A Philly Mag Columnist Took the Eagles’ Win and Used It for Race Bait

Philly Mag published a story on Monday titled “The Eagles Won Big Sunday Night, and So Did White Privilege.”

Some people dismissed it as clickbait, and maybe it is, but I was told that only shitty blogs did that, and not traditional and respected media outlets.


Anyhow, I’m stunned that Philly Mag would poo-poo a big sporting event. Stunned! This is the same outlet that crapped all over the NFL Draft being in town, referring to NFL players as “future rapists” in a piece eloquently titled “Dear NFL: Take Your Stupid NFL Draft and Shove It.”

This is the same outlet that hosted the excellent “Birds 24/7” blog, then decided to get rid of it. This is the outlet that decided to part with one of the city’s best Sixers writers for no apparent reason.

So I’m not surprised that they would take a unifying sporting event and use it as an opportunity to publish something totally divisive instead.

The author, Ernest Owens, is a mini-Shaun King who boycotts the NFL over the Colin Kaepernick issue. He wrote an entire story explaining how Malcolm Jenkins is a sellout (aka Uncle Tom) for “exploiting” Kaepernick, with hardly a mention of Jenkins’ award-winning charitable work for communities of color. Other recent offerings for Philly Mag include a story about how white organizers were influencing the Philly Women’s March and how gay male business owners are trying to take advantage of white privilege.

He also wrote a story for the Metro two years ago titled “Please don’t let this Villanova Parade be another display of white privilege,” so it’s almost like he has an agenda he wants to push.

You understand what beat he’s on.

This latest column begins with him again calling Malcolm Jenkins a sellout before writing this:

When so many are chanting “Fly Eagles Fly,” I am reminded of the double standards around these celebrations. Crowds of white people, in all of their unapologetic privilege, got publicly drunk, set fires, scaled traffic poles, and disrespected city monuments on Sunday night — and everyone cheered them on. “It’s a Philly thing,” I heard down my newsfeed as people relished in the team’s victory. There had been reports of violence before the game even started, and based on press conferences last week, the police weren’t planning to stop the antics, but merely manage them.

Ignore the fact that he links to a Philly Mag article that begins with video of a shirtless black man, who appears to be having no trouble celebrating, wearing an Eagle head.

You know, this guy:

As for the “crowds of white people,” here’s one cheering on a black guy who is banging a drum in the middle of Broad Street:

How dare all of these people… enjoy themselves?

And how about this white privilege right here:

Let’s go to Frankford and Cottman, where the white privilege was on full display in this very diverse crowd:

I don’t know. Looks like a crowd of Eagle fans just having some fun. The irony here is that Mayfair is starting to see an influx of immigrants and people of color, which should help prop up a struggling neighborhood. We had a white guy write about that this week.

Let’s go now to the television to see if they got the hooliganism on camera:

Nope, just three black women and a little girl dancing with a mohawked white guy.

So that part of the story doesn’t hold up. It certainly wasn’t just crowds of white people out on Sunday night. Turns out everybody likes the Eagles.

Let’s see what else Ernest has for us:

So thousands of mostly white people got to roam the streets freely without heavy police intervention and basically got to do whatever they wanted all because our city won a game? There’s a long history of this local tolerance of bad behavior from Eagles fans. But honestly, this level of accepted misconduct isn’t a unique “Eagles fan” phenomenon — it’s an acceptance of white privilege.

Well, according to police reports, there wasn’t much misconduct. There was a whopping total of six arrests on Sunday night.

Our African-American Police Commissioner, Richard Ross, spoke about that:

“When you get upwards of tens of thousands of people in different locations you’re gonna get some fights. Mostly minor in nature,” said Ross.

And police say there were six Eagles related arrests.

In one instance, police say a man named Andrew Tornetta punched a Pennsylvania State Police Corporal and his horse. It happened in Lot M about three hours before the Eagles game started. Tornetta now faces assault charges. There were also two disorderly conduct arrests and three for counterfeit tickets.

Still, because of the hard work of the cops and all the fans who celebrated without causing trouble, Ross says Sunday was a win.

“I think in the grand scheme of things it went very well,” said Ross.

The white idiot kid broke the law and was arrested. The rest “went very well,” according to the commissioner.

Does that make Ross a sellout, too?


It’s baffling how public marches and protests that uplift people of color and women can be heavily monitored by police, but widespread mayhem perpetrated by white men isn’t. I have witnessed a small handful of Black and brown activists being followed by multiple police cars and officers on bikes as if they were a large army. And yet I don’t see such zeal in policing when majority white Mummers take over the streets. I also don’t hear much concern over public safety when large crowds of white people partake in multiple days of St. Patrick’s Day drunkenness.

