In fairness, the fact that Simone Manuel is African American is of importance. It's not like this was a track event where declaring the winner was black would be nothing more than a formality. I'm not trying to defend the halfbreed making headlines for the 'Mercury News', but since we are talking about swimming it is quite newsworthy that one of the people mentioned in the editorial was the first of her race to take home Gold in that particular sport. Now, is it more newsworthy than her ACTUAL NAME? No, as much as I hate to disagree with the person that felt that "Olympics:" was a necessary disclaimer, I do not think the color of her skin was paramount to her identity. Especially considering the color of her skin is pretty goddamn evident to anyone that has eyeballs functioning well enough to read that headline.
I don't know who the asshole responsible for this little gaff was, but they clearly don't understand how the human brain functions. You know why the "African American" identifier wasn't necessary? Because - like every person that has ever opened a single book in their entire life - I look at the pictures first. Been doing it since 'Dr. Suess' and it hasn't failed me yet. The black girl smiling ear-to-ear while holding up the Gold Medal? Dead giveaway of the content I am about to click on. I don't want to speak for people that live in the Dakotas, but I - personally - didn't need some intern at 'Mercury News' to insult an entire race just to confirm the nationality of the person I am staring at. A picture speaks a thousand words, so you probably could have saved room in the title for two that describe an Olympic Gold Medalist as more than her skin color.
P.S. As sad as it is, in a few weeks the fact that Simone Manuel is black will matter more than what it says on her birth certificate, so - listen up 'Mercury News' - we should probably be trying to get her name out there as much as possible while people still care about those who participate in the Olympics.