In a way, Phil Mushnick's aside about Jay-Z's influence on the Brooklyn Nets is almost too stupid to be racist. I honestly don't think Mushnick has some sort of deep-seated enmity for African-Americans when he "points out" (?) that the rapper and Nets co-owner should rename the team after some of the nastier and more derogatory terms Jay-Z has used in his songs. I just think Mushnick, the longtime New York Post columnist, was just being a moron. An inexcusable, potentially fire-worthy moron.
As long as the Nets are allowing Jay-Z to call their marketing shots — what a shock that he chose black and white as the new team colors to stress, as the Nets explained, their new "urban" home — why not have him apply the full Jay-Z treatment? Why the Brooklyn Nets when they can be the New York N------s? The cheerleaders could be the Brooklyn B----hes or Hoes. Team logo? A 9 mm with hollow-tip shell casings strewn beneath. Wanna be Jay-Z hip? Then go all the way!
If this was written on a poorly trafficked blog, you'd dismiss it entirely. If this was a comment on a message board or, again, a poorly trafficked blog? You'd give it a thumbs down, if you even bothered to click and let it depress you because it's so strangely weird and unsettling and potentially racist -- or at the very least narrow-minded, because we're being nice -- in the point it's trying to make.
Mushnick hashes away under the guise that he's bored with the team's new color scheme, which is a stark (but pretty cool) black and white setup. With that frustration in place — because apparently "black and white" is the new go-to color scheme for all hip-hop artists — the columnist then tries to shoehorn some misplaced rant about nasty rap lyrics into a column that we still think is about … sports?
And, because Jay-Z is super-gangsta, he'd probably totally go for a recently fired gun and shell casings as the team logo. Because that's totally what Jay-Z would pick for the logo, if he could. Thank goodness, in Mushnick's eyes, the team's majority owners stood in the way of that one. Too bad the majority owner of Mushnick's paper couldn't be bothered to step in the way of this column, but he was too busy hacking your phone.
It's somehow worse than racist. It's idiotic. An affront to all races, sexes, religions and sexual orientation. To any amount of mindful people.
And, based on the initial reaction to Mushnick's piece, readers.
Of course, this could be the intention. Poorly trafficked blogs often act as trolls, looking for attention. As The Classical editor Kate Perkins pointed out, nonsense like Mushnick's and the reaction from the outraged is probably exactly what The New York Post is after, here.
It probably is. And, to keep his tag as the Post's sports media hound relevant, I suppose, Mushnick then prints a question underneath the aside quoted above from a reader centered around the worry about how the Nets are going to be able to sell a third alternate jersey when the team's color scheme is so basic. Because that's really what he's musing over. A color scheme that bores him. Mushnick swears.
It's hard to know where to start with Mushnick's column, so we won't. You can spend the rest of your day attempting to stop yourself from bashing your head against the wall about why he would think Jay-Z's influence on a choice of color scheme or logo re-design has anything to do with an "urban" theme above all, or why that would lead to an NBA team being called the "Brooklyn N------," or why that would in any way be appropriate to even joke about, much less in a newspaper that … just stop. You could go on, through the weekend, and you wouldn't get anywhere trying to wrap your brain about how absolutely and utterly wrong this is on every conceivable level.
So don't conceive anything. Just stop reading him. Just put Phil Mushnick back in the fringe category that he's stayed safe in for decades, and let the Post figure out what it's going to do with him.
More NBA news from the Yahoo! Sports Minute:
- Sports & Recreation
- Arts & Entertainment
- Phil Mushnick
- Brooklyn Nets
- New York Post