Somehow, since this whole Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin story broke last week, the conversation seems to have shifted from the subject of racism to the subject of bullying and the overly machismo culture of NFL locker rooms. Is this discussion important to have? Of course it is. But to be quite honest, I still am not over the racism thing.
As you probably know, Incognito allegedly left a voicemail message for his teammate in which he called him a “half-n*****.” That is a word that should not be in anyone’s lexicon. If it is there, if it’s possible for you to reach down inside your brain and pull that word out when you’re angry or upset, something is wrong. Period. You may not be a terrible person. Maybe you’re just a flawed person. It’s not for me to judge.
That being said, “flawed” probably doesn’t cut it when it comes to describing the character of Richie Incognito. And, sadly, the dude is hardly alone in being a huge racist d-bag—a fact to which today’s list will testify.
Before getting started, however, I should make one clarification: this is not a list of the most racist people in sports history. If that were the case, it would probably be made up entirely of soccer fans and baseball players from the 1930s. No, this is a list of the some the most notable racist d-bags in sports history. See the difference?
Okay then, let’s get started…
We kick off our list with two people just don't understand what that whole "Olympic spirit" thing is all about. And we know this about them because they expressed their racially intolerant views on Twitter.
Papachristou, of course, was the Greek track and field athlete who got kicked out off the Greek team for making a racist tweet about the number of Africans living in her country. Morganella, meanwhile, is the Swiss soccer player who got kicked off the team for tweeting that all South Koreans were mentally retarded.
Nice work, guys. Maybe next time wait until the Olympics are over before being racists on Twitter. Or, you know, just stop being racist.
15. Tie: Voula Papachristou & Michel Morganella
Rob Parker of the Detroit Free Press is black. As you probably know, Robert Griffin III is black. So surely Parker wouldn't say anything racist about RG3, right?
Well, I guess that depends on who you ask. In December of 2012, Parker went on ESPN's First Take and said this about Griffin:
Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother? ... He's not real. OK, he's black, he kind of does the thing, but he's not really down with the cause. He's not one of us. He's kind of black but he's not really, like, the guy you want to hang out with because he's off to something else.
Now, some people say that's not racist. But those people are wrong. Whenever you judge a person based on his race—whether you're saying he's too much or too little of something, that's racist.
14. Rob Parker
In February of 2012, during the height of Linsanity (remember that?), Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock made an indecent tweet insinuating that Jeremy Lin had a small penis because he is Asian.
As you can imagine, that drew a the ire of Asians (and all non-racists) everywhere. So Whitlock apologized...kind of. He said, "I debased a feel-good sports moment. For that, I'm truly sorry." So he apologized to sports fans for ruining sports, but not to Asian men for insulting their manhood.
Whitlock's reward? He got rehired by ESPN.
13. Jason Whitlock
I suppose some might say calling the owner of the Washington Redskins a racist d-bag is "controversial." But I'm fine with that. Owning a football franchise whose nickname is a racial slur that an entire race of people find hurtful—and then refusing to change that nickname because it's "historic"—is controversial.
Some people, of course, say the call for the Redskins to change their name is just another example of the PC police going too far. Are you one of them? That's okay. I don't want to start a fight with you. I don't think you're a bad person. I just think you're wrong, just like you think I am wrong. (And I hope you don't think I'm a bad person—at least, not for this.)
When it comes to Snyder, however, there's a different level of accountability. He is in charge, and he has to power to correct wrongs. That he doesn't is, to me, a disgrace.
12. Dan Snyder
Floyd Mayweather a racist? Really?
Yep. Here's what he had to say about Manny Pacquiao back in 2010:
As soon as we come off vacation, we're going to cook that little yellow chump. We ain't worried about that. So they ain't gotta worry about me fighting the midget. Once I kick the midget ass, I don't want you all to jump on my d**k. So you all better get on the bandwagon now. ... Once I stomp the midget, I'll make that mother f**ker make me a sushi roll and cook me some rice.
As you can see, Mayweather isn't just racist. He's also ignorant. (You do realize that Japan—where sushi comes from—and the Philippines are the not the same place, right?)
Of course, given Floyd's propensity for beating women, being a racist might actually be the least of his character flaws.
11. Floyd Mayweather
Apparently Riley Cooper's teammates forgave him for his racist rant at a Kenny Chesney concert this summer. And that's nice. I believe in redemption, and I hold out hope that Cooper is now or will soon be a better person. I really do.
However, you can't unsay the things he said. And that gets him a spot on our list.
10. Riley Cooper
Oh, come on, you didn't forget the whole Sergio Garcia-Tiger Woods thing already, did you?
