I agree, I think the only real monster of T.O. is the one that the media tries so hard to create. If the media would have backed off and left the Eagles alone, I don't think there ever would have been a problem. The media needs to back out of team affairs and let them be.
If anyone doesn't think that T.O. didn't try to use the media to get leverage with the Eagles you are crazy. Come on! T.O. had MULTIPLE press conferences from his house. You don' t think that T.O. isn't trying to use the media?
When you act stupid you are stupid. Regardless of whether you are white, black, green, blue, yellow, red, purple, blonde, brunette, tan, pasty white, or any other color on the planet. In T.O.'s own little world he was a god. He got injured the Eagles dropped a notch performance wise and he comes back and nearly leads them to a Super Bowl victory. I hate to break it to T.O. but the Eagles would have been in the playoffs with or without T.O. and they made it to the Super Bowl without T.O. there is no way that T.O. deserves a pay raise.
Now, does the fact that T.O. is a black man amplify the coverage and debate about the situation? Yes. The media is notorious for covering the stereotypes and bad press about black people in general. The one thing that has always bothered me (beyond unfair media coverage) is all the social programs in place to keep a black/minority person down. There are so many precidents in society (schools especially) that teach black youth that "well, your black so you don't have to achieve as much to be succesful" (and the whole stigma that atheletics is one of the only ways out). There is a second layer of standards for minorities that sets the majority up for failure. At most we need ot recongnize the learning differences between a black, hispanic, asian, white, and whatever other minotrity you can think of and find the best way to teach. Coming up with lower standards and easier testing standards for minorities is a setup for failure. Everyone has the same chance to be successful in life if given the same opportunities but unfortunately not eveyrone is given the same opportunities.
I have to admit my community has been relatively devoid of ethnic diveristy until recent changes in the economy became prominant. With the upturn in housing costs and the hurricane disaster many displaced minorities have called Vancouver their home due to slightly less housing costs in the downtown and uptown areas of the city. It has been a culture shock and enlightnening experience for myself. I have meet some of the most amazing people since this has happend. There is a gentleman down the street who moved in that served our country in Iraq, played baseball at LSU, and is now trying to break out as a produce in the R&B/Hip-hop genre. Meeting him has lead to an outlet to really get to know the people behind the scenes here in Portland/Vancouver of a music form that has been a favorite of mine for years. I wish everyone could have this sort of intercourse and not notice the color of man/woman's skin. As sad as it was the media and other various stereotypes made be hesitant when Vancouver for the first time began to develop a truely diverse ethnic society.
I hope I'm not stepping on anybody's toes but I was a white youth who was far from understanding ethnic diversity growing up in a predominately white community. I also have not been around or experienced the ghetto's of New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and other major cities around American. So I certainly do not understand the plight and dynamics of such situations.
But to close my original thought... T.O. used the media as much as the media used T.O. I don't feel bad for T.O. and believe he got what was coming to him and it had little to do with race as it did with T.O. just not being smart about his situation.