John Wall won't make Team USA this year. This is a shame, because John Wall is fun and it's fun to see John Wall surrounded by players who aren't Washington Wizards. It's a shame also because Colin Cowherd has another reason to run his mouth about John Wall.
You know what's up with Colin Cowherd and John Wall by now, and how at every opportunity Cowherd, unbowed, softens his voice into a measured meter and calmly explains that he has been proven out, that John Wall is a failure and was always going to be, because he danced in public and, though Cowherd isn't quite brave enough to say it out loud anymore, because he did not have a strong father figure. Well, we're here again—only this time Cowherd's up to something a little more subtly toxic.
Here's Cowherd today, via the Washington Post:
Entering his fifth year in the dreadful Eastern Conference with a very good supporting cast right now: One playoff series win. You judged him on a snapshot! Damn straight. And right now I'm validated. It was racially tinged! Oh really. Who was harder on Tim Tebow than me? The Jimmer, who's whiter than Idaho. Johnny Manziel. Had nothing to do with race. ...
You made a snap judgment! Yup. To this point did. Not always right, not always wrong. Did it on Anthony Bosch, did it on John Wall. To deny snap judgments can also be right is intellectually dishonest.
This is offering up the dim, colorless notion that to have had ideas inflected by race, you must be overcome by some encompassing aura of racist determinism, that you could never find it in your big white heart to say some shit about Johnny Manziel, who is a fantastic shithead, on account of his whiteness.
But his plea here is actually more revealing than he intends. We have to understand, Cowherd insists, that he has problems with all kinds of things. Sure, a 20-year-old kid dancing in front of an arena loaded with fans there in celebration of him is a sign of moral decay, but he has problems with the Christian quarterback, and the college showboater, and the slowish scoring machine who once canned a jumper, blind, from out beyond the curvature of the Earth. This crap opinion is in line with the rest of my worldview, which applies to things beyond race, Cowherd says, in essence. Skipping the fact that this is exactly how actual racism works, it's insane that he thinks this is somehow exculpatory. Unserious ideas about race come from the same, dim place as other moronic points of view, like a genuflection to NFL decorum in Manziel's case, or a redwood trunk up your ass in Jimmer's. Stupid is transitive.
But he gets away with this because opinions about race are quarantined in a way that doesn't happen with a topic like whether or not Johnny Football buys too many drugs. If you're wrong about drugs, you're considered a square; if you're wrong about race, you're an ogre—you're immoral, possibly evil. It's such a grave accusation now to call someone a racist that anything short of explicit, oafish racism tends to get the benefit of the doubt. This affords a careful race-baiter like Cowherd an incredible amount of leeway, and he is more or less free to pander to the racists as long as he limits himself to sneering and smirking and arching his eyebrows and otherwise tooting his dog whistle.
Cowherd thinks a pretty dumb thing that, yes, is racially tinged, and is wrong besides; but he will never admit it, because he will never have to.