(ThyBlackMan.com) He’s the boisterous voice in sports news with a large following. Jason Lee Whitlock is considered as a well-known sports journalist, columnist, and podcaster, at least according to Wikipedia. After a stint at ESPN and a series of Fox sports jobs, the Indianapolis, Indiana native found a home at Blaze Media with his eponymous show, Fearless with Jason Whitlock.
One description non-devotees may not discover about Whitlock is that he is a bit of a snowflake. In his 30-year career he has experienced some ups and downs. And this week, the former Ball State footballer went viral while explaining why he felt today’s athletes were “weak-minded” in what he called a “truth bomb.” In his candid disclosure he lamented about some of the leadership changes in the NBA and the NFL but then digressed into a vapid and somewhat surprising political denunciation.
Somehow, in his scathing critique about the emotional fragility of today’s athletes and leadership appointments filled by Black women, he managed to deride former President Barack Obama and current President Joseph Biden while praising two white former slaveholders including one who was a slaveholder and reported rapist. “These are the weakest men in the history of America,” Whitlock said. “If Ben Franklin or Thomas Jefferson were around today, they would pimp slap all of these bitches.”
But Whitlock didn’t stop there. Apparently, one of the NBA’s top players and philanthropists could not escape Whitlock’s cantankerous take on the mentalities of professional athletes today. He continued, “And they would all fall to their knee crying in fear. All of them. From LeBron James on down, all of them.”
In what has been recognized as Whitlock’s brand, he used his indignation regarding the state of male athletes and professional sports to pontificate about his dissatisfaction with what he considers liberal leadership. He has been known to be sharply critical of Biden who he has referred to as a “phony” while implying that the 46th president continues to foment racial discord. Obama also did not seem to escape Whitlock’s ire either. Whitlock inferred that the former president prioritized the advancements of the LGBTQIA+ community over the needs and concerns of America’s Black society.
In many ways, Whitlock makes some solid points about the exploitation of Black society’s attention by the status quo majority and the misuse of Black political power that helped raise Biden’s flailing 2020 campaign to the presidential ascendancy he enjoys today. However, to characterize Obama, Biden, or James as “weak” is rhetorically derivative and uninspired.
We know that Obama received a lot of abuse during his presidency. Despite his biracial heritage, Obama was considered to be a Black (sometimes African American) man and quite frankly, he was treated like one. We know that in this American society founded principally in racist ideology, that even in the 21st century, Obama was subject to excessive racist rhetorical persecution and borderline domestic terrorism. In 2009, journalist Ronald Kessler reported that Obama received 400 percent more death threats than his predecessor, former president George W. Bush.
I would contend that a weak man would not have been able to persevere against seemingly oppressive conditions to continue to run for president and come out victorious, especially when even his middle name, “Hussein,” was the subject of scrutiny and ridicule. And we can’t forget about how those who Whitlock politically aligns with almost exploded when Obama wore a tan suit to a press conference in 2014. The incident was so ostensibly jarring to some that it garnered its own Wikipedia page highlighting the scrutiny the former president received. Yes, even a clothing choice was an impetus for ridicule and scorn from political detractors never mind any controversial policies.
But those discussed experiences about the former president did not seem to matter to Whitlock who struggled to articulate what a demonstration of strength and fortitude was: “The weakest group of men in the history of America are in charge. Joe Biden. Barack Obama. All of them. Weak. And these dudes up here on this wall (pointing to the wall in the studio) would slap any of them and they would all fall down to their knees in tears,” Whitlock said pointing to pictures of Frederick Douglass, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Abraham Lincoln. Someone should remind Whitlock that Obama has not been in office since 2017.
By the way, I live among octogenarians and I have aging parents around that age. Life for them is not an easy feat. The aches and pains they face on a daily basis make me consider buying ibuprofen in bulk. In three months, the President of the United States will hit that 80-year milestone himself. Being the leader of the free world could not possibly be an easy thing to do for a near 80-year-old man. Despite his feeble-like appearance and some concerns about his speech, a label of “weak” seems also misguided. Now mind you, this article is not in defense of his policies or lack thereof. That’s a different conversation. But as a man who gets up every day to deal with some of the most difficult issues on our planet is not for the weak or the faint of heart. It would be easy to refute that it is an easy job that anyone could do.
As for Whitlock’s perceived lack of strength regarding LeBron James, well, that almost speaks for itself as delusional. I doubt an arm-wrestling match between Whitlock and James would secure many pay-per-view viewers. And as far as mental strength is concerned, Whitlock has never been in as many professional games that have tested the very fiber of athleticism the way that James has. Not to mention the strength of character that James needed to have when he started the NBA so soon after high school. Through the Lebron James Foundation, it’s also estimated that the 4-time NBA champion has made donations worth more than $100 million altogether. Are these accomplishments a sign of weakness? It wouldn’t seem so.
Whitlock says that he is guided by four things on his bio page:
1) a Christian upbringing;
2) being raised amid a foundation of football;
3) his father’s influence molded by civil rights trailblazer Booker T. Washington;
4) American patriotism. Again, there are apparent hypocrisies here that Whitlock seems to ignore in his quest for viral video circulation around his loyal fan base.
Whitlock seems to use his Christian self-identification as cover for his vituperative comments. And insulting a past president and a current president surely does not seem patriotic. Washington himself dedicated his life to equality for Black Americans. Unfortunately, this is a fight that many of us today are still engaged in. Although one could argue that Obama and Biden have a less than stellar record of setting forth a bold agenda for Black Americans, it’s not like they were championing rioters and white nationalists to spread excrement on the walls of Congress while waving a Confederate flag and brutalizing police either.
Perhaps the football narrative of expression is what Whitlock is going for the most out of his guiding principles. His grievances are often introduced as “us vs. them” appeals that seem to promote division while encouraging his viewers to choose what he views as the winning side. To him, aligning with the left is counterproductive and preferring white, ahem, the right is the better direction to take.
I guess all self-reflection is deadened and hypocrisy is excusable if one labels themselves as a “Christian.” Anything for attention – just as Jesus would have done, right Jason?
Which also raises an interesting question that many of us have sporadically seen on bumper stickers and perhaps posited: “What Would Jesus Do? (WWJD)” Although it is unsure how Jesus would have criticized modern-day political leaders, athletes, and their socio-political ideologies, we can clearly tell ‘What Would Jason Do?’ And so far, that is not too much of anything except to sit on an inflated posterior, while getting paid to misdirect criticism to those less likely to warrant it.
Winter is coming Jason, you’ll be in better company with all the snowflakes then.
Staff Writer; Dr. Blackademic
One may connect with this brother via Twitter; DrBlackademic.