Thursday, November 18, 2004

Racial Chip on Tony Dungy's Shoulder

Much has been made about ABC's Monday Night Football lead-in this week, involving Nicollete Sheridan and Terrell Owens. Sheridan, a star of Desperate Housewives, bears all in her attempt to seduce Owens in the Eagles' locker room. Owens, who is black, was reluctant at first. He then agrees to skip the game after Sheridan, who is white, jumps into his arms.

Much can be made about ABC's attempt to promote their new series. Most importantly, why do young football fans have to be exposed to seduction? Why did Sheridan have to get completely naked in this skit? With this backdrop, any guesses as to what offended the Indianapolis Colt's headcoach about the skit? Dungy found the skit to be racially offensive. He also said the skit perpetuated the idea that players are "sexual predators".

Let's see, Tony, who was the "predator" in the skit? The white woman. Who got completely naked in the skit? The white woman. Yet somehow Dungy thinks that the black man was exploited. The absurdity in Dungy's conclusion reveals just how big of a chip this man carries on his shoulder. A white woman was the aggressor, a white woman got naked, a white woman jumped in a black man's arms. But showing the black man simply consenting is racially offensive to blacks and to athletes. Were the roles reversed, and a Halle Berry bared all in her attempts to seduce Payton Manning, you can bet that Dungy wouldn't have been crying about the skit being offensive to whites.

Perhaps Dungy should open his eyes to the real problem in the skit - the portrayal of casual sex on prime time network TV, and the portrayal of a white woman as a desperate tramp.

No comments: