USA Today- “I’ve been called the N-word so many times this year,” Gardner said. “One guy told me I was the N-word, and said I know N-words can’t play quarterback. And I was like, are we not past this? Say what you want about my skill, but come on.”
This isn't a new issue. Athletes have been getting bombarded with anonymous racial slurs since Twitter became a social medium. I am fully aware that while it is not 1800, racists are still prevalent in today's society. Racism, both conscious and subconscious, is an issue that all minorities have to deal with. It is only expanded by a person's popularity and outreach.
The thing that I don't understand that is how people like Michigan coach Brady Hoke get fair and (mostly) rational criticisms, while Devon Gardner gets a barrage of slurs. Like, the best insult a person can think of for Gardner after how poorly he has played this season is the 'N' word? I could think of like 1,000 insulting things to say that actually apply to his play on the football field.
I don't condone racial epithets under any circumstance. However, if scumbags out there are going to do it, maybe save it for professionals. College kids are between 18-22 years old. They don't get paid for their hard work and dedication. Shit, they can't even sell their own name for a couple bucks. The last thing they should have to worry about is a bunch of cocksuckers sending them racist hate mail because they threw an interception or two on Saturday. You don't think these athletes want to win?
Really, it's a shame that something that is supposed to be for entertainment can invoke such a harsh and volatile reaction. Don't get me wrong, I insult athletes all the time. I may even wish ill will upon them. However, that is mostly hyperbole. Calling a football a pussy is a little different than using a word that has such a treacherous and storied past. It's too bad that this issue still presents itself on a semi-regular basis. As helpful and informative as social media can be, it gives cowards way too big of a platform for their prejudice.