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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Harold Reynolds Suing ESPN For Firing Him For Hugging White Girl

Yep. You've read it correctly. ESPN's Harold Reynolds is suing ESPN for $5 million as reported by the Miami Herald. According to the newspaper's account, Reynolds claims that "he was wrongly fired after a female intern complained about what he called a 'brief and innocuous' hug."

The Smoking Gun has a copy of the filed lawsuit. In it, Reynolds' Lawyer says that ESPN is refusing to let the Connecticut Labor Department have a copy of his personal file, in fact, Reynolds can't see it either and it's about him. Wonder what's in it?

The Smoking Gun also reveals that Reynolds and the intern went out twice that day: lunch and dinner. So the real truth to this story is somewhere in those two outings. But it's clear that we've got a juicy story. If she didn't really like Reynolds, why go out with him twice? He wasn't her direct boss so there was no bureaucratic pressure to do so.

Since my column asserting that race was the reason behind not just Reynolds firing, but the idea that the woman was white and while liked Harold as a "friend" perhaps she didn't like a black man getting that close to her, I've received both praise and insults for my position. But let me re-state that this is a matter of race and the issue of how there are racial double standards in society is not well-discussed.

I was recently the victim of excessive force use by a California Highway Patrol officer, and just because I started to cry regarding how I was being treated. My good friend who's white and male and a prominent Oakland lawyer told me that had I been white, the treatment woujld have been different. He sees the double-standard.

Look, only an idiot or a racist would clam race has nothing to do with this. It does and there's no such thing as being color-blind. Everyone has a reaction to a person of color, one way or another. You can't avoid it.

Hey, Harold should not have hugged her first, but I'm willing to bet bucks that she's hugged some of ESPN's white male personalities. What Harold ran into was a racial double standard. The only problem is he doesn't have the guts to say it; I do. Moreover, if it turns out that the female intern was black -- which I seriously doubt -- the same standard applies. Hey, don't think there aren't African Americans who don't like blacks -- there are, and the self-black-hatred phenomenon is as much a part of the overall social problem as any other factor.

ESPN's offices are in Conneticut, a state not known for its high degree of mixed-race couples. Isn't it possible that ESPN's harboring some latently racist staffers? People who -- let's be honest -- have issues about black men dating white women, but try to keep their problems in their personal mental closets? (As small as they are! Sorry, but racism is a proven mental illness.)

Look, you're not going to tell me that ESPN really doesn't pay attention to female beauty and was protecting the intests of an intern. ESPN just hired Heather Cox, according to Deadspin, who has just two years of community college and a spot on American Idol.

Wow. So much for journalism school! I'll bet more money some guy at ESPN was behind her discovery. I know one thing: it wasn't Harold Reynolds.

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