Sports journalists jumped on a man in a gorilla suit invading the field at the Lions-Bears game in Chicago on Sunday as a racist. Then the cops unmasked him as something else entirely.
The masked man ran about half the length of Soldier Field toward the end zone and ran back in the opposite direction, employing several evasive jukes to avoid his pursuers, before taking a don’t-hit-me-I’m-a-quarterback slide near the 40. Four security guards, ignoring NFL rules, quickly pounced on the costumed man despite his feet-first, I-give-up slide.
The man wore a t-shirt that read “All Lives Matter” on the front. On the back, it read: “Put Down the Guns.”
A guy dressed as a gorilla wearing an “all lives matter” shirt just ran onto the field at the Bears game pic.twitter.com/QJLfuS1b1U
— Nik Gaur (@Gaur_Nik) October 2, 2016
Chicago has witnessed 545 murders in 2016. Despite placing third in population, the Windy City counts more killings than New York City and Los Angeles combined this year. Sports journalists rush to defend political points made on the field in the wake of Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the national anthem. Protesting black men killing other black men in a majority-minority city, however, just doesn’t strike tastemakers as fashionable the way “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” does.
Sports writers quickly denounced the “All Lives Matter” stunt as racism.
Jay Busbee at Yahoo Sports, for instance, wrote that “wearing an ‘All Lives Matter’ shirt over a gorilla costume—well, that’s either breathtaking ignorance or just straight-out, no-question racism.” Corey Collins of Sporting News described the uninvited runner’s display as “juvenile, pretty-racist, attention-seeking behavior.”
Only when the cops unmasked the man in the gorilla suit they discovered a 31-year-old African American wearing dreadlocks. “All Lives Matter” hardly strikes as rhetoric akin to “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” But among sports scribes, a dim bunch more eager to prove their ideological bona fides than their writing chops, charging “racism” with volume and repetition comes as part of the job description.
The Chicago police charged Tennessean Angelo Graham with criminal trespass in a place of amusement. No law yet exists to punish boy-who-cried-