Friday, December 31, 2004Simple as Black and White...
His latest piece on Reggie White is excellent. He's strongly critical of the way White was honored on the various NFL-oriented TV shows on Sunday. The positive remembrance of White was overwhelming, and it should've been because White was, by all accounts a fine man. However, it was equally irresponsible not to mention some of White's unfortunate comments during a speech to the Wisconsin state legislature in 1998.
The TV execs had the same excuses -- there wasn't enough time, it was next on the list, etc.
They didn't do it because they were afraid that it would ruin the moment. In actuality it would've defined the moment because while White was a phenominal NFL player, possibly the best pass rusher ever, he was imperfect just like us. Capable of making a mistake and some stupid comments.
He later apologized for some of the things, acknowledged his short-sighted opinion in the matter and moved on. It's too bad the networks couldn't do the same thing (acknowledge, move on). If they had, more people would've known this:
Later on, the reporter Andrea Kremer said in a panel discussion that White had told her recently that making those remarks "was one of the biggest regrets he had." She also said that White had turned away from being a Christian minister and was recently studying Hebrew to understand the Scriptures better and "learn what religion is all about."
Reggie White wasn't content with just an apology and a statement. He was learning every day in his quest to become a better man. Not only did the TV networks ignore his past by ignoring his statements, they also ignored the man he wanted to be in the future. A smarter, more well-rounded man. A man we lost too soon.