Sports commentator Jason Whitlock apparently believes African-Americans have more to fear from lightning than police shootings.
After two tours of duty with ESPN, Jason Whitlock — the former Kansas City Star columnist — is back with Fox Sports. He also operates a blog called J.School.
With Colin Cowherd, another ESPN expatriate, Whitlock is the co-host of Speak For Yourself, a new offering on Fox Sports 1 airing weekdays at 6 p.m. Eastern time, which may be the TV channel’s answer to ESPN’s popular Pardon the Interruption.
Another ESPN personality, Skip Bayless, recently left his perch as Stephen A. Smith’s sparring partner on First Take to jump to FS1. Max Kellerman, formerly of Sports Nation, has replaced Bayless opposite Smith.
Speak For Yourself is “a discussion and opinion-based studio program that covers all the headlines from across the world of sports,” the Fox Sports website explains.
The discussion of police misconduct on Thursday evening actually started when Jason Whitlock and his counterpart were bemoaning the lack of authenticity in sports because of political correctness. Although both men made it abundantly obvious that they are not on the Trump train, they praised the “authentic” Tim Tebow for agreeing to speak at the Republican National Convention (although Tebow subsequently disavowed making an appearance in Cleveland). See clip below.
You are 5x as likely to be struck by lightning as to be an unarmed person of any race killed by police in the United States. #staywoke— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) July 17, 2016
Whitlock, whose family experienced a tragedy arising from police brutality, declared that the police misconduct coverage that dominates social media and the news media is a lie. In so doing, he seemed to be pushing back against the Black Lives Matter movement.
“The conversation we keep having about police violence is one of most inauthentic conversations in the history of America. As an African-American, again, I’ve had problems with the police, and my family lost someone we loved dearly to excessive police force. But the conversation about police brutality is a lie and dishonest. You’re more likely as African-Americans to be damn near struck by lightning than to be killed by the police, and no one can have that conversation. And we’re killing ourselves in our own communities, and no one can have that conversation. So if authentic people are attracted to Donald Trump’s stupid authenticity, I’m not going to diss ’em for it because I damn near get where they’re coming from.”
With opinions all over the map, Jason Whitlock in the past has been accused by his detractors of playing the race card, as well as being a sellout and an Uncle Tom.
His latest comments on Speak For Yourself have gained traction on Twitter
“Over the years, Whitlock has taken several unpredictable and often unpopular positions, especially when racial issues intersect with sports,” the New York Times detailed in September, 2010.
Whitlock left ESPN the second time in the fall of 2015, several months after losing his gig as editor-in-chief of the long-form sports journalism site The Undefeated, which has been described as the “black Grantland.” The Undefeated finally launched officially on May 17, 2016, although the sports network shut down Grantland in late October, 2015, five months after the departure of high-profile editor Bill Simmons.
In April, shortly after Kobe Bryant’s final game, Jason Whitlock accused the Los Angeles Lakers superstar of being a selfish fraud and that his final game, in which Bryant poured in 60 points, was “hot garbage.”
In March, Jason Whitlock claimed that the St. Louis Rams drafted Michael Sam because the NFL wanted to engage in a politically correct stunt rather than for his defensive skills on the gridiron.
Whitlock has also gone on record claiming that Kobe Bryant will come out of retirement and play for the New York Knicks in the 2016-2017 NBA season.
Rural black people like Jason Whitlock are the terrifying ones. They never faced urban struggle and are quickly jumping to ally of ALM crowd— Austin (@Austin_DFS) July 17, 2016
In a prior broadcast, Jason Whitlock said he understood both sides, while reacting to the Minnesota Lynx Black Lives Matter T-shirt controversy.
Do you agree or disagree with Jason Whitlock’s views on police shootings in relation to the African-American community?
[Photo by John Amis/AP]