The Big Lead: “BlackSportsOnline Is The BET of Sports Blogs” … No Thank You | Robert Littal Presents BlackSportsOnline
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The Big Lead: “BlackSportsOnline Is The BET of Sports Blogs” … No Thank You

by Robert Littal | Posted on Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
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I often speak alot about “lazy journalism” in regards to the mainstream media. Sometimes it is just easier to go along with the stereotype than do some research.

Go back to the NFL Draft.

Who did you hear Texas Wide Receiver Jordan Shipley compared to?

Wes Welker

Who did you hear Stanford Running Back Toby Gerhart compared to?

Mike Alsott

Just a little research that Shipley compares more to Derek Mason style receiver while Gerhart runs similar to Brandon Jacobs.

But that isn’t easy. Just compare the white guys to the white guys and move on. It is a common theme in sports and it is a common theme in life.

So was I shocked (or appalled) when I read this quote from The Big Lead in response to Jesse Jackson’s “slave mentality” comments about Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert? :

Jackson’s comments have drawn ire from a number of critics, including Jason Whitlock and Black Sports Online, which, as the BET of sports blogs, should hardly be confused as a voice of racial reason, but is significant nonetheless as the “#1 ranked independently black-owned sports web site” according to the web site.

No I wasn’t because it is easy.

I am young black man born and raised in hip hop culture, who routinely uses colorful analogies and phrases to make my point, who is outspoken, outgoing and not afraid to say what is on my mind.

So lets just compare him and his site to BET.

Because his site has “Black” in front of it, lets assume he could never speak on a racial topic reasonably. Black men aren’t reasonable, we are angry, loud and biased right?

How could a black man, with a black site, who has model friends ever be “impartial”.

I mean T.O. is a Thug right? Marvin Harrison is the “good guy”?

Lazy journalism just doesn’t apply when we are talking about athletes, it is also when we are talking about ourselves and our profession.

To his credit the author of the post, Geoff Decker, did contact me after I voiced my displeasure via twitter. He didn’t deny that the BET reference wasn’t a compliment and that is was made because of the correlation of promoting scantily clad women and models between BSO and BET.

You know something— I have no issue with that because it is based in logic the problem that I have is in the context of when the reference is made.

If you want to preach about that, that is fine, but when you address a serious issue like slavery, that is not the time or place to get your point across by stating that I like to post Kim Kardashian pics.

Furthermore, there is no excuse for the statement claiming that I should not be confused with the voice of racial reason.

If anything, I am more qualified to speak about race issues than most reporters because I come from where these guys come from.

Every crew from where I come from has a Michael Vick, an A.I., a T.O., a Marvin Harrison and a Tiger Woods.

I went to The Ohio State University, I know the Roethlisberger types.

So if you are going to question my “racial reason”, I would like to see that proven. And the fact that I present scantily clad models on my site is not “proof” enough. Because for every model photo displayed on BSO, I have fifteen more articles with content that is bar none some of the best sports analysis online.

Furthermore, I have nothing against BET and their station—I watched the BET Awards this year and witnessed the cry seen ’round the world’. But some have argued that BET doesn’t do much for our culture or our race. I will have you know that in the case of my site, BSO has been one of the few level-headed, not quick to crucify not just Blacks in sports, but sports figures in general. While other sites (cough, cough) rush to judgment, I make sure to verify all facts before reporting any story.

Then again, I could have just been like Jesse Jackson and said they just trying to keep me down like a “slave”, but that wouldn’t have been very “reasonable” now would it?

About the Author

Founder of BlackSportsOnline and BonaFide Media. @BSO. Email Robert

Displaying 27 Comments
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  1. Rembrandt says:

    I was going to comment about maybe why he compared your site to BET then I saw it was a dumber reason than I could have imagined and while you may not feel anything negative about BET I sure do on your behalf and the comparison.

  2. Well let's be honest, there's nothing wrong with posting Kim Kardashian pics. Especially ever since she went on that holy-shit-how-you-like-me-now diet.

