Sunday, March 21, 2010

This morning after I finished my swim, I was reminded of something that I never blogged about..and now I will.

As I've mentioned before, I workout at the Jewish Community Center, and I had just finished swimming, and was in the process of drying off after my shower. Just then, one of my sports writing colleagues came into the locker room. We recognized each other instantly, and despite the fact that I was scantily-clad, we still have had the conversation:

Him: Hey, what's going on dude, what do you think about that Wizards game last night?
Me: At this point, they are a lost cause
Him: Yeah but we still have to cover to them
Me: Actually covering them isn't the issue, its watching some of the games
***we both laughed**
Him: So what are you doing here, playing basketball?
Me: Uh no, I just got finished swimming
Him: Oh that's cool dude
**awkward silence
Him (starting to walk towards the door): Alright dude, while I'll see you around
Me: Alright take care

Now, this guy was white, and in case you didn't know all these years, I am definitely black. I respect this guy's articles, I value his opinion, and the few conversations we've had have always been great. I never picked up racist vibes from him, and to be honest, the above conversation isn't necessarily racist in my opinion. I remembered being annoyed that he assumed that I was playing ball, when you can swim, hit the weights, participate in yoga/stretching classes, etc. But I didn't dwell on it, because I like this guy.

But this morning when I thought back to that event, I started thinking that if I came into the locker room and saw him, I'd probably wouldn't speak at all. But if I did speak, I'd ask him, so what kind of workout are you doing up here or what brings you here this morning, but I wouldn't automatically assume he was here to do one particular workout. And then I thought that maybe HE thought that since I cover basketball, that I must play it as well, which is a kind of a weak excuse. Or maybe he just flat out assumed that since I'm a brother, I play ball. Who knows. But what I do know, is that I'm not one to get up-in-arms about borderline racist incidents..I'd rather save that anger for something that really irks me. And to be totally frank (or rashad) I'm not sure if this was ignorance, a legit oversight, a stereotypical moment or just racist.

What I do know is that I've seen this guy many times since then, we have great talks, and I sincerely doubt he even remembers the conversation. But I do, so I'm sharing.

What do you think? Should I retroactively whip his ass? Did I do the right thing? Or is it too late?

And no I won't put this guy's name out least not until basketball season is over.

No comments: