When emotions heat up, which is the national norm in recent years, people tend to expose their true nature, everything from their compassion to their cruelty. And all too often, we get a dollop of the plague formed in American bedrock.
Racism naturally resorted to social media to slither its wicked presence into the simmering acrimony of the Western Conference semifinals between the Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies.
Not from players or coaches, mind you, but from a Memphis-area meteorologist.
In the wake of Grizzlies forward Kyle Anderson being assessed two technical fouls and an automatic ejection for losing his temper Saturday night in Game 3, FOX13 meteorologist Joey Sulipeck responded by firing a tasteless shot toward Warriors forward Draymond Green.
“And chew on this,” began Sulipeck’s tweet. “Draymond runs his knuckle-dragging open mouth ALL GAME LONG, but mild-mannered Kyle Anderson disputes one call and gets ejected? Next level jackassery.”
The term “knuckle dragger” generally is considered unveiled code for a massive primate, such as a gorilla. It’s an unflattering term long associated with bigots.
The racist tweet made the rounds Saturday night and early Sunday – before Sulipeck’s Twitter account, in which his avatar was of him wearing red, white and blue stars-and-stripes attire, suddenly vanished.
Green saw it. Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who has not perused twitter since April 2021, didn’t see it but had a response when asked Sunday if he was surprised.
“Does it surprise me that a weatherman would tweet a slur at Draymond? In 2022? Not in the slightest bit,” Kerr said. “This is America. This is how we operate.”
Green also was not surprised. He took to Instagram indicating he was not surprised and wouldn’t care for an apology.
Almost always, these cheap shots come from so-called “fans,” to use a loose definition of the word. There is a possibility that Sulipeck will be subjected to disciplinary action.
Sadly, Sulipeck’s conduct is not unusual in America’s the raging war over racial, gender and ethnic equality.