  3. keishabrown says:

    kudos to you for writing a level-headed response. of course, this is your livelihood and you dont have the same kinda cash flow as mr. gilbert, but it would have been easy for you to respond in the way 'they' expect you to.

    the problem is that you will always be dammed if you do and dammed if you dont. as much as many WP's would like to think that racism is only in the minds of black folk and was eliminated when Barack won the election – its obviously not the case. and for ever jesse jackson bringing the topic up when it's NOT needed, it discounts the times when is SORELY is.

    • keishabrown says:

      i'm one of your female readers that rolls eyes and cringes at the 'models' and kimmy k pics as well as the blurring of the lines between BSO and your other endeavours. but it's slightly hypocritical of TBL to mention that when SI's biggest selling issue is the swimsuit edition and um..the last few ones there havent been any swimming or suits. sports will always be male dominated, you have to cater to the majority of your audience – so i will just have to suck it up and secretly fantasize about what's under the helmet and shorts!

      at the end of the day – what i respect is that you make an effort to keep integrity in your sports stories. im sure that is hard because we now live in an ADD/IM/24-7 world where it's not about being right, it's about being first. (and where any dude with internet access/library card and the ability to type can go on a message board and spew bullhst – i truly dont know why i torture myself sometimes).

      • keishabrown says:

        final 2.5 cents, it's clear that there is a desire and need for media sources that aren't controlled by the same hands (aka money). the bias is sometimes just too obvious. it's why tmz and twitter are now reliable resources for information. which is good and sad all at once.

        if you have critics (and haters), you must be doing something right!

        • I appreciate your comment

          The critics don't bother me, people complain about Kim K or how we photoshop Lebron it is just part of the business. I am not a moist dude.

          My goal is not to be universally love.

          I don't try to change opinions I just give mind and let people make up their own mind.

          My issue was only what does BET and the writers personal thoughts on my objectivity have to do with Jesse Jackson.

          I have issues with ESPN from time to time, but when I am linking them I am speaking to the story, not them. When I want to discuss how I feel they are handling something I make a different post.

          That would be like me doing a George Steinbrenner post and sliding in that ESPN is like the Mafia. It totally undermines the story and takes the focus on what it should be.

  4. veraroberts says:

    I think it was wrong of a comparison. You have a very nice blog here, Robert. I might not read with every post or even agree on some things, but I will always defend and protect your freedom of speech. All you did was make a fair assessment of a blown-out-of-proportion topic and you're deemed not valid or justified enough to make such commentary.

    Your credentials speak for themselves. You don't have to prove anything to anyone.

    • BSO is like my home and I have to protect my house. Like I said in the article if I was like Jesse Jackson I could have turned this into something totally different, but I tried to stick to the facts at hand.

      All I ask is don't be lazy in your journalism for a cheap laugh

  5. @nonpopulist says:

    I wouldn't sweat The Big Lead. They are a joke. And if you are the BET or sports blogs then TBL is the Weekly World News of sports blogs. I like your stuff. Your twitter presence is admirable.

  6. Roman Lee says:

    I have been a faithful reader of your site for about a year now because of your reason and fact-based research and analysis. I thought your analysis on Jesse Jackson’s comments towards Dan Gilbert were fantastic, and I wholly agreed. So to have someone like Geoff try and belittle you by comparing you BET, a station that arguably channels and fuels the fire of the black stereotype pisses me off. If he can’t read the intelligence in the analysis and the entertainment factor in the models then he really is the “closet racist” I make him out to be. Brush it off and keep going Rob.

    SMARTEN UP GEOFF

  7. fan says:

    Rob,
    I like reading all your SPORTS articles and analysis. I have to say that the Kim K pics throws me off. I often ask what does her pics have to do with anything- aside from your personal fix. I’m guessing you view your site as a professional site, not personal. I like the BSO model idea. You might have something there. It seems professional.
    On the Dan Gilbert thing, I want to say that Mr. Gilbert felt he owns LeBron. And he doesn’t.

