When Lebron James came out and made it public that he was going to play for the Miami Heat and leave Cleveland, he instantly became one of the most hated athletes in the world. His jerseys were being burned daily and his popularity was at an all time low. But when James told Soledad O’Brien that he believed that some of the hate he was receiving was because of racism, everyone went quiet. We like to believe that racism does not play a role in sports, I mean hey, we have a black president for petes sake. Many critics of James said that it was his antics, and the way he treated the situation that made him a villain. This idea of being a villain in the sports world inspired me to research the most hated athletes of all time.
I came upon a list of the top 25 most hated athletes of all time published by the website Bleacher Report which receives over 20 million monthly readers and boasts the ranking of number 4 site for sports media. So, lets take a look at how many athletes on the top 25 most hated atletes of all time were black. Heres how the numbers break down, 17 Black athletes and 7 White athletes and 1 Spanish athlete. These numbers are pretty consistent in other lists as well. So why are black athletes so prevalent on these lists. It could be argued that there are more high profile black athletes, but I believe that racism is not dead, and that racism effects how the public views athletes. White athletes who commit crimes and cheat are often forgiven and said to have made a mistake, while black athletes who commit the same mistakesare criminals and hated by the public. The sad truth is that it is easier for people to hate black athletes then it is to hate a white athlete.
“Golf has no place for any form of racism.” Apparently when the PGA heads made this claim, they had no intentions of backing it up. The former caddy of golfer Tiger Woods, Steve Williams, directed a racial slur at Woods during a caddies party earlier this week. While this slur was made as an attempt at humor, it is nonetheless unacceptable, especially with the said policies I earlier stated right? Wrong. The PGA has made no actions or attempts to punish the caddy for his actions. While many members of the golf community have expressed their disgust with Williams actions, the governing body, the PGA, has done nothing. Golfer Fred Couples was quoted as saying that, if Williams had been his caddy, he would have been fired.
Golf, as most people are aware is a predominantly white game, very few non white golfers are present in the game today. If the PGA has any hopes to change this mostly white field, then this is something that they should have acted on. By letting this racist slur go, they are projecting the image that they dont really care, at least not enough to punish Williams. When people who are a part of the golf world are making these comments and projecting those images, it does not make the game seem like it is welcoming to all races. Nice going PGA, apparently racism does have a place in your game, or maybe you just dont care.