Fox tone-deaf to glorify Baylor students’ frenzy after Astroworld

At the gate, are there any barbarians? I’d be more concerned with the morons on the march.

On Friday night, Nov. 5, at an event generously called a “music festival” in Houston’s Astroworld, eight people were trampled to death, including a 14-year old, and an estimated 300 people were injured during a performance by Travis Scott — another vulgar, violent, women-degrading, crotch-grabbing, N-word-spewing rapper known to invite audiences to mob the stage “to rage.”

Scott was invited by Roger Goodell to perform at halftime during the 2019 Super Bowl.

In the days following the Astroworld disaster, two more concert-goers — including a 9-year-old, whose father claimed the boy was a big fan of Scott’s, which made for additional sadness and dark wonder — died. The death toll was 10.

Funeral services for Brianna Rodrigo, a high school student, were held in Houston on Saturday. She was crushed by the Astroworld catastrophe.

Fox was still presenting their pregame show on the site, which took place at about the same time. Soon the countdown would begin to signal the start of the rush of thousands of Baylor students to a mad-dash frenzy to be among the first to reach the student body seating section — a tradition born of rotten foresight, and sustained despite the deadly evidence just produced in Houston.

Fox didn’t merely report this scene, it participated in it. On-site reporter Tom Rinaldi — an import from ESPN, where dangerous court-storming is approved and enjoyed as a matter of “school spirit” — gleefully counted down, “3, 2, 1” to launch the mob frenzy.

Baylor fans were not content to leave Oklahoma behind after winning the game and stormed onto the field in 1 second.

Rinaldi would be willing to take part in such an event on any given day. Did he not know what was happening in Houston? Where was Fox’s producer to say, “We want no part of this!”?

As the thousands of students bolted from the starting line — Fox even provided an aerial view of the mob-rush — one runner was heard to shout, “Someone fell down!” The shouted reply was, “You don’t want to fall down!”

Yes, you can fall and be trampled. Astroworld was published one week ago.

Soon a fully grown adult from Baylor’s athletic department blessed the student stampede as great fun. Did he know about the student stampedes in Houston that have caused severe, sometimes even fatal injuries to college basketball and football games?

After Oklahoma’s defeat, Baylor fans flooded the field.

Do Baylor’s insurance premiums cover injuries and deaths of students, not just by negligence, but by school invitation?! Are the students required to provide information about their next-of-kin first?

You’d think that Baylor, well before the Astroworld carnage, would have shown a bit more social constraint given the recent scandalization of its athletic department after its football team was accused of 52 episodes of rape. Before that its basketball program featured the shooting murder of one it’s player’s by another Baylor player.

Fox is so ignorant and mindless about what just happened in Houston, it’s hard to believe. It came to no one’s mind? Morons.

How much of ‘true story’ is left out of ‘King Richard’?

I have not seen “King Richard,” pitched in TV ads as the “true story” of how Richard Williams inspired his daughters, Serena and Venus, to tennis greatness.

But based on my long study of the movie industry’s “true story” treatment of other sports events and figures, I’m going to conclude that this one is loaded with significantly selective omissions, including:

Richard Williams’ influence in making Serena, an executive co-producer of the movie, a self-entitled and media-entitled rotten winner and loser — one who gives little-to-no credit or respect to her opponents, blaming losses on injuries, her own bad play and court-side officials.

To a lineswoman at the 2009 U.S. Open, she screamed, “I swear to God I’ll f–king take the ball and shove it down your f–king throat!”

Serena Williams, her father Richard, and the 1999 U.S. Open.
Getty Images

Though she should have been disqualified on the spot, she was fined pocket change — $10,500 — and refused to apologize, claiming that in no way did she threaten the woman and that she merely engaged in tennis-common dissent with a linesperson.

Yet even John McEnroe, known for his tirades, said he’d never gone that far and that Serena should have been suspended.

Then there was her screaming meltdown at the chair ump in the 2018 U.S. Open while losing to unknown, at the time, Naomi Osaka, a tantrum she absurdly claimed was on behalf of women’s rights, as opposed to on behalf of herself.

Many media believed it or at the very least did not believe it. You’re right, sister. Osaka wasn’t a woman. Was stealing Osaka’s greatest moment part of King Richard’s inspiration and vision for his daughters?

Richards Williams, before he was made to leave the room lest he embarrass his sisters and jeopardize growing sponsorships, was a constant, unfiltered bigot.

Of Serena’s opponent, Irina Spirlea, after their 1997 semifinal match at the U.S. Open, he called her “a big, tall, white turkey,” and further claimed Spirlea is a racist despite no evidence to back his claim.

In 2012 he said, “Goldstein, Rubenstein and Weinstein are in charge of collecting money from the Jews for me.”

Sports Illustrated explained that quote as just evidence of his “flakiness.” Yep, all bigots should be excused as “flaky,” even if Williams would never suffer racism, real or imagined, if directed at his daughters — nor would Sports Illustrated ever defend as racist as merely “flaky.”

Richard, however, has been, just like Serena or Venus, a victim of media pandering.

Whatever, Will Smith is already being hailed as an Oscar winner for his portrayal of “King Richard” in a “true story” — even if significant truths are assiduously avoided.

LeBron, Nike or Shuai: Your thoughts?

So accomplished Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai has been missing for two weeks after alleging she was sexually assaulted by Zhang Gaoli, a former vice premier and member of the Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee.

Friday, a spokesperson for China’s government impossibly said, “I’m not aware of the situation.”

Time to call in China expert/apologist LeBron James and his pals at The Peoples Republic of Nike — Nike rules tennis — to get some answers!

Don’t believe everything you hear, but what we do. The con artists never cease. Rob Manfred pulled this year’s All-Star Game from Atlanta in response to legislated voter registration changes in Georgia that some claim, with only wishful proof, are racist.

Manfred penalized Atlanta economically, as it is half-black, and instead awarded the game to Denver which is largely white. Brilliant.

Rob Manfred

MLB’s new DVD celebrating the Braves’ World Series is now on sale. It stars Atlanta’s own rapper Ludacris — can’t be sports with out rap. Ludacris’s stock in trade is standard rapper slime — the vulgar sexual degradation of women and referring to black men as the N-word.

Manfred would not dare to publicly quote those lyrics. Manfred can be trusted to represent MLB with Ludacris.

Thought for Sunday’s games: Reader David Oniffrey asks why, after Pittsburgh’s Franco Harris’ “Immaculate Reception” in that 1972 playoff game vs. the Raiders, no one said he “low-pointed the ball.”

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