Air Force football coach Fisher DeBerry is being unfairly pilloried by the media for some poorly-worded remarks he made concerning his team's loss on Saturday to TCU. He's become the Larry Summers of college football. Here is the full text of DeBerry's statement:
"It just seems to be that way, that Afro-American kids can run very, very well. That doesn't mean that Caucasian kids and other descents can't run, but it's very obvious to me they run extremely well," DeBerry said in remarks first broadcast Tuesday night by KWGN-TV in Denver.
I think DeBerry was trying to say that his team, overwhelmingly white, was slower than TCU, and, I grant you, he should have just said that, and not brought race into it at all. But the AP and others, like ESPN's usually even-handed Pat Forde, are piling on DeBerry as though he's Robert Byrd . . . oops, bad example, but you get my point.
Here's what Forde had to say about DeBerry's remarks; see if you can spot the inference that isn't there:
So it's not like DeBerry was inventing something here -- or even saying something many coaches don't talk about in private. But given the decades of wrongly stereotyping black athletes as physically superior and mentally inferior -- run fast, think slow -- the coach was walking into a minefield.
"[R]un fast, think slow?" He definitely said the first part, but he never said nor inferred the second. That's what
Golden Boy douchebag Paul Hornung said, and he was rightly lambasted. And, had DeBerry pulled a Hornung, he'd deserve even more than the ration of shit he's gotten.
Second, there is nothing novel about the observation that African Americans are faster than caucasions. Look at the racial breakdown of any professional football team. Or the racial breakdown of a world-class 100m or 200m sprint final. And the list goes on. What DeBerry said is no more racist or controversial than saying that Kenyans and Ethiopians kick the caucasion world's collective ass in every distance footrace from the 1,500m to the marathon. BFD.
The only other observation I would make, and if anyone wants to talk me off the ledge you're free to do so, is that the AP (first linked article) is purposely villifying DeBerry because he's a white Christian man. I can't see any other explanation for including five paragraphs about an old, unrelated incident involving DeBerry's religious beliefs, i.e., hanging a Team Jesus Christ banner in the Air Force locker room. Poor form by DeBerry? Sure. But how is that relevant now? I think the AP just wanted to point at DeBerry and say, "See what an idiot he is? On top of being a bigot, he believes in God! What a buffoon!" What a bunch of dicks.