The Wiz Wit: Weighing in on Marcus Hayes’ Comments

I asked friend and fellow blogger Maurice from the very funny site The Wiz Wit to weigh in on Hayes' comments about Chase Utley getting a pass from fans because he's white. Maurice is black, and I felt he could present a much different perspective on the comments.

These are his words, with only slight formatting edits. When you're done reading, please check out The Wiz Wit for its hilarious commentary on Philly sports.


Do I think there's a racial element to how fans feel about certain players (i.e. liking Utley more than J-Roll)? Yeah, I do. It's probably not as prevalent as Hayes is claiming, and the dude was being crazy reckless with his wording, but it is there.

The fan base is undeniably mostly white, and many of those fans will find it easier to identify with a player like Utley more than a player like Howard, for the simple fact that he looks more like the people in their lives. I'm not saying that's the case with all, but I'm saying it's definitely the case with some. And that may just be human nature.

Philly is a diverse (yet somewhat segregated) city, and while it isn't at a point where it's openly looking for white players to fill out rosters like perhaps the Utah Jazz or Indiana Pacers do, there are reasons why fans like certain players or cut them more slack than others. And sometimes it's (subconsciously) racial. Like how there were so many fans with Kyle Korver jerseys when he played for the Sixers.

Is a 16 year-old white female Phils fan going like Chase Utley or Ryan Howard more? Probably Utley, because he's talented, cute, and looks more like the other people in her life. She probably would rather bone him, as opposed to Howard, for those same reasons. This will change when she sleeps with her first black guy in college.

Hayes certainly didn't bring this issue to the surface in any type of constructive or articulate way. Do fans hate LeBron James simply because he's black? Hell no. Does it play a small part? Maybe. Some white people (more-so older people) really dislike the whole cocky-flashy-black-guy-with-a-lot-of-money thing. Howard and J-Roll aren't on LeBron levels of self-glorification, but it's there. You can try to sell me that their dislike is a reflection of that attitude more than their skin color, but I'm not completely buying it. People in Denver LOVE The Birdman.

Utley gets criticized when he deserves it, as do the rest of the players. My point is that fans may be just the slightest bit extra lenient with Utley because they like him more. And the reason why they like him more, might be the slightest bit, subconsciously racist.


27 Responses

  1. I disagree. Everything is always based on racism. I actually feel as though there is more african americans in philadelphia for one thing n the second is that baseball is more of a ‘white’ persons sport anyway. If you go 2 any park you will see mostly white people. And another thing is i dnt feel as though anyone gets more leaniency, i know/see so many people that adore Howard. I believe your right about the white female population of course they all love Utley n favor Utley but thats just a small percentage of people. I back Howard 100% nd I give both him and Utley a pat on the back. They both work hard nd the second they mess up people do jump all over them which i dnt agree with, but thats bandwagon fans. Its how they operate. I have no problem with what yu said, just dont pull the racist card. Its really an old excuse.

  2. I can agree with this a lot. Hayes was a doofus in how he presented himself, and he blatantly ignored how pissed people got with Hamels, Werth, Lidge and even Manuel just to make his point.
    That being said, a lot of the criticism bandied about concerning Howard was bullshit, especially regarding his RBI total. You can’t drive in runs if no one’s on base ahead of you, which is partly Utley’s fault. Utley also played a terrible series, but a lot of the fault was placed at Howard. The reasons were “oh, he makes all this money and he was on It’s Always Sunny and blah blah blah”. The last time I checked, Utley wasn’t exactly making the Major League minimum, and Utley is going to be on the same episode of Sunny. I think that WizWit has it pretty much correct here. Race does play a little bit of a role here, although Marcus Hayes totally went hamhanded with how he wanted to make his point.

  3. I think this is bullshit. I am a Philllies fan and I am white. I love Ryan Howard just as much as Chase Utley. Don’t believe me be at my house during a game. I think they are both talented men and deserve props for their talent. And your comment about the 16 year old girl is very inappropriate coming from a parent. Maybe the race
    card is an issue because you bring it up. Both men are talented sure. They both have good and bad games sure. But Phillies fans love their team reguardless or color. Welcome to 2010 where race doesn’t have to be an issue. Unless you make it one!!!!!!!!! Huge fan of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.

  4. Maybe they’re hard on Howard because he’s the 125 million dollar kid that struck out looking in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs???? possiby….I’m a white female and Howard is one of my favorite players…and quite frankly i’de bone the entire starting line up because I love the team!! lol (kidding about the boning of course) 😉

  5. a lot of these comments are more in line with what we posted yesterday, bit I think Maurice did a very good job of weighing both sides of the argument.

  6. Dumbest thing I have heard. What about the Hispanic/Latino players? I am white, and I love Ibanez. My daughter, who is white, has liked JRoll since she was 10. Does she think that Utley is cute? Sure. Is JRoll still her favorite Phillies player? Again, sure. Btw, she is now 19. Instead of blaming the white fans for “subconsciously” giving more slack to Utley over Howard because of race, why are you not blaming the african americans of philly for not coming out and supporting their baseball team? They are out in droves at the Eagles football games.

  7. Racist against Schmidt too? Apparently Philly is racist against blacks, whites, and Hispanics (abreu). Oh wait, when you equally treat people bad isn’t that the opposite of racist?

