I was sipping a beer inside Cowboys Stadium and waiting for the kickoff when I overheard two African American women criticizing Robert Griffin III, the superstar rookie quarterback of the Washington Redskins.
The emotional beat down of Griffin was harsh and had absolutely nothing to do with football but everything to do with his choice of female companionship.
“Why is RG3 dating a white girl?” one angry black woman asked her girlfriend. “I guess black women aren’t good enough for him.”
“I’m just tired of it,” said another black woman.
And so it began: The public discussion of RG3’s private life – a life where football and race collide.
I really don’t care who RG3 dates. The heart wants what the heart wants. I have long-time friends and family members who are involved in interracial relationships – and marriages — people who I love dearly. I embrace their unions unconditionally.
Still, since there are many black women in my life, I do understand intellectually why some black women are upset with Griffin and I’m realizing that the disappointment over the young football sensation goes well beyond Cowboys Stadium.
“There is a certain amount of hurt, as well as anger, for many black women when they see successful black men with white women,” said one black female educator from Washington, D.C.
“Black women have often been denigrated in all kinds of ways in society as the least desirable social commodity,” said the woman, a devout Redskins fan. “For some, seeing a brother who has not just the trappings of success, but who carries himself well, shows great leadership qualities and serves as a role model to young black boys choose a white woman over a sister, is just a punch in the gut.”
The 90,000 fans who show up at Fed-Ex field on Sundays – many of them black women — could probably care less who RG3 dates as long as he leads the Redskins to victory.