The two were feuding after Garcia accused Woods of intentionally interrupting his swing at the Players Championship this summer. Then in June, when a reporter asked Garcia if he'd be inviting Tiger out to dinner during the U.S. Open, Sergio dropped a bombshell: "We'll have him round every night. We'll serve fried chicken."
Garcia later apologized for his racially charged reference to an otherwise delicious food, and some people may have forgiven him. But nobody forgot—especially golf fans in Philadelphia.
9. Sergio Garcia
Oh, and speaking of racist references to fried chicken when talking about Tiger Woods, let us not forget the inventor of this sub-genre of racist douchebaggery: Fuzzy Zoeller. His discourse on Tiger Woods at the '97 Masters was a masterpiece of racial intolerance.
Who would have thought a guy named "Fuzzy" would have so little class?
8. Fuzzy Zoeller
Sadly, this vile case of racism and homophobia probably escaped your attention.
Back in May, the student radio station at Columbia University, WKCR, went on Twitter and captured an entire smorgasbord of offensive tweets from members of the Columbia Lions football team. Then they created a little gallery of these images on imgur and alerted the world to its existence.
Again, this Columbia. These kids are supposed to be smart.
I'm sure you'll be happy to know, however, that the Columbia University offered "sincere apologies" and vowed to "address" this "inexcusable behavior."
If you'd like to see the rest of the Tweets, you can do so here.
7. The Columbia University Football Team
There are so many example of the late former owner of the Cincinnati Reds being racist that it's kind of hard to choose just one as an example. So I'll choose several.
There was the time she called Eric Davis and Dave Parker her "million-dollar n*****s." Then there was the time a Reds employee overheard her say "sneaky goddamn Jews are all alike." And, you know, there was the time she said Adolf Hitler wasn't that bad.
That Marge Schott, she was a character, wasn't she?
6. Marge Schott
What? The younger brother of Italy's controversial former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said something controversial? This guy, who looks like Al Pacino in The Devil's Advocate? "That's shocking," said no one.
Anyway, yes, Silvio Berlusconi's little bro Paolo is the Vice President of AC Milan. And last February, when the club purchased the contract of one Mario Balotelli, he referred to the striker as "the family's little n*****." Seriously. And then he defended himself, saying he meant it affectionately.
5. Paolo Berlusconi
When he was with playing with the Braves, Rocker offended just about every minority group plus the entire city of New York by going on a racist rant about kids with purple hair, gays, single mothers, and foreigners in a Sports Illustrated interview. Then, a few years later with the Cleveland Indians, he showed he was still all class when he referred to one of his teammates black as "a fat monkey."
This guy is just pure douche. There's not way around it.
4. John Rocker
Legendary sports commentator and Las Vegas Bookmaker Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder spent 12 years talking football on CBS's Sunday morning show, The NFL Today. That sting ended ubruptly, however, when Jimmy made the very unwise decision to expound on his views as to why black athletes were superior to white athletes:
The black is a better athlete to begin with because he's been bred to be that way, because of his high thighs and big thighs that goes up into his back, and they can jump higher and run faster because of their bigger thighs and he's bred to be the better athlete because this goes back all the way to the Civil War when during the slave trade … the slave owner would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have a big black kid.
No, really kids. This guy actually said this on television.
3. Jimmy the Greek
If you saw 42, the film about Jackie Robinson, then you might know Chapman as the d-bag manager of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1947 who shouted all those awful things at Jackie Robinson during his first year in MLB. But he wasn't the only noteworthy antagonist of Robinson. A majority of the 1947 St. Louis Cardinals actually threatened to boycott the season if the National League let Robinson play for the Dodgers, and that effort was spearheaded by Hall of Famer (and hero of the 1946 World Series) Enos Slaughter.
Of course, the Cardinals player did not boycott their games. But Slaughter would later spike Robinson while sliding into second base. You know, because he was a racist prick.
2. Enos Slaughter & Ben Chapman
Ron Atkinson is a former English soccer manager whose coached Manchester United, Atletico Madrid, and Aston Villa, among other clubs.
However, it wasn't as a manager that he ran into trouble. No, it was as an announcer. In 2004, just six years after stepping into the broadcast booth, this douchebag's career was effectively ended when he made a ridiculously vile, racist remark when he thought the broadcast was over.
Speaking of Chelsea player Marcel Desailly, Atkinson said, "he is what is known in some school as f**king lazy n*****."
Atkinson obviously apologized and tried to claim his remarks were a terrible aberation from his character. And later on a former black player of his (Carlton Palmer) defended Atkinson's character. That's something.
It's not enough, however. So, yes, Atkinson tops our list.
1. Ron Atkinson
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