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Good Obit - Bad Obit

Pity The New York Times can't take a page from the BBC in remembering one of the NFL's all time greats - Reggie White. They insist on bringing up not once, but twice, controversial remarks White made in 1998 in a speech - remarks that likely derailed a broadcasting career.

What's remarkable is that the Times mischaracterizes the controversy:

An ordained minister and a pastor of a church in Knoxville, Tenn., during his playing days, White was known for working with inner-city young people. But he also became a figure of controversy for derogatory remarks concerning homosexuality in a speech to the Wisconsin Legislature in 1998.


White created a stir in March 1998 with a speech to the Wisconsin State Assembly. In it, he referred to homosexuality as "one of the biggest sins in the Bible" and used ethnic stereotypes for blacks and whites.

White's comments to the Wisconsin legislature in 1988 were more controversial for their offensive racial stereotyping than the fact that he declared homosexuality a sin. Even after the speech White continued generate controversy with comments on the Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder episode, where he defended Snyder's "big black slaves were used for breeding" argument.

Does the Times political bias pervade the sports section as well, or did they just miss the whole episode the first time around?

Comments (13)

The closest I heard to anyo... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

The closest I heard to anyone commenting on White's racist statement was when one sportscaster said, "Well, it's a shame he had to say those things since he is such a wonderful person."

Had a white person said the same thing, he would have been pilloried in the press and the sportscasters would have spent the majority of the time talking about how evil he was. Oh, that's right, I guess John Rocker proved that point.

The comments in the legisla... (Below threshold)

The comments in the legislature were in 1998, not 1988.

Damn typos.

Yeah, but the bizarre diffe... (Below threshold)

Yeah, but the bizarre difference between Reggie White and John Rocker is that Rocker knew they were offensive jokes and didn't expect them to be publicized; White actually thought his remarks were compliments!

Actuall, it does. I was at... (Below threshold)

Actuall, it does. I was at least able to get a correction out of them.

I would be glad to be remem... (Below threshold)

I would be glad to be remembered in this way. Reggie White spoke the truth, even though it offended some.

Too many preachers talk about God's love, but not his wrath. They mention His grace, but not his judgement.

I don't know Reggie White's heart, but I know about God's promises. Based on his fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control) I would say that Rev. White knew God and that he is with the Lord today.

When will we stop catering ... (Below threshold)
Dave J:

When will we stop catering to and pretending that homosexuality is o.k. When will we stop demonizing the real men and woman strong enough to speak up against it. I agree with all of Mr. Whites comments. He didn't fomulate this on his own. It came from GOD!. Read your bibles, korans, torahs! Being gay or being ignorant are both choices. Which side of the issues will you choose.

Dave J.:Two out of... (Below threshold)

Dave J.:

Two out of those three religions also consider eating bacon to be a horrific sin.

I don't see you railing against Denny's and IHOP for promoting it.

JoeEating pork is ... (Below threshold)
Dave J:


Eating pork is not considered a sin. Some people consider it an unclean, unhealthy animal to ingest. To abstain from pork was not dictated by GOD. It is a secular interpretation. Do you eat ants and rats? Well in some parts of the world it is acceptable. Homosexuality is explicitly spelled out as wrong. No offense, but I guess you chose to be ignorant on the issues.

Dave:An... (Below threshold)


And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Say to the people of Israel, ... you shall not eat ... the swine, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. (Lev. 11)

Maybe you should take a break from thumping your bible and actually read it.

Oh, and for the sake of com... (Below threshold)

Oh, and for the sake of completeness, the Koran -- viewed by Muslims as the literal and perfect word of God -- also bans pork:

The Qur'an prohibits the consumption of pork in no less than 4 different places. It is prohibited in 2:173, 5:3, 6:145 and 16:115.

"Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than Allah."

[Al-Qur’an 5:3]

Where do you get your information from, man?

Thank You Dave for enlighte... (Below threshold)
Dave J:

Thank You Dave for enlightening me on the finer points of religon and pork consumption. Your internet search skills are second to none!
But getting back to the original issue, homsexuality is still wrong! Do you or do you not agree?

Dave J

Sorry, that should read "Th... (Below threshold)
Dave J:

Sorry, that should read "Thank You Joe..."

Dave J

Dave J:I'm not kee... (Below threshold)

Dave J:

I'm not keen on folks who lecture other people on what the bible says, when they don't *know* what the bible says.

And no, I don't think that homosexuality is wrong. Nor do I think it's an "abomination" to eat shrimp, or that kids who talk back to their parents should face the death penalty -- both of which are also proscribed by the Old Testament.

If the bible is so right about homosexuality (which it barely mentions), then why don't you have such strong feelings about other topics it has harsher words about?

I find that a lot of people who gay-bash for "religious" reasons just want to pick-and-choose those convenient biblical passages that confirm beliefs they already hold.

You think that homosexuality is wrong? Well, you're entitled to your opinions. Just don't make me laugh by attributing it to your piety.






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