Being racist and insensitive can cost you, especially in the sports world.
And former University of Georgia first baseman Adam Sasser has learned that lesson the hard way. The senior’s career as a Bulldog is over after he was dismissed from the team for shouting racist remarks at UGA backup quarterback Justin Fields.
Sasser, who’s white, called Fields, who’s black, the “N-word.”
As you can see, I didn’t use the term “allegedly.”
Because if it “allegedly” happened, then Sasser wouldn’t have been kicked off the team or felt the need to issue an apology.
“First and foremost, I want to apologize for my actions at the football game on Saturday,” Sasser wrote. “I totally understand why my actions were offensive and I am deeply sorry for any pain or distress this has caused anyone.
“Secondly, I would like to apologize to the University of Georgia, my teammates and my coaches for the past three plus years and say that I am extremely sorry I have put you all in this position and wish nothing but the best for everyone.
“Lastly, I would like to thank my parents, extended family and too many friends to count for your love and constant support my whole life but especially these past few days. I deeply regret disappointing each of you and will do everything in my power to never disappoint any of you again.”
Sasser would later write that he and Fields spoke and are on “good terms.”
I’m here to tell you that Sasser is wrong. Because when you’re black, you never forget when a white person calls you that word.
It lives with you forever.
And it’s not like Sasser didn’t have anything to lose either. He was second-team All-SEC last season and helped the Bulldogs to their first NCAA Tournament bid in five years while batting .317 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI.
But at the same time, Sasser wasn’t spewing his racist hatred at any old scrub at the end of the bench, either. Fields was the No. 1 recruit in the 2018 class.
Sasser’s future is up in the air, while Fields could be the face of one of the best programs in college football in a few years.
Funny how karma seems to always work itself out like that.
Unfortunately, situations like these aren’t rare as they’ve become the norm over the past few weeks.
Last month, a former Texas superintendent named Lynn Redden resigned after he decided it was a good idea to get on Facebook and say that “you can’t count on a black quarterback” when discussing Houston Texans starting quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Mind you, Watson is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league and one of the Texans’ best players.
“As an educator, this experience has taught me that I still have a lot to learn,” Redden wrote in his resignation letter, according to the Houston Chronicle. “My comments were not only uninformed but also hurtful, and I understand now why they were offensive to so many people.”
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien quickly came to the defense of Watson after he was made aware of the comments.
“I don’t want to waste any time responding to ignorant, idiotic statements,” he said. “Deshaun represents everything that’s right about football and life. It’s amazing that B.S. exists, but it does.”
That “B.S.” also reared its ugly head in Tennessee last month when a high school athletic director/assistant principal named Jared Hensley was put on administrative leave for saying in a school video that girls “pretty much ruin everything” after an announcement on the ban of athletic shorts.
“And if you want to blame someone, blame the girls, because they pretty much ruin everything,” Hensley said. “They ruin the dress code, well — ask Adam. Look at Eve. That’s really all you got to get to. You can go back to the beginning of time.
“It’ll be like that the rest of your life, keep your mouth shut, suck it up and follow the rules.”
And in another example of racist and tactless behavior involving sports, last month a Texas High School had a bonfire during homecoming week in which the fire burned underneath an effigy wearing the jersey number of a black player from their rival school.
Don Dunn serves as the superintendent of the Van Independent School District and released a statement in which he attempted to explain why burning the effigy of a black teenage boy is cool.
“The Vandal Bonfire is a long-standing tradition in Van ISD that dates back to the 1940s. When this tradition began, our bonfire was constructed by senior students; however, after an incident in the mid-2000s when a student broke his wrist during construction, the district decided to halt the tradition. In 2017, the bonfire tradition was reinstated with the construction process handled by Van ISD staff rather than students for safety reasons. Our community and alumni have been very excited to see this beloved tradition return. After videos of the bonfire posted by the district on social media following the bonfire last night, comments arose in the thread accusing the district of racism. Historically, the number on the player’s jersey at the top of the bonfire has always been the same number as the opposing team’s best player. This is by no means a racial issue and never has been. Van ISD would never promote, condone, or allow this long-standing tradition to target an opposing team or player because of their race. We understand that some people who are not familiar with our bonfire tradition could misinterpret photos or videos they may have seen on social media due to the current charged social and political climate. For this reason, future bonfires will not include a mock football player of the opposing team. We sincerely regret if anyone was offended by this tradition that has always centered around good-natured school spirit between rival teams and are saddened that the character of our upstanding school community has been called in to question.”
This is America, in 2018.
On four separate occasions in the past few weeks in the sports world we have seen adults, college students, and high school kids either be outrageously racist, or hurtfully sexist and insensitive.
It just proves yet again, that racism and sexism aren’t natural, but learned behavior.
The kids are getting it from their parents because the parents were brought up that way as kids. It’s a disgusting cycle that exists in our society and is far too often replicated in the sports world.