Colin Cowherd's well-documented, years-long vendetta against John Wall may have finally come to an end yesterday. The radio host relunctantly apologized to Wall after some serious badgering by his guest, Bill Simmons.
Take a listen.
Funny that Cowherd complains about being bullied, which is the perfect segue into a quick recap of some of the most baseless, offensive and disrespectful things he's said about Washington's star point guard over the years.
On Wall doing the Dougie, Cowherd's original rant in 2010:
Before the game started, he spent 34 seconds doing the Dougie. That tells me all I need to know about J-Wow. Then he opened his mouth later and confirmed it: not a sharp guy...
J Wow's 37-second 'Yo dawg look at me I'm the man [dance]', and his wild, out-of-control style ... He's gonna end up on the Iverson, Francis, Starbury: great stats, nine All-Star teams, never play with good smart players and an elite head coach. He's gonna drive people nuts.
It's not robbing the bank, it's that you planned it. It's not just doing the Doggie [sic] for 35 seconds, it's that you really thought before the game, this is gonna be super cool and people will like me. The wrong people...
My daughter's 10. Ten years old. She knows the difference between right and wrong ... The haves get it early, the have-nots never do.
On Wall's father, who passed away of cancer when he was a child, also in 2010:
I'm a big believer, when it comes to quarterbacks and point guards. Who's your dad? Who's your dad? ... Strong families equal strong leaders. Talent? Overrated. Leadership? Underrated...
I simply have a different opinion than you do on John Wall ... No, John Wall's an A+ talent. I don't think he's ever gonna be an A+ win-championships point guard...
You know, John Wall and [Michael] Vick are very similar. I'm not disputing their talent. I mean, Michael Vick and John Wall are fun to watch. But building my franchise around him, leadership position?
After Wall was ejected in 2011:
People think I’m the antagonist with John Wall. Great young talent, goes to the NBA, does the Dougie his first time out, which I thought was pretty repulsive and immature. John Wall has been at times brilliant, at times irrelevant, mostly irrelevant this year.
Comparing Serena Williams' dancing to Wall's Dougie in 2012:
It’s the big difference between the CEO of a company signing a huge deal, popping a cork and doing a three-second dance. I’ll give you that. I’m not giving first-day on the job barista guy walking into Starbucks, 'yo yo yo look at me'...
You’ve earned the right to celebrate as a great Olympic champion. Go for it. John Wall was idiotic.
After Wall's first playoff win in 2014:
By the way, the great John Wall -- who was the point guard of the future -- not in the top 15 most popular NBA jerseys, not in the top 10 most popular team merchandise, he’s not galvanizing America, this is his first playoff win.
Cowherd insisting he was right about Wall in 2015:
I don't blame him but these people that say there is no correlation between your environment and your leadership ... You're clowns. ... And through no fault of [Wall's] own, I think he's going to be a great talent, but boy he had a rough childhood and I don't know if I'm building my franchise around him...
He is a dynamic freaky fast talent who has matured has a ton, but walked into this league wildly immature with regrettable judgement, shown by the Dougie and five years later, the only thing I don't like about him is his judgement -- He's lousy late in games...
He's very Allen Iverson-esque ... When he's on, he's on, and he's great...
Once again, John Wall -- drip, drip, drip -- it doesn’t mean he’s the devil ... It doesn’t mean he doesn’t have talent. John Wall, college games, gang signs during games. The Dougie. Stupid. Turnover machine -- that’s a judgment stat. Paul Pierce calling him out, needs to work harder. Thrown off a plane, hanging with dopes. Poor judgment, poor choices.
And comparing Wall to Johnny Manziel in February of this year:
When I looked at Johnny Manziel: Money sign, in a bathroom in Vegas rolling up a dollar bill, all over Instagram ... You’re not mature enough. And so I said this all the time when I was critical about John Wall. What I said about John Wall is what I’ve said about Johnny Manziel: It’s not the talent. But I’m going to watch you, watch your background, look at your upbringing, look what you dealt with, and make some calls on it...
I don’t want my point guard in make-it-rain situations, kicked off flights. I don’t want that stuff. Johnny Manziel, I don’t want my quarterback doing this [gesture], money money money, signing autographs in college, putting his team in peril.
In the span of six years, Cowherd has insulted Wall's intelligence, family, leadership, decision-making and clutch performance. He has compared the three-time All-Star to a bank robber, then later to Manziel, who has been a failure in the NFL, not to mention a documented substance abuser with a criminal record.
To hear Cowherd tell it, the Wizards star is an athletically gifted but mentally weak player whose bad upbringing cursed him with poor judgment and me-first attitude. That he danced the Dougie means he'll squander his talents and never achieve greatness.
At best, this hot take is uninformed (we won't waste time defending Wall's character, good works and loving family here). At worst, it force-fits one of the league's most dynamic figures into a lazy, racist trope of the black player who is physically exceptional but intellectually flawed. Stronger and faster, but immature and selfish -- dangerous to his team.
Wall is not Iverson, nor is he Vick. But all three are victims of this narrative. Reduced down from individual to type.
And that's why, no matter how many times Cowherd apologizes, he deserves no forgiveness from Wall.