But people of color are never given the same benefit of a doubt, and that matters.

Probably the only part of the column that makes any kind of sense. I’d agree that the Mummer’s Parade has a history of uncouth behavior, some of which is just idiots being idiots (on 2nd street), and some of which is Caitlyn Jenner signs and blackface, and whatever assorted bullshit people come up with. There are plenty of white people out there who have yet to join the rest of us in the 21st Century.

As for the police stuff, it really gets into the weeds with logistics and numbers. Events are different, yeah? Things like the Mummer’s Parade and Odunde Festival are easy to police and protect because they take place in defined geographic areas. I’ve been to both and I think the law enforcement deployment is very similar. Drunk idiots walk around in various spots during St. Patrick’s Day, so that’s harder to game plan for. And small protests, like the one involving Woody’s and ICandy, you’re going to see the obvious disparity between crowd size and police presence, which I’d think is more about protecting a tiny and mobile group rather than straight-up profiling. In the case of Sunday night, you just try to contain revelers and then disperse the crowd peacefully, which I think the police department did a good job of:

And finally:

Ask yourself whether the city would have embraced a crowd of Black men the same way if the Sixers had made it to the NBA finals? If your answer is no, then ask yourself what exactly are we celebrating for.

Saying that football fans are predominantly white and that basketball fans are predominantly black is a stereotype. I see a lot of scrawny white hipsters at Sixer games. It’s probably the most diverse crowd in town. And to answer your question, yes, it absolutely would be embraced, and policed, in similar fashion.

Look, I’m a white kid from a white town on the Berks County border. I went to college in a white state, then moved to Georgia to live in a city that was 60% black. I consider myself fortunate to see how people live in different areas of the country, to experience the new south vs. the old south and immerse myself in ideas and cultures that were new and unfamiliar to me. I worked the 2008 election in the Bible Belt. I’ve seen a lot of shit in 33 years and I’m thankful for it.

I’ll tell you that I feel like white privilege DOES exist. I think a lot people like myself are smart enough to acknowledge that, yes, we probably had an easier path to get to where we are today. We don’t take that for granted. I think we understand that we had a bit of a head start, but the only thing you can really do is work hard to try to build from that. I’m not going to walk around feeling “white guilt” for something that I can’t control. I came out of the womb half Italian and half Anglo mutt, so it is what it is. My parents taught me to treat other people the way I wanted to be treated, and hopefully I can play a role in leveling the playing field for everybody else.

The problem here is that you’re taking an event that unifies an incredibly diverse city and making it divisive instead. I didn’t see black and white on Sunday night, I just saw Eagle fans.

Ernest saw colors, white and black, and does himself disservice by viewing it through that lens.


45 Responses

  1. Nice article. Definitely some idiots out there but mostly just people of all races, backgrounds, genders celebrating a butt kicking. Barking up the wrong tree here.

    1. This sports-crazed area embraces any Philly team that makes a playoff run and/or shows grit and character. Has nothing to do with race. Remember that the town (the entire Delaware Valley) went wild during the Sixers amazing drive to and through the playoffs in 2001. You could hardly drive a mile without seeing cars with Sixers flags, and team paraphernalia flew off the shelves of local sporting goods stores.

  2. imagine being upset that everyone regardless of color was having a great time on Sunday night because it fits your agenda

    1. Every broadcast that I saw (which was a lot) and picture that I saw showed just how diverse the crowd was. It is crazy to state that the crowd was almost all white suggesting that there are not a lot of African American Eagles fans. It just doesn’t fit his narrative at all.

  3. How dare you use logic to dispel white privilege. You’ll be hearing from Mr. Sharpton soon.

  4. The reason you didn’t see may black people celebrating is because they were too busy robbing the houses and stores of the white people in the street celebrating.

  5. What a scumbag for writing this . Everybody is enjoying this ride

  6. I never met my father so due to my daddy issues, I feel the need to be a cowboys “fan” and troll Philly blogs. Will someone please love me and pay attention to me? Please?

      1. Wrong answer.
        When i was suspended for beating that woman, i talked to my teammates every day
        whilst i smoked some special stuff and they were afraid of the eagles.
        I did talk to Jamais Winston and asked him how he stuffed them crab legs down his pants.
        I might give trhat a try. Can i get suspended for that?

      2. we are going to win the next 10 straight so get ready for your decade to suck some serious D1CK!!!!

