Ohio State Professor Apologizes for ‘Hurt, Sadness, Frustration, Fatigue, Exhaustion and Pain’ Caused By Pro-Football Article
Matthew Mayhew is sorry. Very, very sorry.
“I am sorry for the hurt, sadness, frustration, fatigue, exhaustion and pain this article has caused anyone, but specifically Black students in the higher education community and beyond,” writes the Ohio State University professor. “I am struggling to find the words to communicate the deep ache for the damage I have done.”
Yet finds them he does—in a lengthy article for Inside Higher Ed so hyperbolic and servile in tone that it verges on parody. Indeed, I emailed the professor to confirm that his apology was sincere; he did not respond to a request for comment. Perhaps he is busy with the “long process of antiracist learning” that he has pledged to undertake.
“I am designing a plan for change, for turning the ‘I am sorry’ to ‘I will change’—for moving Black Lives Matter from a motto to a pathway from ignorance and toward authentic advocacy,” Mayhew writes. “To do this, a colleague of mine asked me to center the question: What can I do to unlearn patterns that hurt and harm Black communities and other communities of color? My center is as a learner, so movement for me will involve unlearning and relearning by listening, reading, dialoguing, reflecting and writing as a means for increasing my awareness and knowledge about systemic racism and the experiences of people of color and people who hold marginalized identities different from my own.”
At this point, you’re probably curious about what crime Mayhew committed. You’re thinking, at the very least, this guy wore a heck of a lot of blackface 30 years ago.
Mayhew’s transgression is this: Last week, he penned an article for Inside Higher Ed titled “Why America Needs College Football.” It made the apparently controversial, venomously hateful, and insidiously racist claim that Football Is Good:
As college campuses attempt to find a new normal suitable for the COVID-19 realities, college athletics, especially college football, have garnered much attention. Debates continue about whether players should be required to play this fall season. Although many people have been outspoken about the financial and health ramifications of allowing—or requiring—players to gear up, few, if any, have addressed the essential r
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