After Ezekiel Elliott exposed a women’s breast at the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day parade, the hot takes and opinions came en masse.
Some writers considered whether Elliott being black factors into his culpability.
If New England tight end Rob Gronkowski, who’s white, did this, we’d just be celebrating his party boy persona, an Orlando column read.
Grayson Allen, who’s white, would be blasted for such behavior, a Fox Sports take said with the opposite opinion.
Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated’s MMQB.com said talking about race misses the point.
“The hottest takes posited how the sports media landscape would cover Elliott if he were white, with commenters cherry-picking examples of white athletes and imagining scenarios that ranged across the full spectrum of sports media world views on race,” Klemko said.
“It’s an interesting enough question to ask. But it’s not the first question to ask. Race shouldn’t be our go-to topic of debate when athletes under investigation by their employer for domestic violence are seen and filmed objectifying women.”
Klemko said making this a conversation about race goes further than just missing the point – it further exacerbates a culture of mistreating women.
“The easy thing to do is sidestep the big issue–misogyny–and toss up a lazy racial argument…” Klemko said. “The hard thing to do is to confront the notion of why a prominent athlete accused of domestic violence would have the gall to stand on a rooftop bar in a crowd of people and expose a woman’s breast, apparently without her consent. …
“The question to ask yourself is if it’s reasonable to assume that this is the first time Ezekiel Elliott has mistreated or devalued a woman, publicly or privately. What if the culture of violence against women without repercussion, the kind of culture that blossomed at Baylor, is closer to the norm than the exception? Would it matter then, whether Ezekiel Elliott was black or white?”