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White like Me
Rick Reilly
February 04, 2002
Look how white I am. Am I lame or what? Can't jump. Can't dance. Can't run. Can't dress. Can't hang.
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February 04, 2002

White Like Me

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Look how white I am. Am I lame or what? Can't jump. Can't dance. Can't run. Can't dress. Can't hang.

It's O.K. I know I'm a pathetic White Guy. I'm at peace with it. In fact I laugh about it all the time. I have to. Black athletes today love to make fun of us White Guys.

Last week, for instance, boxer Mike Tyson had a little fun with white reporter Mark Malinowski at Tyson's press conference-cage match with Lennox Lewis. Grabbing his crotch and using his best prison vocabulary, Tyson challenged Malinowski to fight and then accused him of being "scared like a little white p----" because he wouldn't. In American trash talk today that's three put-downs in a row. Little. White. And p----.

Now if a white heavyweight grabbed his crotch and called a black reporter a "little black p----," he'd be spending the rest of his days playing Parcheesi with Al Campanis and Dan Issel. Nobody, though, demanded that Tyson apologize to Malinowski, least of all Malinowski.

Not to worry, it's cool! Last season Toronto Raptors star Vince Carter came onto the court to discover he was being covered by the Minnesota Timberwolves' Wally Szczerbiak. Carter turned to the Minnesota bench with a smile and said, according to Szczerbiak, "You better get this white guy off me, or I'm going to score 40." (Carter denies referring to Szczerbiak's race.)

Was Carter fined? Suspended? Ordered to spend six weeks in a white-sensitivity workshop? Nah. We're White Guys. What are we going to do, sue?

Sometimes we're not even White Guys. We're White Boys. In his book Shaq Talks Back, Shaquille O'Neal wrote, "If you get dunked on by a white boy, you got to come home to your friends and hear it."

Hilarious! Of course it wouldn't be nearly as funny if, say, David Stern wrote in his book, "If you get outnegotiated by a black boy, you got to go to the country club and hear it." He'd be taped naked to the hood of Jesse Jackson's car. Still, was Shaq rocked by scandal? Did principals pull the book out of school libraries? Nah. Because all us crackers know it's true! If we dunk on you, you really suck!

Besides, anytime you can slip in the phrase white boy these days, it's just damn funny. Now, if you called Jerry Rice a "black boy" or Ichiro Suzuki a "yellow boy" or Notah Begay a "red boy," you'd be begging spare change at a bus station inside a week. But it's fine. We're the last unprotected race, so bash away!

Some White Guys aren't sure it's all that amusing, like Denver Nuggets forward Raef LaFrentz. "When people call me 'white boy,' I take it as an insult," he says. "It's a negative racial term, just like the n word." However, Dallas Mavericks guard Steve Nash says he finds it funny when black guys tell him, "You're pretty good for a white boy."

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