For the record, I’m not a Colts fan. I am, however, a Peyton Manning fan simply because I like the way he plays the game, and to me, his off-the-field ads/endorsements are funny. Plus, the few times I’ve had the opportunity to come in contact with him, he’s seemed genuine. And, I’m a big Tony Dungy fan. Aside from being a Super Bowl winning coach, I believe he’s a man of values and stature who should be a role model for men of all races to aspire to be like.
But that’s where it ends. However, because of their success, I’ve had no other choice but to watch them play because it seems they’re the national game every week during the regular, so I feel like I know the team fairly well. I know Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne, Jeff Saturday
And Marvin Harrison.
Harrison is arguably one of the top-5 receivers of the past 20 years. His numbers can’t be ignored and he finally added a Super Bowl ring to his resume a couple of years ago. But he doesn’t get the same national attention because he isn’t as “flamboyant” as some of his other wide receiver counterparts — Chad Johnson, T.O., Brandon Marshall, etc. Because he’s “quiet” and “plays the game with respect” he has been lauded by the media. Because he doesn’t celebrate when he scores a touchdown, he’s squeaky clean.
So this week, when allegations surfaced about Harrison being involved in a shooting incident in his native North Philly ‘hood, I was curious to see how people and the media would respond now that something like this has happened to a “Marvin Harrison type of guy”
For the record, count me among the many who didn’t see this coming, but don’t count me as one who was suprised. One of the mistakes fans and media make, particularly when analyzing the black athlete, is thinking we know how a person is based on how they look and what they do for the 2-3 hours they’re about catching a ball.
Assumptions are made and stereotypes are formed. If said player is tatted up, beats his chest and shows any kind of emotions, more than likely, to the outside world at least, there has to be something wrong with him and he’s labeled as troubled and a thug. On the flip side, a player like Harrison, who doesn’t draw attention to himself and is soft-spoken, can’t possibly have any problems because it just doesn’t seem like something he’d do.
Guilt or innocence is besides the point. I hope Harrison makes it through this. Say what you want about T.O. and he perceived selfishness and arrogance, but you never hear about him getting arrested, in trouble etc. But the media potrays him as the bad guy. Maybe we should stop thinking we know people based on what we see once or twice a week when they’re in a uniform.