- Josh Howard, in a charity flag football game, made some off-hand remarks during the national anthem about "how he don't celebrate that shit," because he's black and muttered something about Obama. (Note: I am paraphrasing, as the video has since been removed from YouTube)
- Old, white, stodgy media types react with disgust and horror, and the story gets national attention.
- White liberal hipster bloggers (how's that for redundancy?), some of whose reading I thoroughly enjoy, take to the other extreme, expressing predictable outrage at White America in full support of Howard's thoughtless comments. Stuff White People Like could not have written this part of the situation more perfectly.
I consider myself a patriotic American. I love this country, I think it is the best country in the world, and I would like to see it remain that way. I have my political views, and I do my damnedest not to discuss them in public forums, or with strangers, because, really, what good has ever come of that? I recognize the utter non-necessity that is the National Anthem prior to sporting events, and yet, I still enjoy it and honor the flag.
That being said, I have no problem with Howard's comments. Were they stupid? Yeah...anyone with a modicum of fame should realize they shouldn't EVER say anything like that in front of a rolling camera unless they want controversy to follow. But were they disrespectful? Not really.
He made some off-the-cuff remarks around his boys. Ever been there, media types and hipster bloggers? You're talking about what illegal-in-Utah things you would do to the blond co-ed across the bar? You just let loose and drop a *B* or *C* bomb in reference to your girlfriend or boss? Ever tell off-colored jokes before? (If your answer is no, you are either a fucking liar or an enormous pussy) That's how I viewed these Howard comments. Saying something stupid he probably didn't mean in front of his boys. No harm, no foul.
While Howard has certainly been one to SPEAK THE TRUTH before, I don't see this as some massive political statement. He has always stood for the national anthem before Mavs games, and if you don't think he will on October 30th, well I've got a bridge in eastern Cuba you might be interested in.
So, use this as ammo against "anti-American" Josh Howard or White America if you must. Throw around hyperbolic terms such as"unpatriotic," "thug," "High-Tech Lynching" and use this minor story as a springboard to make blanket statements that "America is a racist country" and accuse John McCain of releasing racist ads. Or for once, feel free to take the high road and ignore this non-story, because Mark Cuban and Josh Howard seem to be the only ones doing that right now.
(Addendum: I wish the focus had been more on this doozy. Uptight NBA staffers, smoking in a hotel room, local girls, apparent flushing-of-herb, and B-Easy refusing to rat out his buddies. Reminds me of many a similar trip to fraternity national conventions or leadership symposiums, all of which made for excellent stories down the road. Of course at the rate we're going, the focus would have been all on "out-of-control NBA young'uns" or "why wasn't Kevin Love's room searched?")