After a surprising 71-64 fall to the Wisconsin Badgers in this year’s Final Four, emotions were obviously high for both sides but only one with consequences. In the press conference following the defeat that ended his Kentucky team’s shot at perfection and a 40-0 record, Wildcats guard Andrew Harrison said something that goes to show there is some sort of double standard in collegiate as well as professional sports.
And it needs to end now.
A member of the media asked the Wildcats to talk for a moment about Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin’s big time star that proved to be one of the x-factors in the Badger victory. Wisconsin’s win was direct revenge for being upstaged by Kentucky in the very same round of the NCAA Tournament last season.
I guess some things really do come back to bite you.
As bitterness clearly boiled in the blood of several players, Harrison uttered an inappropriate and racial comment directed at Wisconsin’s Kamisnky.
“F*** that n****,” said Harrison, unaware of a hot mic that picked up his whispers perfectly.
While the outrage from fans — both casual and die-hard — and others who love throwing their two-sense into everything, this is not something that college basketball or prospective NBA teams looking to pick Harrison up should take lightly.
Am I saying that because of this one mistake that Harrison is a bad man? Or a bad draft pick? Or not worth looking into as a future star? Absolutely not.
But imagine if Harrison wasn’t African-American and said the same comment.
As expected, the world would be in an uproar and the punishment would be handed down swiftly and efficiently by the team, community, and college basketball — possibly even some action taken by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. There is no excuse — yes, I said no excuse — for these kinds of actions to be tolerated.
Although not a direct reason for overhaul, again this is no slap-on-the-wrist that should go unnoticed. Did we not forget how hard the world came down on a University of Oklahoma fraternity that was caught on video chanting racial slurs directed specifically at African-Americans?
Believe it or not, the uproar was around the same word that Harrison used to describe Kaminsky.
Not cool. Ever.
In a society that is pushing the idea of becoming more and more loving, understanding, and helpful to those around them rather than detrimental, Harrison must know that even though he’s apologized to Kaminsky he is not out of hot water. To make things more interesting, Kentucky head coach John Calipari was just elected into college basketball’s Hall of Fame.
I wonder if his plaque and recognition come with teaching his player’s some self-respect along with sportsmanship.
Because, at the end of the day, that’s what says more about any of the athletes on Kentucky’s team from here on out, and they will continue to echo louder than any 40-0 mark ever could.
I rest my case.