  7. I had a lot of respect for the Eagles before the playoffs started. They were the only team i wanted to see represent the NFC if the Vikings didn’t. Two horse punches later and my mind changed. On the field that team whooped on the Vikings, no question. Great team, great game plan, great execution. Off the field they threw full beer cans at womem, punched police horsas brawled each other, complete disrespect for the game and people. The fact the city turns their head to this and police officers try to “limit it” vs “stop it” is equally as pathetic. Every team has bad apples, but this place prides itself on how bad they treat other people. Watching guys get in girls faces screaming and yelling “I’m here all day” and calling her names…never seen anything like it. To the guys in that video…do you think that makes you look hard? Would love to see that same person come act like that in front of any teams fans when they are men vs girls and they are out numbered 1,000 to 3. Chumps.
    EVERYONE from MN is now against you when you would have had us backing you. Maybe it means nothing but hopefully it means just enough that Foles feels it and throws a pick on miscommunication and it costs you the game. You deserve much worse than losing the b

    1. Some people acted bad. You got your butt kicked and were humiliated. We burst your bubble.

      Don’t really care who you are rooting for. You are a soft people. See you in a couple of weeks.

      1. I have to say after seeing Philly bashed all week, I don’t give a fuck what people think. I’m typically a respectful fan but I don’t think I will be anymore. If you want to call us all trash because a few dozen drunk idiots out of hundreds of thousands did dumb things, you can go fuck yourself. In the words of Ron Burgndee, “Go fuck yourself, Minnesota.” Have fun watching the Viking-less SB in your own stadium.

    2. “EVERYONE from MN is now against you when you would have had us backing you. Maybe it means nothing ”

      Fact Check: It means nothing.

    3. Root against the Eagles all you want but your logic is flawed and actually makes no sense. See, you started with talking about the TEAM and what they did on the field and what they have accomplished while everyone counted them out. Then you tried to lump the fans into that with their bad behavior off the field. It’s two completely separate things. This Eagles team deserves this Super Bowl more then any other team I can remember in my history of watching football (I’m 34). The Philadelphia Police do a great job keeping the peace down there at the Sports Complex. They are hardly turning a blind eye to serious altercations and problems but no, they don’t have the man power nor do they need to arrest everyone for yelling obscentities and minor scuffles with fans of other teams who actually engage with these Eagles fans. One of the biggest problems imo is that the media loves this stuff. The Minnesota local news issued a WARNING to fans coming here about this and they made sure they did it in such a smug and disparaging way that by the time game day arrives people are ready to live up to the reputation I think because it is just constantly drilled into our heads that we’re animals and monsters and GANGS and every other ridiculous notion that is thrown out there. Just like many around here I would love for this reputation to go away but it certainly never will and I can accept that because bottom line is we aren’t that different from many other fans in other cities. Hell, I even saw a video of a Vikings fan slapping a 13 year old girl Saints fan and then jumping her dad after the Vikings lucked out and won that Divisional game. Ho hum though, no need for that to get national attention. I actually feel a lot better knowing we won’t have a bunch of whining, sniffling, petition to the NFL sending, cry baby Viking fans rooting us on. No one needs that kind of baggage, sounds more like a Tom Brady crowd anyway.

      1. I knew there were some good peoples out there.

    4. Go kill yourself, you miserable piece of shit.

      Also, have fun WATCHING the Super Bowl, loser.

    5. You know it was only a few people right? Are you saying there’s no one like that in Minnesota? Come on. You’re telling me that when the Vikings play the Packers in Minnesota, ALL Vikings fans are cordial to visiting Packers fans? Give me a break. Check your facts. It happens everywhere.

      I get it that you are butt-hurt about the game. Totally. Eagles fans have been there. This wasn’t your year.

      No one, particularly the men that matter (the actual team), care if folks from MN are for or against them. So go ahead and waste your time sending bad thoughts or putting pins a Nick Foles voodoo doll. Maybe the birds will win…maybe they’ll lose. But one thing is for sure, the Vikings won’t be there.

  8. Black people don’t like it when white people tell how to display their blackness.

    The column was stupid but it didn’t need a straight white male 800 word breakdown saying it was dumb. It was a dumb column. Pretty much everyone knew that. The guy who wrote it is a tool. But we’re in a war now with civility and stuff like this falls on the side of the repulsive repugnant disgusting assaulter in chief and his racist, sexist supporters and enablers.

    This is bigger than football. Anthony Gargano is fat.

  9. I liked Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Reptile, Ermac, and Rain ALL THE SAME!

    Color doesn’t matter!

