In the PC world of “everyone gets an award,” the Winter Olympics feel like a nod to those who choose to compete in an extravagant display of leisure activities.
And don’t get me wrong. I see those few black faces sticking out of the avalanche of whiteness, but even that isn’t enough to hold me. Hell, even Bryant Gumbel considers the Winter Olympics too white for him! On his HBO Real Sports show back in 2006, Gumbel said of the games: “Count me among those who don’t like them and won’t watch them. In fact, I figure when Thomas Paine said, ‘These are the times that try men’s souls,’ he must have been talking about the start of another Winter Olympics.” But brother Gumbel wasn’t done there: “Try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention.”
And it will continue to be this way unless one day it suddenly begins to snow in Ethiopia or the Winter Olympic committee decides to build a luge facility in the Dominican Republic. Until then, I will continue my protest against the “Fabulous Display of Worldy Whiteness.” I will also continue my reign as the rolled-up-sock basketball champ of North Capitol Street, since both games hold about as much weight, depending on where one falls on the socioeconomic spectrum.
Stephen A. Crockett Jr. is an associate editor at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.