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A Video Tribute To UM’s Henderson… But What If He Were Black?

gfx - honest opinionYou either love Marshall Henderson or you hate him.  The junior guard for Mississippi’s basketball team taunts and trash talks.  He riles up fans and then flips them indecent hand gestures.  Then he reconciles it all by telling us, “Hey, it’s just a game.”

Hipster-targeting ESPNU proves that there’s an additional love/hate line for Henderson aside from the obvious “fan of Ole Miss” / “fan of some other team” line.  There’s also a generational component.  The more kids grow up seeing self-congratulating preeners like Terrell Owens become stars, the more likely a new generation of hot dogs — like Henderson — will be accepted.

Thus ESPNU’s video tribute to the guy who never met a shot he didn’t like:

 

Thank You Marshall Henderson

 

Henderson is not this particular writer’s cup of tea.  I look at his classless displays on the court and think “White Trash.”  Perhaps “White Brash” would be more fitting.

But what if Henderson weren’t white at all?  Deadspin.com dares to ask the question today: What if Henderson were black? 

Greg Howard points out in his article that the same semester Andy Kennedy welcomed Henderson into the Rebel fold, he dismissed Dundrecous Nelson and Jamal Jones from his team after they were busted smoking weed and in the possession of “drug paraphernalia.”  As you surely know by now, Henderson was once busted for trying to buy pot with counterfeit money.  Then he violated the terms of his probation by testing positive for alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine and spent some time in the pokey.

Nelson and Jones are black.  Henderson is white.

Now, in fairness to Kennedy, one of college athletics’ oldest double-standards is the fact that Player X can be arrested somewhere else and turn to State U for a fresh start… while Player Y will be booted from State U for committing the exact same crime as Player X.

“Screw up on another team, we’ll say you learned your lesson.  Screw up on my team, you’re gone.”

Now, while this writer feels there’s probably something to Howard’s argument that Henderson would have been treated differently by coaches and the media had he been black, I believe there’s a bigger issue to discuss.  I wonder if Henderson would have been accepted just the same by Ole Miss fans and white fans everywhere had he been born black.

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