I don't want to spend a lot of time on this, mostly because I don't have a lot of time right now, but also because I hate Major League Baseball.
Racist fan behaviour is suddenly big news due to the Atlanta baseball team being in the World Series. At Atlanta home games, attendees like to dress in costumes, paint their faces, and chant and do a hand and arm movement in unison. This behaviour is supposed to represent a caricature of Indigenous Peoples' dress and actions. Indigenous People have long stated that they find such actions to be mocking and offensive.
And that's really where it should end.
It doesn't, though.
When you appropriate someone's culture, especially if it is in a crude, inaccurate, distorted, or farcical manner for your own enjoyment or entertainment, and the people whose culture you are ridiculing say that they are offended, what you should do is listen.
And stop doing it.
It was racist when you did it, even if unknowingly or unintentionally.
Don't say, "Well, I don't mean it that way,..," or "It's all in good fun...," or whatever. The harm you caused is real, regardless of intent.
Don't complain about cancel culture, the left, liberals, wokes, snowflakes, or whatever term you use when called out for your shitty behaviour. You're not the victim. No one is hurting you. Acting like a victim makes you the snowflake.
This is mostly a white people problem. It's a white people problem because it was white colonizers who came to "The New World," claimed it as their own, committed genocide against the Indigenous and First Nations Peoples, and brought enslaved Africans here. It is systems and practices and laws created by white people that oppressed BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People Of Colour) and continue to oppress them.
When someone who is BIPOC writes or speaks about systemic and other forms of racism, and uses the term "white people," they are discussing very real incidents and issues that are perpetrated by white people and/or perpetuated by these white-created hierarchies and institutions.
When white people hear BIPOC use "white people," and white people jump up and protest by saying, "Not all white people," they are arguing against something that was not said. "White people" is not the same as "all white people." When white people say "Not all white people," they are playing the victim. No one is hurting them. No one is oppressing them.
This is white fragility.
Anyone who reads my columns knows that I am frequently and extremely critical of the Kansas City football team and its fans. For example, I wrote in 2019:
"Their fans are a bunch of racist idiots who think that it’s good fun to imitate and mock indigenous peoples’ traditions and iconography."
Regarding the behaviour of the attendees of the Atlanta baseball team's home games, I would say the exact same thing.
In other words, the chop is racist.
Week Eight Picks
Winners in Bold
Cincinnati at New York J
It’s been really interesting watching this Cincinnati team round into form. They stumbled a bit after their big win over Pittsburgh, narrowly beating Jacksonville the following week. After their next big game, a tough OT loss to Green Bay, they walloped Detroit. Facing a bad New York team this week after stomping Baltimore last week is the classic trap game situation, but this New York team is really bad, and Cincy is too good and too focused to stumble.
Tennessee at Indianapolis
Both of these teams are hitting their stride after rough starts. Indy’s got the running game going, and Carson Wentz’s play is improving. Tennessee has started winning mainly because Derrick Henry is in peak form, and AJ Brown has been tearing it up after a slow start. Henry is the key to Ryan Tannehill’s success with the play-action passing game, but they need their receiving corps to make plays. This is a really close matchup, and an important one as well for these division rivals.
Los Angeles R at Houston
In a vacuum, this one is a no-brainer.
Pittsburgh at Cleveland
So, it looks like Baker Mayfield will start this game, despite having a serious and painful injury to his non-throwing shoulder. I think it’s a mistake to play him; one good hit or awkward landing could cause him to miss significant time. I understand him wanting to play, though. He’s still on his rookie contract, and he’s playing, essentially, for a new and hopefully lucrative deal. Cleveland’s backup QB, Case Keenum, played well in a victory last week, and has experienced some success, including taking Minnesota to the NFC Championship game less than four years ago (Remember the “Minnesota Miracle?” That was Keenum throwing to Stefon Diggs.) If Mayfield gets hurt again, and Keenum takes over and plays well, it could cost Mayfield his starting job, and a whole lot more.
Philadelphia at Detroit
Detroit has played so hard for Dan Campbell and come so close to winning a few times this season. In a week where the last unbeaten team has been vanquished, wouldn’t it be fitting if the last winless team gets a victory?
San Francisco at Chicago
Both of these teams are pretty banged-up, especially on defense. San Fran should be able to grind out a win.
Carolina at Atlanta
Carolina’s offense has been nothing short of pathetic since Christian McCaffrey went down. They have a chance to eke out a victory if their defense can shut down Atlanta, and if Sam Darnold can avoid costly turnovers.
Miami at Buffalo
In Week Two, Buffalo got a shutout in Miami after laying an egg in Week One against Pittsburgh. After a tough loss to Tennessee followed by a week off, a well-rested Buffalo squad should absolutely squash Miami.
New England at Los Angeles Bolts
This should be a good test for the Bolts. They’ve had almost two weeks to think about getting blown out by Baltimore in Week Six, and they’ll be facing a Pats defense that will certainly have a few things cooked up to try and confound Justin Herbert. The Bolts need a strong performance from their talented defense, especially after consecutive subpar outings.
Jacksonville at Seattle
Geno Smith looked bad last week, and it appeared to me as though Seattle had no confidence in his ability to lead the offense. This would be a great opportunity for young Trevor Lawrence to pick up his second win.
Washington at Denver
Denver’s offense, particularly Teddy Bridgewater were pretty disappointing last week. This could very well be Bridgewater’s last chance to show that he should continue to be the starter.
Tampa at NO
I hate New Orleans, so I hope Tampa beats the piss out of them.
Dallas at Minnesota
There’s been a lot of back-and-forth speculation as to whether Dak Prescott will play in this game. If he does play, even with limited mobility, Dallas should win, because he’s surrounded by so much offensive talent.
New York G at KC
New York is absolutely capable of beating KC. They probably won’t, though.