There’s already enough political baggage tainting professional football to start worrying whether there is racism in the coin toss that precedes games — and the first overtime period.
But Jesse Jackson has “gone there.” In a tweet over the coin toss that determined which of two American athletes would carry the Stars and Stripes in the opening ceremony at the Winter Olympics, the longtime race huckster seemed to suggest that racism was at work.
The need to flip a coin arose when organizers discovered that Erin Hamlin, a white female luger, and Shani Davis, a black speed skater, each received four votes.
When the coin was flipped, Hamlin won. Davis reverted to his childhood, grumbling that the coin toss was “dishonorably” done, whatever that means. He went onto boycott the opening ceremony.
So where does race enter the picture? First in a tweet by Davis, who hinted at race by including the hashtag #BlackHistoryMonth2018 in a petulant tweet.
“I am an American and when I won the 1000m in 2010 I became the first American to 2-peat in that event. @TeamUSA dishonorably tossed a coin to decide its 2018 flag bearer. No problem. I can wait until 2022. #BlackHistoryMonth2018 #PyeongChang2018.
Then in a tweet by Jackson:
The choice to represent our country as #flagbearer in the @Olympics should never be determined by the flip of a coin. The Committee should immediately institute a more appropriate system to make such a significant determination. @ShaniDavis pic.twitter.com/OmR7C9o1GM
— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) February 9, 2018
Jackson was slightly more circumspect, never mentioning race overtly, though one might fairly wonder what he would consider “a more appropriate system to make such a significant determination.” Would it be deciding who is more deserving of the honor based on comparative victimhood?