Black History Month: Week Three

To leave at twenty-nine years old, MVP, having won the championship in ’64 and played for it in ’65. To go into the movies and break the color barrier and be in a sex scene with Raquel Welch. To get to be in The Dirty Dozen with some great actors. To make more money in one year than you damn near made in nine years of football. Everything about it was ingenious.

~ Jim Brown

February 15 – today in 1848, Sarah Roberts barred from white school in Boston. Her father, Benjamin Roberts, filed the first school integration suit on her behalf. Leon Spinks defeated Muhammad Ali for heavyweight boxing championship. Ali regained the title on September 15 and became the person to win the title three times in 1978.

February 16 – Joe Frazier knocked out Jimmy Ellis in the second round of their New York fight and became the world heavyweight boxing champion in 1970.

February 17James Nathaniel Brown, 74, Pro Football Hall of Fame Fullback, Born February 17, 1936 in St. Simons Island, GA, Michael Jeffrey Jordon, Basketball player, former minor league baseball player, Born New York, New York, February 17, 1963.

Once there were giants...

February 18 – today in 1913, the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was incorporated at Howard University.

February 19 – Vonetta Flowers became the first black gold medalist in the history of the Winter Olympic Games. She and partner Jull Brakken won the inagural women’s two-person bobsled event in 2002 at Salt Lake City, Utah.

February 20 – Death of Frederick Douglass (78), Douglass was the leading Black spokesman for almost fifty years. He was a major abolitionist and a lecturer and editor. Charles Wade Barkley, basketball player, born Leeds, AL, February 20, 1963.

February 21 – today in 1987, African Americans in Tampa, Florida rebelled after an African American man was killed by a white police officer while in custody.

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz a.k.a. Malcolm X is assassinated while speaking at The Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan.  He is 39 years old.


In 2002 Vonetta Flowers and Jill Bakken won the gold medal in the women's 2-woman bobsled.

Artificial Contrition

"I'm sorry. My penis isn't."

Here’s what Tiger really wanted to say at his news conference, “Why don’t y’all ease up offa my nutz so I can get back to chasin’ dese ho’s?” 

This wasn’t about Tiger getting right with his wife, family or God. This was about him trying to get right with Nike and the god of money.    I didn’t watch it and don’t intend to.  As soon as I heard he wasn’t taking any questions I knew this was going to be one huge waste of  time.   I did however like this line:  “For the sake of my family, leave my wife and kids alone?”  Hey, Tiger, go find a mirror.  Who torn his drawers and put his business in the street?   Will Tiger and the family ever be able to dine in another pancake house without wondering if Daddy is shtupping the waitress?  When in doubt, blame the media, not your zipper. 

Then again, I’m not among the audience that would be receptive to Tiger’s apology.   I never liked golf or Tiger Woods either before he was revealed as a poonhound second only to Hugh Hefner.   Nothing Tiger said changed my mind that he’s nothing but another spoiled, entitled athlete with lots of money and little imagination.

How many of these public humiliations are we supposed to witness before cynicism and boredom sets in?   It’s not as if every single word of Tiger’s statement hadn’t been written, critiqued, scrutinized, stress-tested, approved and signed off by a team of attorneys, public relations flacks, crisis management consultants and other well-compensated experts trying to put Tiger’s shattered image back together again.    At least we were spared the spectacle of Elin Woods dutifully standing by her man.   Maybe enough women have read the fine print of their marriage license to see nothing requires them to smiling grimly at their own public humiliation.

Oh, and for all of those who say, “It’s a private matter and none of our business,” I agree—to an extent. Private individuals don’t hold “press” conferences to give public apologies. Corporate shills like Mr. Woods do.    

He knew he needed the media to air his mea culpa.   Yeah, the press bitched what a farce it would be for Tiger to read his statement, squirt a few tears and walk away without answering all the questions that have arose since that Thanksgiving night,  but  he and they knew they would be there.   It’s news, right?   The reporters grumbled, wrote their reviews and gave the apology two thumbs up or thumbs down just like movie critics reviewing Leonardo DiCaprio in Shutter Island.    Tiger is no movie star, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to give a performance. 

Was Tiger sorry?  Sure he was.   Sorry he got caught.  Sorry he had to pay millions to keep his wife from leaving his sorry ass.   Sorry he had to pay hush money to skanks.  Sorry he had to go on television and emasculate himself.  Most of all he’s just sorry he can’t chase all the White tail he wants with reckless abandon anymore.  

 The message some people seem to be imparting is its okay if you lie, cheat, screw around and hide like a coward. Just keep entertaining us and it’s all good.

We sure have lowered the bar in our endless need to be entertained and amused.   Character used to matter as much as ability. 

The broken-hearted porn star and the celebrity attorney hug it out.