  8. Jason Kapono says:

    BSO is like my home and I have to protect my house. Like I said in the article if I was like Jesse Jackson I could have turned this into something totally different, but I tried to stick to the facts at hand.

    I agree that it was not right to put you in the same light as BET just because it was convienent.
    But your references on Jesse Jackson it bitch made.

    You are Bitch made. You don’t know a thing about jesse. I’ll say this if it wasn’t for jesse jackson and Operation Bread basket I would never been born. My mother would have died in the South side of Chicago. You talk about how Jesse should have said something about the Clippers owner. WHERE WAS YOUR ARTICLE ABOUT THAT GUY. WHERE WHERE YOU WHEN HE SAID THOSE THINGS. I don’t agree with everything Jesse Jackson says but at least he does something besides sit on the side lines and wait for someone else to say something so he has something to write about.

    You are like BET in one aspect. You objectify women all the time with no apologies. And you do nothing for the community(going on the things you write) You think because Obama is president All rasism is confined to dirty looks. You are a discrase to your color and your web site. I read you for the same reasons i listen to Tea Party Radio.
    You have a lot to say about jesse I just want to know what have you done for your community except tell them racism essentially doen’t exist

    • And none of what Jesse Jackson has done in the past makes him immune to criticize in the future.

      Stick to things that matter.

      Also do a little research there isn't just an article about Donald Sterling there are several radio interviews of me blasting him.

      Once again people are being lazy.

      Just like you said "I don't know Jesse", but obviously you "don't know me",

      • Aaron says:

        stick to things that matter ?
        are you saying that what jesse's done doesn't matter?? Are you saying what he did for my family doen't matter?
        Saying a couple things about somebody or writing an article does little. And as a journalist you know that.

        if you really cared you would write more than one article. So who is the lazy one.
        When Al Sharpton (I truely dobt you listen to his daily radio show) wants to display a view point or wants to display a form of racism there isn't just an article about Donald Sterling or several radio interviews of him blasting him. He dedicates his time and effort to make sure justice is served. Not just the 15 minutes it takes to write an article or the 7 minutes on a radio spot.

  9. Kirk Belgrave says:

    It seemed like a pretty lazy comparison to me. its pretty much like saying "TMZ is the MTV of gossip columns". 'Oh hey you guys are all black, so this seems like a fair comparison". SMH. Anyways, BSO is doing a good job in covering sports (and their athletes). I think that after all the opinions, jokes, dress-ups, and seemingly harmless posts are all said and done, I know I can read this stuff and still find out the same facts that other blogs. provide Its just more fun reading it here than on ESPN.

  10. Aaron says:

    But I wouldn't expect that type of responsibility from you. I wish i could live in your lolly gaggy world of just sports and ass. And were the only type of racism is dirty stares or locking doors when we walk by.

    I wish you would take the black out of your title because you get people confused. We think this is really a black person general opinion.

    p.s. I really don't agree with everything Jesse Jackson does. I think he is an opportunist but he does things that MATTER. AL Sharpton does things that MATTER. You on the other hand, not so much.

  11. tron says:

    its funny how sites like big lead and deadspin r run by white frat boys that can in no way relate to the black athletes they cover..or u have the profootball talks whose readers think that black athletes should be seen and not heard..i like your site..i think u kind of undermine it with a Kat Stacks myspace models JPEG, amber rose chomping on bubilicious and some thick broad in a Jason Campbell redskins jersey bro he plays for the raiders now..oh and not to mention the ridiculous fedora..and in all honesty since you do put "BLACK" in the title makes sense to correleate it to BLACK entertainment television…but like it or not i check yr site bc it gives sports news from a black perspective..a..U and the 2stews in atl r the only ones that deliver that..so keep truckin

  12. Man that is a throw back Doug Williams Jersey that she is rocking

  13. This may be onerous to hear however he’s an fucking asshole…

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