  10. I sure am glad that that was an Opinion column. Gee whiz wally..(was that ‘white’ enough for you).

    Opinions are like assholes.
    Everyone has one and they usually stink.

    Funny how this guy boycotted the NFL, but none of the players did.

  11. You did a really good job with this article, Kevin. I agree with you that the PhillyMag article was off-base. It’s a shame, though, that a lot of the commenters/readers on this site are going to take your writing and use it to confirm their own racist biases. See some of the above comments already.

    I’m glad you called out the PhillyMag writer for being wrong. But as far as this brand of writer in general – Shaun King, Ernest Owens, etc. – it would be nice to also read on CrossingBroad, et al, about the times they are right, in addition to the times they are wrong.

    It’s almost as if journalists are human, and they are right sometimes, and they are wrong sometimes.

    Anyways, you made your points here well, and I appreciate you responding to the article coherently. I wish everyone else would do the same, is all.

    1. I understand.

      Honestly, when guys like Shaun King and Ernest Owens write these stories, they’re doing themselves a disservice by overshadowing the really positive things they do and the positive things they write. Guys like Shaun, for instance, spend a TON of time telling excellent stories about criminal injustice and trying to give a voice to people who don’t have one. He does community work and volunteers and whatnot. I don’t do enough of that, and I feel like I could really improve myself there, you know, doing things for other people instead of just myself. I would LOVE to do some sort of Crossing Broad charity event in the future.

      But you lose moderate white America when the entire schtick is “white privilege” and “white guilt” and “double standards” and all of that. It’s not even that they’re WRONG, it’s just that it doesn’t resonate with middle America. You can’t be constantly bashing people over the head with divisive racial rhetoric and telling them why they’re trash and why “white silence is violence” and whatever.

      It’s gotta be, “look, we need your help, here’s how moderate whitey can play a role,” instead of, “you should feel white privilege and white guilt and blah blah blah.” You can’t demonize whitey for being neutral, because a lot of those folks are just simple, law-abiding tax payers. The approach is incorrect and counterproductive. That’s why Trump won.

      1. It doesn’t resonate because it’s not true. White privilege is a pure construct of the elite in order to divide and conquer. I’m not exaggerating. Today it’s white privilege; yesterday it was “blacks are subhuman.” It’s the same thing – racism pure and simple. I’m white and by no means have I led a privileged life. What I have was bought and paid for with hard work – both by my parents (and their parents before them) and by my own hands. I have built what I have through perseverance, not because of the color of my skin or what’s between my legs. Those that fall into the trap of believing white privilege is a thing will never truly be able to judge people by the content of their character because they subconsciously and automatically assume that the character is flawed all because of skin color. There’s nothing more racist and small-minded than that.

      2. Glad you mentioned his hit piece on the Women’s March. He did zero research and got the story completely wrong. He claimed the group planning the march was all white and there would be essentially stop and frisk occurring. Of course neither of these would have held up if he did any research. He also claimed the organizers didn’t need a permit when they totally needed one. His article kept people away from what should have been a very uplifting, safe, and inclusive event. Shame on him for ruining it just to get a few more clicks on his terrible story.

  12. Some great videos on line of Vikings fans starting fights. Usually, they get beat down.

    It doesn’t seem like they treat the visitors very well in Minnesota.

  13. This guy sounds like he’s fun to be around. Shouldn’t he be happy the so called “white privileged” people are celebrating African American accomplishments. This is clearly a click bait article. I just wish you didn’t give it the attention it absolutely doesn’t deserve. This kind of mentality does nothing but further separate people by their races instead of what clearly is an awesome show of race unity all behind an awesome football team. Fuck that guy

  14. More minorities work in and at the Linc than those that actually get to attend the game. Tell me where the lie is? I can point out that the “Kick-off Kid” or the fan that gets flown out or the season ticket holder of the game is almost ALWAYS white. Again tell me where the lie is. No, I do not believe that a parade for the Eagles and Sixers would be policed the same. Not in the least. Kevin and Owens both make solid points. One man sees an opportunity to bring up race relations during a joyous time. Another sees people, fans, celebrating together. Both have valid arguments but these next two weeks are not the time nor the place to discuss them…unless some shit pops off.

  15. Ernest writes because he needs attention. I guess he never got that as a child. He makes everything a black/white issue and is not liked in the Philly Gayborhood, by both black and white. The articles that he writes will get him nowhere in life and that makes me happy.

  16. Great read. I read the original article when it was released and am considering canceling my subscription to Philly mag. This response is right on point.

Comments are closed.