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Jason Whitlock on Andrew Wiggins: Canadian athletes ‘don’t want it as much’

Andrew-WigginsThe Cleveland Cavaliers seem like they have decided that they would rather pair Kevin Love with LeBron James and hope for instant results instead of developing rookie sensation Andrew Wiggins. The Cavs have reportedly agreed to include Wiggins in any potential trade for Love. Does that have anything to do with Wiggins’ nationality? Jason Whitlock seems to think so.

During his chat with Keith Olbermann on Monday night, Whitlock cited the fact that Wiggins is Canadian as one reason the Cavs should trade him for Love.

“I think that smart basketball people, and I don’t want to attach this to LeBron and his camp — Andrew Wiggins is from Canada,” the ESPN columnist said. “Canadian athletes, I think, among NBA players and NBA people, perhaps don’t want it as much as even some of the European and certainly the American players.”

In other words, the Cavs should take ethnic stereotypes into consideration when pondering Wiggins’ future. Olbermann later reminded Whitlock that Wiggins is only half Canadian and that his father is an American who played in the NBA.

“Andrew Wiggins’ effort and intensity was sometimes inconsistent at Kansas,” Whitlock said. “That may be a personality quirk that he will deal with throughout his entire career and that’s why I think (Cleveland) would probably prefer to play with Kevin Love.”

If Whitlock believes Wiggins lacks a “motor,” that’s fine. He’s entitled to his own opinion and assessment of the player. But if he thinks the Cavs should trade Wiggins in part because he is from Canada, that’s probably something Whitlock is best keeping to himself. Then again, this is the same guy who made an Asian penis joke about Jeremy Lin.

Video via SB Nation

Jason Whitlock sports denim jacket on Keith Olbermann

Jason Whitlock denim jacket

Jason Whitlock’s first assignment since signing on with ESPN was to serve as a guest on Keith Olbermann’s new ESPN2 talk show. The two discussed the media’s treatment of the New York Jets, and they ventured into a discussion about the significance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech to the sports world.

But Whitlock captured more attention for what he was wearing than anything he was saying. He had on what appeared to be a denim jacket that had a matching beige collar and elbow pads. And if the jacket wasn’t enough of a statement to tell you that Whitlock is bringing back old school fashion, his small hoop earring certainly was.

Come on, Whitlock, don’t you know that taking fashion tips from Michael Jordan is always a bad idea?

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Jason Whitlock will be doing ‘black Grantland’ at ESPN

Jason WhitlockColumnist Jason Whitlock provided some insight regarding his new role at ESPN.

Whitlock confirmed this week that he is leaving FOX Sports to return to ESPN, seven years after leaving the network. In an interview on Bill Simmons’ BS Report, Whitlock elaborated on his new role at ESPN and said he would be creating the “black Grantland.”

“For lack of a better description, I hope this isn’t offensive — but I’m going to get to do something along the lines of a black Grantland,” Whitlock told Simmons.

Whitlock says his meeting with ESPN president John Skipper convinced him to return to the network. He said he “fell in love” with Skipper and the vision Skipper had for him.

“Man, that was like music to my ears. I would love to work with some young people and to really have a chance to influence sports culture and the sports world with some young people … we’re going to try to be original thinkers,” Whitlock said of his project.

Whitlock is pumped up for his new gig and called getting his new job the greatest days of his professional life.

One of the reasons for Whitlock’s move to ESPN, aside from Skipper’s vision for him, was that he did not feel like his vision for his column aligned with FOX Sports’. It sounds like FOX Sports wanted to make Whitlock more of a multimedia personality, whereas Whitlock still wanted his column to be his top priority.

Whitlock says he is looking forward to engaging minority sports fans through his new project, and he wants to mentor young minority writers. He also likes that he will be going to a place with a bigger audience, which will result in at least one change for him. Whitlock says he will partially change the way he runs his Twitter account because he is on a bigger stage. He believes you have to act a little differently when on Broadway compared to off Broadway, where you do different things go get attention, like showing a little nudity.

Lastly, Whitlock says he always believed that returning to ESPN would be tantamount to selling out, and that’s why he was resistant to the move. But after seeing Nate Silver and Keith Olbermann leave for the network, he no longer felt that was the case.

