From the penthouse to the you-know-what house in two short years…
When former Star sports columnist Jason Whitlock imploded his way out of KC two years back, he went out in style. Kinda. By taking a huge public dump on the local newspaper and outing his boss – Star editor Mike Fannin – for allegedly dipping his pen in the company ink.
Nevermind that few at the Star likely disagreed with him.
As the details about Fannin and the Star grew more sordid, 610 Sports host Nick Wright pulled the plug on Whitlock and listeners were left to their imaginations as to what Fannin may have enacted that January night.
Whitlock’s trashing of his former employer wasn’t a first – nor even a second.
The Fat Man had already burned bridges with former employers, WHB, ESPN and Entercom.
Just the behind-the-scenes stories I’d heard about Whitlock would have been enough to make the Star fire about any other employee – present company included – but Star editors and publishers relished Whitlock’s ability to pimp readers and stitch together WWE-like sports soaps.
The kinda stuff that sells newspapers, they said.
But now that Whitlock’s gone – and continuing to write for Fox Sports online – aside from calling in to try and match wits with Wright on 610, the Big Fella’s all but dropped from sight. As if he’s waiting for another Don Imus racial moment to buy another ticket on Oprah.
Whitlock’s ticket arrived this past week.
In the form of an "unfunny" Tweet he issued last Friday that he was forced to apologize for. About rising NBA star Jeremy Lin after Lin scored a sensational 38 points against the Lakers that night.
"Some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple inches of pain tonight," Whitlock Tweeted.
Get it, the Asian dude may have scored lots of points against the brothers, but he only had two inches where romance was concerned.
Yahoo Sports‘ Kelly Dwyer‘s take on Whitlock’s gaffe:
"Tell me, have you ever read a Jason Whitlock column on the NBA? Do you even think to go to him when NBA news breaks? Jason Whitlock knows this. He’s also an unfunny boor with a massive ego, and the combination of those factors plus his NBA irrelevancy leads to Twitter comments like this."
"There are funny jokes, and then there are unfunny jokes that mix with needless racial stereotyping and the laziness that comes from not even bothering to look up the fact that the Knicks would be flying to Minneapolis directly after Friday’s game," Dwyer continues. "On Sunday, after much criticism and derision, Whitlock came through with an apology of sorts."
"The couple-inches-of-pain tweet overshadowed my sincere celebration of Lin’s performance and the irony that the stereotype applies to pot-bellied, overweight male sports writers, too," Whitlock wrote Monday. "As the Asian American Journalist Association pointed out, I debased a feel-good sports moment. For that, I’m truly sorry."
The apology was in response to the Asian American Journalists Association calling Whitlock out for racism.
"Dear Mr. Whitlock," it begins. "Where do we begin?
"Let’s start by saying that your tweet in the midst of the Jeremy Lin hoopla was inappropriate on so many levels. Certainly, it doesn’t hold up to the conduct of responsible journalists, those in sports or otherwise, who adhere to standards of fairness, civility and good taste. Nor does it meet the standards of Fox Sports, with which you are associated.
"Outrage doesn’t begin to describe the reaction of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) to your unnecessary and demeaning tweet of Feb. 10 after the New York Knicks played the Los Angeles Lakers: ‘Some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple of inches of pain tonight.’
"Let’s not pretend we don’t know to what you were referring. The attempt at humor – and we hope that is all it was – fell flat. It also exposed how some media companies fail to adequately monitor the antics of their high-profile representatives. Standards need to be applied – by you and by Fox Sports.
"The offensive tweet debased one of sports’ feel-good moments, not just among Asian Americans but for so many others who are part of your audience.
"Where do we go from here? How about an apology, Mr. Whitlock."
Dwyer’s take on Whitlock’s apology:
"Whitlock’s not going anywhere, though some called for and even expected his dismissal from FOX over the weekend. The Asian American Journalists Association was more than correct in looking past the "not funny" aspect of Whitlock’s noise and calling out his blatant stereotyping…Whitlock, per usual, will be dutifully ignored by NBA fans until he says another stupid thing about the league."
Dwyer wasn’t alone is nailing Whitlock for racism but other journalists busted him for sexism as well.
"Whitlock, who often takes on what he sees as racism in sport, does not seem to get the contradiction of speaking out about racism when it applies to black people, but feeling totally comfortable expressing racist sentiments about Asians, writes Pat Griffin of opposingviews.com. "Whitlock, in addition to using an ugly stereotype for Asian men, seems to think that inflicting sexual pain on women is an appropriate way of celebrating a great athletic performance…Whitlock’s comment is offensive to Asian men and all women. Why haven’t more men who object to Whitlock’s racism also criticized his sexism?"
Readers of Whitlock’s columns and followers of his exploits at strip club won’t be shocked by the sexism charges.
To top it all off, Sportsgrid.com’s Dan Fogarty even put together a column headlined, "Here Are Some Jokes About Jason Whitlock Having a Small Penis"
So once again Whitlock has managed to jam his way into the national limelight. However this time in a manner that may cost him.