From Twitter

Op-ed: Is the “nig$$a tweet” backlash against Donte DiVincenzo fair?

From Twitter

Last night Donte DiVincenzo made a compelling case that he is among the very best basketball players in the country.

He lit up the Michigan Wolverines for 31 points, the highest total the title game has seen since 1989, and played a huge part in the Villanova Wildcats seizing their second national championship in the last three years.

DiVincenzo was deadly from three, deceptively elusive during dribble drives to the basket, demonstrated an advanced intelligence with his court vision, and played the game with swagger.

His toughness was on display as well, a blue collar I-am not-afraid-to-fail approach, it was awesome to watch.

His block was one of the most impressive I have ever seen, at 6 foot 5 with bounce, DiVincenzo is a blue chip pro prospect, a five tool basketball player.

They call him the “Michael Jordan” of Delaware, I am comfortable calling him a straight baller.

It does not matter what the color of his skin is, or where he is from, the kid can flat out play basketball, and could emerge as a superstar in the NBA.

I enjoyed watching him play, his adversity resistant disposition reminded me of the old way, I turned off the television happy for him, and college basketball.

Then I woke up and saw this.

A tweet from like 6 years ago when the kid was what?

13?

Then I saw the backlash go into full swing, CNN, ABC, NBC, print publications, young Donte was raked over the coals, and presented as a bigot.

It was sad to watch, the kid plays the game of his life alongside his black(and white) brothers, wins a national championship, is named the most outstanding player, and before he can even enjoy it, he is being asked to explain a tweet that was clearly harmless in nature.

The backlash went into overdrive when internet investigators plucked some homophobic tweets that were published like 7 years ago.

From Twitter

At some point during the chaos, Donte DiVincenzo deleted his twitter account on what was supposed to be the greatest day of his life.

This kid is no racist, he used the term “niggas” in the context that a person would say “dudes”, or “guys”.

More importantly, it’s likely some of the players around DiVincenzo use the word nigga in conversation continually, which is why he is comfortable doing it.

The problem is the double standard.

Black people use the word nigga in conversation all the time, but when a white person does it, all of a sudden the accused is a card carrying member of the Klu Klux Klan.

It’s to the point that some of my white friends freeze up  during rap songs because they don’t want to say the word nigga.

The simple solution is that nobody uses it, not rappers, not people on the street, nobody.

The problem is that black people want to have their cake and eat it too, they want to throw around the word nigga like it ain’t no thang, but if anyone else does it’s a crime against the state.

What this kid has had to deal with today is unfair, and anyone who watched the game last night can tell pretty easily that he gets along fine with black people.

In fact, he gets along so well with them, that he feels comfortable talking like them.

The homophobic tweets are bad, those he will have to address, and apologize for, even if he was in middle school when he published them.

But a tweet talking about him playing well against competition?

No, he is all set there.

 

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