You might have noticed this charming little fellow popping up in the corner of your screen during the 2nd quarter of New England’s blowout win over Denver. No, that’s not a decorative lawn jockey, placed there by ESPN to bring a smile to your face. That is what appears to be a Patriot fan wearing blackface and an afro wig. Good God, New England fans. You make this job too easy sometimes.
(Aw, man…no…just…aw, man…)
At first I thought it might just be an actual black guy. But then I remembered, no, this is Foxborough.
Somewhere in Los Angeles, Ken Rosenthal is feeling like Woodward and Bernstein when Nixon resigned. Somewhere in Medford, someone named Sully is posting on a message board blaming this on ESPN’s tint levels on last night’s broadcast. Somewhere in Milwaukee, C.C. Sabathia just said to himself, “Oh, hell no.” And somewhere in heaven, Baby Jesus sheds a single tear.
Now, I thought I was being sharp-eyed when I caught this last night, but apparently I wasn’t the only one with my racist-dar antenna up. Thanks to KISSING SUZY KOLBER for posting a proper screencap, if my photo of a paused TIVO screen isn’t good enough for you. It does seem like this has the potential to be the blog world’s next teapot tempest. But should it be?
Is there something wrong with a fan supporting Randy Moss so much that he wants to emulate him in every way? (Upon closer inspection, this might be the Official MossMask™, which makes it slightly less racist and slightly more bizarre.) Is this really different than wearing a Randy Moss jersey? Is there something inherently offensive about blackface?
(Why so serious?)
Yes, yes and yes. Picture yourself showing up to a Chris Brown concert in blackface,
wearing a David Ortiz jersey and blackface to a Red Sox game, or voting for Barack Obama on election day in blackface. Do these sound like things you, or a rational, educated human being would do in the 21st century? No, your actions clearly indicate your support of the person in question. It’s unnecessary to emulate their skin color.
Now let’s talk about that afro, which Moss hasn’t sported since ‘06. It’s one thing to be racist, but another to be behind in fashion.
[UPDATE: From a game last season,via the GLOBE]:
Forty-five children from West Virginia were in attendance at the game, courtesy of Moss, who annually pays for children from his home state to attend an NFL game. The group sat in section 344 and they were all wearing Moss masks and sporting replicas of his unbraided Afro.
I assume that looked a little something like this: