As I promised over the weekend I wanted to address this situation a little more closely than just a quick blurb in a diary.
It's unfortunate that the USC players involved in the Facebook issue don't seem to understand that this sort of "joke" will never be acceptable in today's society. I not only personally find their actions offensive and repulsive but detrimental not just to the football team but to USC as a whole. As players they do have a responsibility to represent the school in a positive light. But it isn't just about the school or the football team its about society in general. Society will never move forward if we continue to see these sorts of actions.
People who want to scoff and say that I, among others, are being too Politically Correct, are missing the point, they are entitled to their opinion. Others will scream that they, the players involved, should be allotted their fair share of free speech. Fine, but as I have said before the right to free speech does not necessarily mean that you have a right to silence, sometimes you need to stand up and be accountable for your actions. Am I disappointed that the school didn't do more, sure, but that's not my business. My disgust at this "joke" is that an African-American Coach not only allowed it, but also suggested it in the first place, talk about taking two steps back. Surely there was some other name that he could have called that group of players other than "White Nation". I realize that the conflict in the Middle East is a touchy subject but a military term would have been a whole lot easier to explain than what was used.
All this does is bring more off-field controversy to USC. With the Bush issue still unresolved and numerous brushes with the law over the last few seasons it's disappointing that a tougher stance wasn't taken. Maybe I've missed it but I haven't heard a single African-American player openly call these guys out and to me that says something, either it is no big deal to them or it's going on behind the scenes where we won't here about it. You can't tell me that Mike Garrett was pleased to see this on the Internet but again maybe there is something going on behind the scenes. It's not up to me or my place to demand that action be taken against those involved, I will simply say that I am disappointed at these actions and hope that something be done about it but that is as far as I will go.
I will never be a mouthpiece for the school as some have suggested, and yes it was those guys. This is a sports blog and if it involves the players then it is fair game to be discussed but I will address it in the way I see fit. Other sites or blogs can address it the way they see fit as well. I have taken Pete Carroll and some players to task for their actions or lack there of, so I will by no means give them a pass on this one, joke or not. While being repulsive, if this situation had not involved a player it hardly would have been noticed and I surely would not have given it a second thought. I am only concerned about USC athletics if others want to carry the torch for the wronged please, by all means, be my guest.
I'm not interested in discussing the "outrage" that others feel, it's enough for me to publicly call the out this bad behavior as a fan of this school and athletic program. If people want to light their hair on fire over it that's fine and it's none of my business but in the end, to me, it only matters what I think as I have no control over the thought processes of others, whether they are close to me or not. Each of us as individuals can say and think what we feel so I will in no way attempt to push my views upon others. If others want to stoke the fires of controversy I say knock your self out but on this issue I have said my piece.
My views on this issue are born of many life experiences that I have had within the military and my current profession, which is what I have done since leaving the Navy. I have been blessed to experience many different people and cultures throughout my adult life. But while those experiences have shaped my life they are not the foundation of why I think this behavior is repulsive. Those reasons are mine and mine alone; some reasons are obvious others are not.
Others are welcome to think what they want.