Not to be lost in the shuffle of judicial nominations and indictments is Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon's take on the earlier controversy over remarks by Air Force football coach Fisher DeBerry, who expressed a need for more black players since he considers them to be faster than his white players. Critics summarily called for his head but Wilbon believes "DeBerry has nothing to apologize for." He goes on:
Since Jason Sehorn retired from the NFL a season or so ago, how many white starting cornerbacks are there in the NFL? The answer, as far as I can find, is zero. And even if I missed one or two, fact is that a position based largely on speed is 99 percent black in the NFL. That's not the same as making a presumption about the intelligence or character of cornerbacks, black or white. It's fact, jack. DeBerry didn't offer any cultural or empirical evidence about cornerbacks; he just said he would like faster ones, and as the NFL demonstrates, the fastest ones are black. That isn't even debatable.
I've heard some black dissent, but mostly I hear objection being raised by white administrators and media colleagues, a sort of misplaced white liberal guilt, if you ask me....
Wilbon also addresses Hank Aaron's "very disturbing" feelings about the Houston Astros not having any black players on the team:
That's because we, black American men, have turned away from baseball. Overwhelmingly, we've cast our lot with basketball and football, and that's it. Only 9 percent of the players on Major League rosters on Opening Day were black and American.... But nobody's keeping black folks from playing baseball now, except mostly ourselves. The peer pressure is to give up everything in life for basketball. The percentage of blacks in the minor leagues, reportedly, is smaller than the percentage in the big leagues. But this isn't 1944.... But what should never be suggested, not by Aaron or anybody else, is that baseball resort to some quota to have more black major leaguers.... How would it go down if somebody suggested two or three spots on every NBA team be reserved for a white player?
48 minutes ago