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Letters to the Editors

Race card gets played too often

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 18, 2001

I just read the article Darrell Fry wrote about (Ravens assistant) coach Marvin Lewis. I cannot believe the Times would waste this much space on such a senseless article. Did Mr. Fry consider Lewis is a defensive coach? And maybe he's not quite what some teams are looking for as a head coach? And maybe it has nothing to do with race? When will everyone quit crying racism?
-- Robert L. Spry, via e-mail

This is taken from Mr. Fry's commentary: "Sooner rather than later we have to get past this race thing, but excuses aren't going to get us there." Right, I agree with that. Then there is this: "In a league that's about 65 percent black ... " Okay, now you've lost me. Mr. Fry's reason is that because the majority of players are black, the majority of coaches should be black. Let's take the Buccaneers as an example. I am willing to bet the percentage of blacks is much more, in fact, closer to 90 percent. Blacks are only 12 percent of our population, so please, Mr. Fry, when you go on and on about racism in the NFL, please be fair. Frankly, I don't understand why you're complaining.
-- M. Davis, New Port Richey

I am sick of this race c--- every time a white person is hired over a black person in the NFL for a coaching job. It is unfortunate that Marvin Lewis did not get the job, but who are you to say he was not hired because he was black? Were you part of the interview process? From what I have read and listened to, Gregg Williams' interview was impeccably prepared and delivered. Do you think maybe that had something to do with it? Your article stated that 65 percent of the players in the NFL are black. Is this reverse discrimination? No, the simple fact is they are more qualified than their white competition.

I am so sick and tired of the race card or the female card or whatever card every time a special group does not get what it wants.
-- John Bates, via E-mail

Why is it when about 15 percent of the starters in the NFL are white it is based on talent and abilities, but when about 15 percent of the coaches are black it is racial?
-- Jerry Scheib, Treasure Island

Seems like ever since coach Tony Dungy has been worrying about NFL teams not hiring enough black coaches, his team has not done so well. Is it that he is sacrificing his team's production for a personal cause? Oh well, maybe when he is fired he can use the race card for his excuse.
-- Russel Comeaux, Chiefland

Dungy's our best bet

Hey, Bucs fans, I have read a lot of comments about how we need to replace Tony Dungy. The Bucs have gone from NFL joke to one of the most respected teams in the league. It's because of him that we make annual trips to the playoffs, and he gives us the best chance of going to the Super Bowl. I wonder how much race plays a part in the lack of patience and respect he receives.
-- James McGarrah, Largo

Click here to read Jobs, not excuses, for minority coaches by Darrell Fry (February 10, 2001)
A trade in mediocrity
If Damian Cristodero thinks Matthew Barnaby's acquisition is a move in the right direction, then Tampa Bay's hockey team is much worse than I suspected. Good teams (Buffalo and Pittsburgh) do not let good players slip through their fingers. Let me assure you that the Barnabys of the world are the epitome of mediocrity. Of course, in the case of the Lightning, that may be an upgrade.
Jim Somma, New Port Richey

Where were you?

Searched the sports page on Monday and there was not one item about the Sunday Rays Fan Fest at the Trop. You covered Saturday but not Sunday, and Sunday had a larger crowd. I hope your coverage of the Rays will be better than it has been in the past.
-- Henry A. Swain, St. Petersburg

It's PGA, not Tiger League

We all know Tiger Woods is a great golf player, but don't take the credit from other great players. I'm disturbed with the small picture of Phil Mickelson in your Monday sports page. I know if Woods had won his picture would have taken up half the page.
-- Carl Entelmann, Dade City

No thanks, NASCAR

NASCAR prostituted itself to the almighty revenue stream and I can't -- won't -- watch the race coverage by Fox. One of the things I like, or liked, about NASCAR was the family values and sense of close competition tempered with principals of fair play. They are not playing fair in this instance, and we the fans have an obligation to tell them. NASCAR's treatment of ESPN is unjust.

The quote attributed to Paul Brooks, vice president of broadcasting for NASCAR: "The way we are encouraging ESPN to cover us is with SportsCenter, because, quite frankly, it's pitiful the coverage they've given our sport over the years. It absolutely is not up to what our drivers and teams deserve." Is he serious and how long has he been watching race coverage?

One of my family's objectives is to note the advertisers of the broadcast. We intend to boycott their products as well as communicate to the sponsors our displeasure with NASCAR'S decisions.
-- Ann O'Lone, Clearwater

Stott feature well-received

Thanks for a great article on Ramo Stott. I found it refreshing to pick up a local paper and get something other than news about Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett or Jeff Burton. I have noticed you have added plenty of interesting articles and features to keep everyone from the novice fans to the old, diehards entertained and informed.
-- Connie J.A. Glotzbach-Sturgeon, St. Petersburg

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