Filed under: Basketball, Bread City, Denver Nuggets | Tags: Gang Signs, J.R. Smith, Mark Kiszla, Racism in sports
Re: J.R. a fool in danger of losing it all, published Wednesday, June 13th.
What right does Mr. Kiszla have to question whether or not J.R. Smith is sorry that Andre Bell, his close friend, died in that car accident? The suggestion that Smith is such a monster that he could not care, and the further stipulation that this is because of rap music, is far beyond offensive.
For a so-called journalist to mock Smith and Bell by suggesting that they would have somehow preferred it if Bell had died “outside a seedy strip club at 3 a.m., the way it would go down in a rap song,” is tantamount to slander.
Mr. Kiszla’s goes on to focus his ire on the lack of a public apology from J.R. Smith, but it is unclear why he thinks any sports writer needs or deserves a personal statement of regret from the 21-year-old basketball player on the day after this tragedy.
It also unclear is why, to Mr. Kiszla, a car accident is an indication that “Smith is a gangsta wannabe who got lost in a dangerous game of make-believe.” (There were approximately 6,420,000 reported car accidents in the United States in 2005.) Why Mr. Kizla thinks that it is acceptable to write this in a major newspaper is a much greater mystery.
Mr. Kiszla does not bother to back up a single one of these provocative statements, or bother to explain what any of them could have to do with Smith’s close friend’s untimely death: that Smith “tried so hard to live the lyrics of a rap song,” that Smith “flashed gang signs after making 3-point shots” (he holds up three fingers), or that “Smith was too busy drowning in a culture bigger than himself to figure out what he wanted to be when he grew up.”
Worse than just being an unwarranted personal attack, Mr. Kiszla’s article draws the journalistic integrity of the entire Denver Post into question.
I hope that Mr. Kiszla and the Denver Post will realize the gravity of this situation, and issue an apology to both J.R. Smith and to their readers.
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