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N.Y. Post's Mushnick Taking Heat For Racist Comment About Jay-Z, Nets

N.Y. Post's Mushnick Taking Heat For Racist Comment About Jay-Z, Nets

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N.Y. Post columnist is catching heat for comments about Jay-Z, Nets rebranding
N. Y. Post columnist Phil Mushnick continues to feel some heat for a portion of his column last Friday that dealt with the Nets' rebranding effort. He wrote, "As long as the Nets are allowing Jay-Z to call their marketing shots -- what a shock that he chose black and white as the new team colors to stress, as the Nets explained, their new 'urban' home -- why not have him apply the full Jay-Z treatment? Why the Brooklyn Nets when they can be the New York N------s? The cheerleaders could be the Brooklyn B----hes or Hoes. Team logo? A 9 mm with hollow-tip shell casings strewn beneath. Wanna be Jay-Z hip? Then go all the way!" (N.Y. POST, 5/4). In N.Y., Larry McShane noted Mushnick's piece, with its "casual use of the N-word and other images, sounded a sour note with many infuriated critics." Nets G Anthony Morrow wrote on Twitter, "This Clown is a Racist Bigot, this type of animosity is ridiculous and he should be fired." The team in a statement said, "We find the story offensive and inappropriate, and it doesn’t deserve further comment." McShane noted the "mix of urban stereotypes and the racial epithet led many to conclude that Mushnick crossed a line with the column." But Mushnick in a statement "offered no apologies." He said, "I plan to continue to argue against the negative racial and ethnic stereotyping and the promotion of mindless violence, especially to the young and most vulnerable" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/5). Mushnick said in an e-mail, "I don't call black men the N-word; I don't regard young women as bitches and whores; I don't glorify the use of assault weapons and drugs. Jay-Z, on the other hand.....Is he the only NBA owner allowed to call black men N---ers? Jay-Z profits from the worst and most sustaining self-enslaving stereotypes of black-American culture and I'M the racist? Some truths, I guess, are just hard to read, let alone think about" (BOBSBLITZ.com, 5/4).

NO WAY AROUND SOUNDING RACIST
: AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Joe Lucia wrote, "These are some of the most outlandish, obnoxious, reprehensible words you'll ever see written by a columnist. This is just flat out racist commentary" (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 5/4). NEW YORK magazine's Joe Coscarelli wrote Mushnick's article was a "horribly racist assessment" of the team's new logo (NYMAG.com, 5/4). Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said if the comments “were meant seriously, it was inappropriate." Paige: "If it was meant with humor, there was no humor in it. ... I have a problem with using words and trying to mask them the way he did in the column” ("Around The Horn," 5/4). ESPN's Bonnie Bernstein wrote, "This blatantly racist nonsense abt #Nets/Jay-Z by NY Post's Phil Mushnick has rendered me speechless." ESPN.com's Roy S. Johnson wrote, "No doubt @nypost sportswrtr Phil Mushnick should be fired for this… So should all the ig'nant editors who signed off" (TWITTER.com, 5/4). BLACK SPORTS ONLINE's Robert Littal wrote Mushnick "should be fired immediately. ... I don't know if he is racist, but that is one of the most racist pieces I have seen published ever" (BLACKSPORTSONLINE.com, 5/4).

FALLING INTO OLD STEREOTYPES: THINK PROGRESS' Alyssa Rosenberg wrote, "You know what is racist? Reducing a successful businessman with multiple investments to a crude, thuggish stereotype based on absolutely no evidence" (THINKPROGRESS.org, 5/4). ESPN.com's Jemele Hill said of Mushnick, "He has no understanding for who Jay-Z is, what he’s about or the man that he is now. He went to a cheap, convenient, strawman argument to make a tired point that’s unfortunately too often made about hip-hop.” SB Nation's Bomani Jones said Mushnick “has a larger agenda about rap music and the images and how they tie into sports." Jones: "This isn’t the first time he’s gone into this territory. ... We don’t think kind of scrutiny to people who do movies that have violent and problematic images in them. We only do this with rap music, and that’s what stands out to me” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 5/4).

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