Rod Allen is Not a Racist

I can't believe that I have to write this piece. But I feel I do.

As soon as I heard him say it, I knew this was going to happen. I just knew it.

If you missed it during Thursday’s Tigers/Twins game, Rod Allen and Mario Impemba had the following exchange during the game:

Rod: "Tigers pretty much got a all-Latin squad out there tonight."

Mario: "Ordoñez, Cabrera, Martinez, Peralta, Guillen, Avila, Betemit. Jackson and Boesch don't qualify."

Rod: "They're gonna have to get some rice and beans for the postgame spread tonight."

And sure enough, some political correctness moron went and got all offended. The idiot in question appears to be David Brown, who wrote this piece at Yahoo.

Follow me after the jump and we’ll take a look at it together.

From Brown’s piece:

Allen, a color analyst since 2003, said the postgame meal in the Tigers clubhouse at Target Field should include rice and beans, because most of the team's lineup against the Twins had Latino heritage.

You see, the Latinos just love them some rice and beans, as the stereotype goes.

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy me some Latino food, especially Mexican food. And having frequented dozens of such restaurants in my lifetime, you know what is included within or on the side of nearly every menu item?

Rice and beans.

I don’t know if Latinos “love” them like Mr. Brown says the stereotype goes, but they sure do include them with darn near everything. So what was wrong with what Rod Allen said? He didn’t make any kind of negative stereotype. He didn’t make any “gardening” jokes. He didn’t make any “stealing hubcap” jokes. Those would be terrible and uncalled for. He did none of that.

As someone that writes a blog that is often in poor humor, I consider myself quite the expert on this subject matter. But I’m a goofball idiot. Rod Allen is a professional and a good human being. I can’t believe this is even an issue.

Would Allen, who is African-American, make a joke about a Tigers lineup that was mostly black requiring something stereotypical to eat? Would he stoop to make a watermelon joke? Maybe he would. Maybe he has. But that wouldn't make it right, or funny.

Says you. I've heard comedians like Chris Rock and Eddie Murphy tell jokes like that and they make it hilarious.  While Rod might not be a professional comedian, I happen to find him extremely funny, most of the time. So do thousands of Tiger fans. Rod has legions of fans, all over the country, and the main reason is because of his good nature, his genuine love of the game that you can feel in every broadcast, and his goofy sense of humor.

As someone that has worked and been friends with several Latinos in my lifetime, I have never heard them get offended by something so ridiculous. They surely don't need to be defended by the likes of a Yahoo author named Dave Brown. In fact, a Mexican-American woman that I once worked with used to bring me home cooked food from time to time. You know what was often included?

Rice and beans, you jerk. And it was awesome.

Actually, for poops and giggles, I just texted a Latino friend of mine. I asked him if he’d be offended about the “rice and beans” comment if someone said it. His answer?

“No. That would just be stupid.”


Later in the article…

It might have been tricky for him, but Allen could have referenced how the Detroit clubhouse — which includes respected stars such as Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera and Jose Valverde — is a place where Latino players can feel comfortable. That's not always the case in the major leagues. Such a discussion could be valuable.

You obviously do not watch Tiger broadcasts. NO ONE is more complimentary to the Latino players than Rod Allen. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Brown is obviously acting like the typical media vulture that is trying to make something out of nothing.

David Brown, congratulations for becoming part of the “gotcha” media problem in this country. You should be ashamed of yourself. Also, "Big League Stew" will now be removed from my link sidebar. I can't support a site that would write this about Rod Allen of all people. Attack someone that deserves it.

Like "Hawk" Harrelson. He's terrible.

Short of that, if only Allen had tried be funny, maybe something stereotypical he said theoretically could be defended. But Latinos eating only rice and beans? 

He didn’t say they ate ONLY rice and beans. Now you’re making things up. Again, you are out of line.

It wasn't funny the first billion times someone said it, so why keep it going? Allen comes off like he's mocking them, even though — giving him the benefit of the doubt — he probably didn't mean to.

You should be locked in a mental asylum.

Rod was being silly. That’s what Rod Allen does and it’s why Tiger fans love him. I have NEVER heard anyone say a bad word about Rod’s attitude and friendliness. The guy may very well be the nicest man in baseball, and for you to insinuate that he is MOCKING the players that he covers on a daily basis (and is friends with) is the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard.

Dave, I do not know what your race is. You don’t have a Latino sounding name, so I can only assume that you are not. But I do know that Rod Allen is an African-American man. I’m pretty sure that Rod’s dealt with more than his share of racism in his life, sadly. And I’m pretty sure that he is one of the last people on the planet that would ever make a malicious, racist joke.

There is no story here and once again, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Is it a slow news day at Yahoo?

But by the limited reaction on Twitter — which varied from dopey to ashamed — Allen might have a history of saying stuff like this.

Or maybe SANE people realized that it was just a harmless, silly comment and THAT is why there is a limited reaction.

When exactly did this country become so serious about everything? The PC police have made it impossible for anyone to talk anymore. Good lord…

Oops. Did I offend Catholics or whatever by saying “good lord”? I don’t even know anymore.

As Kyle Madson noted on the KSSU Blog, FOX fired Steve Lyons in 2006 for implying in a "joke" that native Spanish speakers might be more apt than others to steal his wallet.

That, I might understand. It’s a negative and horrible thing to insinuate that someone would steal based on their race. Rod Allen didn’t do anything of the sort. You should be embarrassed for even bringing it up, you hack.

What Allen said this time wasn't on that level. But hopefully his bosses heard him, will talk to him and tell him to cut it out.

And if your bosses had a brain in their heads, they would reprimand you for not doing your research on a man before attempting a hatchet job on the character of a man like Rod Allen.

Mr. Brown, thank you for providing a perfect example of blowing something out of proportion just for the sake of having something to write about.

You disgust me.

EDIT:  Late in Friday's game, Rod (sounding extremely embarrassed) brought up the line from the night before and explained that it came from talking to Ramon Santiago and Miguel Cabrera about what they had been eating at a local restaurant. So, David Brown, you took an innocent comment and turned it into a vicious, ignorant attack on a classy man.  Congrats, jerk. I hope you're proud of yourself.