Why Dez Bryant's Anger Problem Is Not Race-Related


At ESPN, Jason Whitlock tackles the notorious angry outbursts of Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys. His "inability to control his emotions is not a racial issue," he writes. "It's a family dysfunction issue."

The largely well-intentioned defenders of Dez Bryant are primarily driven by concerns related to race and racism. They're misguided, and perhaps so are many of Bryant's harshest critics.

Dez Bryant's inability to control his emotions is not a racial issue. It's a family dysfunction issue.

We've known since his earliest days at Oklahoma State that Bryant grew up amid absolute chaos. Born to a 14-year-old mother and a father in his 40s, Bryant entered the universe predisposed to a life of instability. In 1997, when Dez was 8, police arrested his mother for selling crack cocaine, and the courts sentenced her to four years in a state penitentiary. She served 18 months. She is still on probation for a drug charge from 2009 and will be until 2019.

His junior high and high school teachers told reporters that Bryant was prone to emotional outbursts. As an adult, he has run afoul of the law, including an allegedly violent confrontation with his mother.

As I detailed in my previous column about the false equivalency of comparing Bryant to Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, there is a reason Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spent lavishly on a team of "advisers" to help Bryant function professionally on and off the field. There is a reason Dolphins executive Jeff Ireland crassly probed Bryant about his mother's background before the 2010 draft.

Read Jason Whitlock's entire piece at ESPN.  

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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