The mercurial, often misaligned, and debatably insane Terrell Owens played the race card today in regard to Dez Bryant’s sideline “outburst” — Owens wondered aloud if race had anything to do with the media’s lack of attention on Tom Brady’s well-documented sidelines tirades versus it’s intense and derailing focus on Bryant’s sideline demeanor in yesterday’s loss to Detroit. He also made note of how he thought Garrett, Romo and Witten tried to run him out of Dallas, so I won’t give him too much credit here.
But he brings up a debatable point.
The factual differences between Dez and Tom Brady are that Tom is white, a quarterback, older and has won 3 SuperBowls. There are a lot of suspected double standards surrounding Tom Brady vs. everyone else, but I think the media’s perception of Brady’s outbursts vs. Bryant’s is that the former is a proven winner — so he’s entitled to his outbursts. At least, that’s the assumption. I can’t think of a more reasonable explanation for why one player is demonized for his sideline demeanor while the other isn’t.
If being a SuperBowl winner gives you a free pass to act like a maniac on the sidelines, you have to wonder — if it were Witten, who hasn’t won anything, would the media reaction be the same as it was for Dez?
In fact, wasn’t Witten losing his cool on the sidelines yesterday? Whether it was a reaction to Dez or not is irrelevant because the problem the media has with Dez is in regard to his lack of professionalism/control of emotions. Is Witten not guilty of the same by reacting the way he did?
So many double standards and biases in our perception of people, especially athletes — and though it’s hard to prove that this one is racially motivated, it makes you wonder.
Most people will scoff at the idea of even debating this point, because folks are inherently weary and dismissive when race is an anchor for discussion — but it’s something that deserves a deeper look.