  8. I appreciate the comments everyone — regardless of whether or not you agree with what was said. I’m a fan of open and constructive dialogue, and most of you here have sound counterpoints. I find that most misunderstandings come from a lack of communication.
    Aaaand that’s probably the most serious thing I’ve ever written on the internet.
    /dick joke


  10. We boo everybody that doesnt perform. I’ve booed utley, Howard, Ibanez, Victorino, and So Taguchi when he was here. I hate Braydon Coburn because he’s a shitty defenseman that won’t hit or challenge for the puck and he’s as white as the ice

  11. i guess he forget before utley got here fans loved jroll .. and hated burrell … i guess he forgets cause he was probably wriiting about the bum deal iverson got here …

  12. Wasn’t Brian Dawkins, when he was with the Eagles, treated pretty much the same way by the fans as Utley is treated?

  13. Please! Why don’t you ask Dick Allen how he was treated when he was playing in Little Rock, Arkansas. That’s unfair treatment based on race. Thank God none of today’s players had to face that. I’m a white, life-long Phillies fan, and Howard has been my favorite Phillie since he came up, and still is. I like the long ball. And, he seems like a heck of a nice guy. I keep waiting for him to let the fame and money go to his head, and it still hasn’t. I don’t think it’s in his personality. Yeah, I was pissed that he looked at strike 3, but it had nothing to do with his color. Pat Burrell was one of the best home run hitters the Phillies ever had, he got rode pretty hard, and if I’m mistaken, he’s white. Yeah, there is racism and bias in society in both directions, but digging it up when it’s not there just makes it worse! One other thing; a couple of years white columnist Bill Conlin made a remark on Daily News Live that some people felt was racist or ethnically insensitive. Let’s see if they do the same to Marcus Hayes. If not, that’s a double-standard!

  14. the way you worded this it does sound a lot more reasonable. But its still wrong . Just because a white fan can relate to Chase more that does not make it racist. Thats what people do, they relate to things that they like. Im white and I listen to artist like kid cudi, i can relate to his age, does that make me ageist?
    A 16 year old black girl probably things jimmy is hot. is that racist?
    just because the baseball fans are predominately white, only the white correlation gets drawn to attention. If we are gonna play the race card, gotta call it both ways.

  15. Utley make have gotten a break, but if I recall when Werth was slumping, striking out and falling to one knee, there was a lot of hate thrown his way, and I think he’s white…last time I checked anyway.

  16. I don’t disagree. I think you put it well. Its not really racism, its inherent inhuman nature to identify with people who are similar to you. In my experience, I find that people love Howard and Rollins (more so Howard) as much as Utley. But listening to talk radio, there are a lot of (dumb) people out there who make outlandish comments regarding JRoll and the Big Piece. People are dumb. Fact. It may be subconscious. regardless, I think overall, people love Ry-Guy and Young James. Its a shame that loudmouths on talk radio (and Eagles games) represent it the other way. As always, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, Brah.

  17. This is pretty much exactly what I was trying to say in the first post about this issue, except much more succinctly that I could have put it. To all the assorted comments starting with “I’m white and I like Ryan Howard”, that’s fine, it doesn’t apply to you (with that said, that doesn’t sound like much more than “I’m not racist, I have friends that are black”). But it clearly applies to a large enough number of people in and around this city that it’s indeed an issue.
    Plenty of white athletes were treated like shit in Philly for a variety of reasons. Obviously it’s not because white people here are racist against white people. But I don’t think that applies to this situation, just like saying that people loved Brian Dawkins doesn’t necessarily apply either. Utley, Rollins and Howard all have flaws in their respective games that are worth criticizing constructively. It just seems that criticism of Utley (on the rare occasion that this occurs) tends to be a bit more constructive than criticism of Howard or Rollins usually is. I don’t know how else to put it.

  18. If a player puts everything into the game and the fans, I guess we can be a bit more lenient… the whole “at least he’s trying his hardest” mechanic *cough J-Roll not running hard cough* You have to respect a guy who will take a baseball anywhere on his body to get on base(Utley) Throw his body and soul into every down (Reggie White, Brian Dawkins) Hack and slash anyone who messes with anyone on your team (Hextall). It’s not a matter of race, but a matter of admiration for the player’s dedication. I love J-Roll and Howard, they are amazing, but Utley’s WAR speaks for itself…as does his playing with broken bones and god knows what else.

  19. I would hope that this isn’t true in this day and age. Sadly, it probably is to some extent–but I hope not the majority, and it seems to swing the other way as well.
    I just want to say for the record that J-Roll was ABSOLUTELY my favorite of the last 8 years and LOVE that little gap tooth in the front (always thought he was the hottest because of it although Chase is yum too but Jimmy wins out for me) which ironically reminds me of my husband who is white so race really isn’t a thing for me.
    And I have to say that Chase played AWFUL during the post-season–J Roll just didn’t hit. I hope they both are in top form next year ‘cuz we need them both showing that. Oh, and I do think Amaro should have called out Utley too since he was the worst; however, I hope again that it was not a white thing subconsciously.

  20. Oh, and now I think my favorite is Ruiz (not for looks Jimmy still holds my heart there and my loyalty as one of the best shortstops in the game) because he is just an all-around hustler and amazing ball player.

  21. Fans like Utley because he plays the game hard, real hard. His injuries are from playing hard. It is that simple.
    Marcus Hayes comments are racist. When someone makes broad comments about a group of people that is the very definition of racism. Shame on you Marcus, you should be suspended without pay for such comments.

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