Both Simmons and Whitlock are looking forward to the launch of FOX Sports 1 and 2 because they embrace the competition. Simmons believes FOX Sports inspired ESPN to make some of their recent moves, and he believes competition will force the network to “fight to keep the lead.”

H/T The Big Lead

Jason Whitlock leaves FOX Sports for ESPN

Jason WhitlockControversial columnist Jason Whitlock is leaving FOX Sports to return to ESPN after spending six years writing for the LA-based sports network.

Whitlock confirmed the move via his Twitter account, where he thanked FOX Sports for allowing him to grow and sticking by him after his racist Jeremy Lin joke.

Whitlock last worked for ESPN in 2006. He left the network after sharing critical opinions of the network and some of his colleagues in a 2006 interview with The Big Lead. Whitlock was a regular on ESPN’s Page 2 section of the website, and the Sunday morning TV show “The Sports Reporters.” He also frequently served as a forum member and fill-in host on “Jim Rome is Burning.”

[Related: Jason Whitlock will be doing ‘black Grantland’ at ESPN]

The Big Lead, which broke news of Whitlock’s return to ESPN, says the move came together following a meeting between ESPN’s John Skipper and Whitlock in early August. Whitlock apparently had been working on a possible TV show for FOX Sports 1 called “Red, White and Truth,” where he would have been a host. FOX Sports 1 apparently is taking a “jockularity” approach to its network, while ESPN, with the hiring of Keith Olbermann, Nate Silver, and now Whitlock, seems to be pursuing more of an intellectual angle.

Shaq, Whitlock to rumble in six months?

Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like we may have to set up a fight date for Shaq and Jason Whitlock.

Matters between the two got started on NBA opening night Tuesday when Whitlock, a columnist for FOXSports.com, said Shaq was out of shape. The former All-NBA center and current TNT NBA analyst responded by challenging Whitlock to a fight.

Not only did Whitlock not back down, but he wrote a column in response touting his credentials as a street fighter and former football player.

Shaq wasn’t about to back down from his initial challenge, and Whitlock isn’t tapping out, either.

Shaq said on “Inside the NBA” Thursday that he wanted to fight Whitlock next week. The Big Fella agreed to fight in six months after Whitlock said he wanted that much time to train for the bout.

Things are so far along that Shaq received an offer from former heavyweight champion boxer Lennox Lewis to train, much to Whitlock’s disappointment:

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Shaq challenges Jason Whitlock to a fight

Former NBA All-Star center and current TNT NBA analyst Shaquille O’Neal responded to a tweet about his weight from FOXSports.com’s Jason Whitlock by challenging the writer to a fight.

Whitlock sent the following tweet to “Inside the NBA” before Tuesday’s season-opening game between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat began:

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Jason Whitlock apologizes for ruining Jeremy Lin’s story, not for racist joke

Jason Whitlock addressed the racist tweet he sent about Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin Friday, apologizing for ruining the great story, but failing to apologize for invoking a stereotype.

Responding to the Asian American Journalists Association which called for him to apologize, Whitlock wrote the following:

I get Linsanity. I’ve cried watching Tiger Woods win a major golf championship. Jeremy Lin, for now, is the Tiger Woods of the NBA. I suspect Lin makes Asian Americans feel the way I feel when I watch Tiger play golf.

I should’ve realized that Friday night when I watched Lin torch the Lakers. For Asian Americans and a lot of sports fans, his nationally-televised 38-point outburst was the equivalent of Tiger’s first victory in The Masters. I got caught up in the excitement. I tweeted about what a great story Lin is and how he could rival Tim Tebow.

I then gave into another part of my personality — my immature, sophomoric comedic nature. It’s been with me since birth, a gift from my mother and honed as a child listening to my Godmother’s Richard Pryor albums. I still want to be a standup comedian.

The couple-inches-of-pain tweet overshadowed my sincere celebration of Lin’s performance and the irony that the stereotype applies to pot-bellied, overweight male sports writers, too. As the Asian American Journalist Association pointed out, I debased a feel-good sports moment. For that, I’m truly sorry.

That’s a weak apology from Whitlock, and it really isn’t much of one. He doesn’t address the racial stereotype from his tweet which is what many people found extremely inappropriate. The issue isn’t really that he “debased a feel-good sports moment,” but that one of the industry’s leaders on race in sports used a racial stereotype to discredit a professional athlete. That’s what he should have apologized for, not for ruining the story.