It’s hard to feel sorry for El Hadji Diouf. The Blackburn striker and serial spitter is in trouble again but this time, it’s racialist. He’s being investigated by the police and FA after allegations surfaced that he racially abused a ball boy during a match against Everton. It’s alleged that he said, “Fuck off, white boy” because the kid didn’t give him a ball fast enough.
Diouf denies the allegations and claims that Everton supporters threw bananas at him. That’s a massive charge as it brings up memories of John Barnes’ struggles in the 80s as one of the first black players in the league. He faced a barrage of racial abuse which including having bananas thrown at him.
Speaking to Radio Monte Carlo, Diouf said: “The ball went out and I wanted to take the throw in quickly.
“The ball-boy threw the ball at me like a bone to a dog.
“The assistant referee told me he saw it but we had to continue and we would look at it at half-time.
“What’s more people threw bananas at me. The fourth official said he would make a report to the police.
“I didn’t say anything so that people couldn’t say ‘It’s El Hadji Diouf again’.
The Everton brass are furious with Diouf’s statements. No banana-related evidence was found where Diouf claimed he was attacked and no evidence of banana tossing was picked up by TV cameras or photographers. Obviously Everton should face serious sanctions should his claims be proven. However that appears unlikely. It seems more likely that it’s El Hadji Diouf again. If we’re wrong, we’ll apologize.
This isn’t the first time Diouf has been the center of controversy. He’s well known for spitting on fans and opposing players in addition to being an all-around jackass. Abusing a ball boy for being slow to return a ball is way out of line. It’s almost part of the game. There has only been one documented case where verbally or physically beating a ball boy has been acceptable.
By now, most people have heard about the arrest of Harvard professor Henry “Skip” Louis Gates, Jr. by Cambridge Police. He broke into his house after coming back from a trip after being locked out and a neighbor called 911. Police responded and somehow ended up arresting him in his own home and charging him with disorderly conduct. The charges have been dropped but the controversy around the arrest lingers on. President Obama was asked a question about it during last night’s health care press conference. He responded by saying the Cambridge Police acted “stupidly”.
The officer in the middle of the controversy, Sgt. James Crowley, refuses to apologize to Gates for the events that led to the arrest. He told the Boston Herald that he bears no ill will towards the professor. However he insists that he isn’t a racist and didn’t do anything wrong. Here come the sports. Crowley performed mouth to mouth resusciatation on former Celtic Reggie Lewis 16 years ago after he collapsed from a heart attack which ended up killing him.
“I wasn’t working on Reggie Lewis the basketball star. I wasn’t working on a black man. I was working on another human being.”
Lewis’ widow, Donna Lewis, admitted she was shocked when she heard that Crowley was involved in Skipgate.**
“That’s incredible,” Lewis, 44, exclaimed. “It’s an unfortunate situation. Hopefully, it can resolve itself. The most important thing is peace.”
It’s honorable that Crowley did what he could to save Lewis’ life. However his actions that day don’t absolve him from future actions that can be seen as racist. Arresting Gates after establishing his identity is pretty suspect at the least. Would the same thing have happened to Larry Summers? N … Oh good point, Howard Fineman.
The 11 year veteran says the events 16 years ago and the reaction to his involvement still haunt him to this day which is understandable. The loss of Reggie Lewis was a shock to family, friends and fans (including this one who grew up in the same Baltimore neighborhood). I’ll have to ask The Matador what the odds would be on Crowley being involved in these two incidents. He’ll have an answer.
Sergeant Crowley probably took a page from Killing Them Softly.
Open and shut case, Crowley! Skip might want to check his pockets for crack residue before he gets picked up again.
**We’re going to push the name Skipgate until it takes.
The story of Dontrelle Willis’ fall from being Rookie of the Year to his current state is not that funny in spite of the catchy post title. The Tigers asked MLB for permission to remove Willis from their active roster and place him on the DL after he was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
GM Dave Dombrowski said he’s “fairly optimistic” that Willis will return to the team this season. One can hope for the best but there’s no time frame on recovery from a mental disorder. This isn’t some physical injury with an expected recovery period.
Willis sat at his locker Sunday morning and calmly answered questions from reporters for about 15 minutes. He said he wants to “live and play baseball” and seemed upbeat about his chances for a recovery.
“This is not something where I’m too amped up, I don’t know where I’m at, and I’m running sprints up and down the parking lot. They (the doctors) see something in my blood that they don’t like. I’m not crazy. My teammates might think I’m crazy. But this is not something like that.”
Amateur shrinkology says it doesn’t sound like Willis has his mind around what’s going on. Someone might want to tell him that mental disorders aren’t diagnosed by blood tests. Bill Frist would probably disagree and offer a video diagnosis as well. Maybe doctors found something else during blood tests but we only know about the anxiety disorder so far.
Hopefully his teammates are trying to put his mind at ease by letting him know he’s not crazy. Tigers legend Willie Horton has his back. So that’s what he’s been up to since he helped George H.W. Bush scare people into voting for him in 1988. Oh wait. Wrong Willie Horton.
It’s been obvious that something has been wrong with Willis since last year. Hopefully he’ll be able to tackle his issues and get right with himself. Baseball is secondary but it would be great to see him return to his Rookie of the Year form. The Tigers could use him especially with Jeremy Bonderman struggling as well.
The Knicks can’t seem to get it right. Every correct decision is followed by two stupid ones. Whether encouraging a culture of sexual harassment under Isiah or unsubstantiated allegations of racism against useless players, the team can’t seem to avoid embarassing situations. Add ethnic stereotyping to the mix.
After each of his four baskets, the Knicks’ long-time public address announcer Mike Walczewski, using a thick Italian accent, said “Daneeelo Gal-lin-ar-ay” and then the Italian songs “Volare” or “That’s Amore” were played.
Gallinari was not amused. Even head coach Mike D’Antoni gave the scorer’s table a WTF look when the music was played. Italian journalists were not pleased either. They’re definitely not going to like it when the team has its employees act out scenes from the Godfather and Super Mario Kart.