Washington Post Columnist Mike Wise Stirs Controversy by Blasting Indiana Pacers’ Pre-Game Music
Well, Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise certainly has stepped in it.
Wise was in Indiana to cover the Wizards’ game against the Pacers last night, and while spending some time in the home team’s locker room before the game, he published a series of tweets ripping the Pacers for blasting Tyga on the stereo.
The problem, of course, was not the fact that Wise thinks Tyga sucks. A lot of people think Tyga sucks. The problem was Wise’s choice of words, the overall tone of the critique, and the fact that he basically called on the league to tell the players what they are and are not allowed to listen to.
If Wise had stopped at the first tweet, he would have been fine. That was just a pointed observation.
It’s the “my bad, dawgs” that is really problematic. That’s what really sets the tone and determines the way people interpret everything else he has to say. From that point on, Wise sounds like a condescending asshole who wants to tell grown men what music they are and are not allowed to listen to.
The debate over the use of offensive language in rap music has been going on for over 20 years. If Wise wants to stir that up again, that’s fine. In fact, it’s even warranted. An NBA locker room is a workplace, and if you can’t call a female co-worker “bitch,” why should you be able to listen to music that calls all women “bitches”?
Unfortunately, this particular critique does more harm than good. Wise comes off as somebody who doesn’t understand and is insensitive to black culture. And he just doesn’t get it. He thinks people are mad because he’s a hardliner about the n-word.
Mike, dude, bro, buddy, dawg—you mocked a perfectly harmless piece of vernacular, and it made your whole rant come off as anti-black. It was childish and uncalled for, and your refusal to see that is ruining your reputation. Just apologize.