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Old 09-25-2008, 05:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
Dr. J. Naismith
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Edge of Sports: Leave Josh Alone

This is great read from Dave Zirin regarding Josh Howard and the harsh criticism he's had to encounter over the last number of years.

Here's a little snip it of the piece, but click the link at the bottom to read the whole thing.

Originally Posted by Edge of Sports
Well, count me out. Count me out as someone who will pile on Josh Howard. Howard is someone who said, during his 2004 senior year at Wake Forest University, that the war in Iraq "was all about oil." He then saw his draft stock plummet to the point where he was picked after no-talents like Reece Gaines and Ndudi Ebe. I saw one scout even call Howard a risky pick saying that "Anti-war views may reflect rumored erratic behavior." Count me out as someone who thinks anti war views are erratic.

Count me out of the fraternity of sports writers who under a kabuki pantomime of liberalism will "defend Howard's right to say what he wants" and then crush him for opening his mouth. Take J.A. Adande of ESPN.com. He starts his anti-Howard piece by writing, "What makes America the best country on the planet is that you are free to stand or sit for the national anthem, to sing along or to yell in anger at the government as much as you want without getting tossed in jail for your political beliefs." What claptrap. Someone needs to send Adande a copy of the Patriot Act. Or maybe he could ask the people who attempted to exercise their Constitutional rights to “yell in anger” at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN, only to be subject to "pre-emptive" raids and prison. Maybe he could ask the journalists who were beaten and arrested by police for attempting to report on it.

But then Adande continues:

"Howard, the Dallas Mavericks forward coming off a year in which he publicly admitted his penchant for smoking marijuana and defiantly partied away during the NBA playoffs, has a termite-ridden soapbox."

Yes, Howard admitted that he is an NBA player who smokes weed. Stop the presses. He also celebrated his own birthday after a playoff game. Adande must think it's a slippery slope: weed, birthday parties, treason. If Howard’s soapbox is “termite-ridden” then Adande’s argument is a house of cards.

This garbage is exactly why it's so hard to get athletes to open up about what they think. Reporters are seen as there to mock any ideas they have beyond "Drink Gatorade… and play one game at a time." Count me out of this smirking and all-too-racist game of journalistic gotcha.
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