Whenever I’m ready to forget that different standards apply to whites and blacks in our society, some privileged prick finds a way to remind me that being black is indeed a full-time job. This privileged prick? We’ll just call him Brett Favre. Favre is the paradigm of white privilege in professional sports. The way sports writers salivate at the mention of Favre’s name, you’d think he spent the off-season turning water into wine. I will have you know that he spent this off-season the same way he did the last 3 ones – keeping his teammates in limbo. Favre has had more fake retirements than Jay-Z and Scarface put together.
The latest example saw the Vikings send three players on the team’s private jet to woo back the 40-year old QB for his 20th season in the NFL. Minnesota also offered Favre more money for his inconveniences. Are you fucking serious? Imagine how the media would react if this had been LeBron James or Vince Young.
It may seem like I’m comparing apples and oranges but look closely and you’ll notice the common thread. LeBron’s grandiose display of narcissism and Brett’s bazillion retirement announcements are rooted in the same desire to hog the spotlight. Both guys crave attention, period. Similarly, the media’s reaction is grounded in racial overtones. When a black player like LeBron does it, he gets demonized for his attitude. When Favre does the same thing, it shows that he’s passionate about the game.
There’s no denying that No. 4 is one of the best gunslingers in the game, but miss me with that passion bullshit. What? LeBron doesn’t have passion for winning? He made a decision based on his desire to win and people were calling for his head the next day.
It’s not just the reaction to Favre’s off-season dealings that hints at double standards. His on-field mistakes are also interpreted as Gunslinger Favre being himself. Favre throws an interception under pressure (he’s the only player to throw two overtime picks in two playoff games) and that’s seen as part of his genius. But if a black QB throws a pick, the only logical explanation is that he’s boneheaded. When Favre admitted that he was addicted to Vicodin, Jim Mora reasoned that good ol’ Brett did it for his team. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard this argument used in favor of a black player in any sport.
To be fair, sports writers dig the Favre narrative for reasons that extend beyond race. He’s a likable guy and he backs up his antics with impeccable on-field performance. Still, it’s impossible to overlook the blatant double standards. I’m going to end this on a positive note by saying that I hope Brett Favre throws 7 TDs and 33 interceptions this season.