In it, Jen Floyd Engel compares Johnny Manziel, who is currently embroiled in autograph-signing controversy, to civil rights icon Rosa Parks.
My comparison of Johnny Football to Rosa Parks, a brave and willing American hero, is based only on Manziel's role as a tipping point.
Wrong is wrong, and Johnny Football unwittingly may have accomplished what reasonable people have been unable to — a necessary change to how we treat college athletes.
Deadspin labels Engel the "worst columnist in America."
We'll leave it to sports fans to kick the NCAA and its rules around. However, there is an important point regarding Rosa Parks, who is described by Engels as "an average, everyday woman ... who had grown tired of being tired."
There's more to the story, as Tim Tyson of the Duke Divinity School faculty told NPR's On the Media in 2005. Tyson said before Parks' arrest "there had been a couple of cases of black women arrested on the buses who they almost had a boycott around, but who weren't just right in one way or another. And so they were sort of waiting for this case."
There's a sense in which Mrs. Parks is very important to our post-civil rights racial narrative, because we really want a kind of sugar-coated civil rights movement that's about purity and interracial non-violence. And so we don't really want to meet the real Rosa Parks. We don't, for example, want to know that in the late 1960s, Rosa Parks became a black nationalist and a great admirer of Malcolm X. I met Rosa Parks at the funeral of Robert F. Williams, who had fought the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina with a machine gun in the late 1950s and then fled to Cuba, and had been a kind of international revolutionary icon of black power. Ms. Parks delivered the eulogy at his funeral. She talks in her autobiography and says that she never believed in non-violence and that she was incapable of that herself, and that she kept guns in her home to protect her family. But we want a little old lady with tired feet. You may have noticed we don't have a lot of pacifist white heroes. We prefer our black people meek and mild, I think.