The bigoted, Jew-ranting Oriole whom the media ignores
For sustaining evidence of a world gone nuts with the media’s steady, selective and frightened compliance, there’s Delmon Young — now with the Orioles, who spent the week here playing the Mets, then Yankees.
But first the lasting legacy of John Rocker — the big, white, not too bright Braves pitcher quoted in Sports Illustrated making bigoted, ethnic and racist remarks about NYC’s inhabitants.
Though he broke no laws or jaws, Rocker, at 24, became a national symbol of hate, a pariah, too. On TV, radio and in print — “Saturday Night Live” to “The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather” — it became requisite to condemn and/or mock Rocker.
That was 1999, yet Rocker remains synonymous with intolerable bigotry.
In 2012, while in NYC with the Tigers — once Hank Greenberg’s team — Delmon Young, 26-year-old black man shouting vulgar hatred of Jews, beat an unsuspecting man outside a Manhattan hotel, a man he mistakenly thought was Jewish.
That was a crime. Young was charged with assault, drunk and disorderly conduct, and a hate crime. He later would cop a plea that included not much, unless 10 hours of community service and chatting with a Holocaust survivor is harsh.
It wasn’t as if the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse “Hymietown” Jackson were going to scold Young, tell him that the preponderance of non-black blood spilled by civil rights activists in the South during the 1960s was Jewish.
And though Rocker could pitch no more without obligatory condemnation of his hateful words, Young, despite beating a defenseless man he thought was Jewish, was issued a media look-away pass — from the start.
Rocker was suspended from baseball for 73 days. Young got seven.
Since that assault, Young has played in 22 postseason games, all nationally televised, and on several networks. Yet not one play-by-play man, color commentator, studio analyst or field reporter has even hinted that Young assaulted a man based on what he thought was his religion. Even in the year he was arrested, when he played five playoff games, that didn’t make the TV cut.
In July 2013, media, politicians, and social and racial activists in and beyond Philadelphia were outraged after white Eagles receiver Riley Cooper was captured on a cellphone video speaking the “N word,” which seems to have become a segregated, “Blacks Only” slur.
Among the incensed was African-American Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who demanded the Eagles dump Cooper. But six months earlier, when the Phillies signed Delmon Young? Nutter was silent.
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