now, it goes without saying that it would have been preferable that Blount didn’t react the way he did to the taunting (and it has cost him the rest of the season), but what is striking is how Hout’s unsportsman-like taunting was completely excused and/or ignored by the white-dominated news media and sports establishment!  This is where the race of the players comes in as a big factor (Blount is Black, Hout is white), even though, as usual, many white people will deny race plays a part at all in the perception of what happened.

In the white supremacist paradigm, the Black male is immediately perceived by most whites as being out of control, animalistic, irrational, and most importantly, guilty regardless of the situation; this case is no exception.  The fact that none of the cable news networks deemed it important to show what precipitated Blount’s punch shows that in the eyes of many white folk, Hout’s provocation was irrelevant.  In a world based on white supremacy, there is never any justification for any Black male punching a white guy.

There also has been no talk of punishing Hout for his horrible post-game sportsmanship because in a white supremacist society, white men are rarely ever seen as guilty of anything if a Black male is involved.  Hout’s “punishment”:  Boise State’s coach plans to spend time with Hout this week to discuss what he learned from this incident!  Time and time again, we see white males let off the hook and excuses made for their bad behavior while the book is typically thrown at Black males.

Even though Hout is getting off with no punishment, I hope he enjoys the fact that hundreds of thousands of people have seen him getting knocked the fuck out – as far as I’m concerned, he deserved it.


~ by free71 on September 5, 2009.

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