Enabling Clay Travis’ race-baiting


Hello hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello
Hello hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello – John Lennon & Paul McCartney

Federal Express had been “FedEx” for at least a couple of years before I noticed that the empty space between the E and x formed that arrow. Someone had to point it out to me and they did so while regaling me about how awesome the logo was.

At the time I figured “if the logo is so awesome how come I didn’t even notice the arrow until you pointed it out!?”

“That’s the beauty of it,” my colleague exclaimed.

All these years later I think maybe that’s right. Once you notice it you cannot unsee it.

That’s sort of how it is for me when it comes to seeing all the nonsense in this world I looked the other way over. And I looked away for the most sinister reason of all: looking the other way was easy, so easy I didn’t even realize I was looking away. Even though I was doing exactly that, and in plain sight.

Is race-baiting OK?

No. Unless you’re racist.

Is Clay Travis a race-baiter?

Yes. And nobody need get into the finer points of it. There’s a “water is wet” test for this that has withstood the test of time and never fails: if someone has the “Am I racist?” arrow in their quiver and pulls it out and let’s it fly they’re a race-baiter.

100% of the time. Every. Single. Time. Again, that test never fails. Ever.

Yes, Clay Travis is a race-baiter.

Guilt and shame: looking the other way because it’s good to be white

Prior to LOCK IT IN’s launch I found it pretty easy to ignore Clay so I did. And maybe 5-10 times a year when he really misbehaves people point it out to me. I did hear from a lot of people that time he titled a podcast episode “Am I racist?”

But what’d I do? I went right on enabling Clay by ignoring him. Why? Because it’s good to be white and Clay’s behavior didn’t make me no never mind. That’s why. That’s it. That’s the list. It’s as shameful as it sounds.

I knew he was race-baiting and just ignored it. So I can understand how lots of people, including Clay’s friends and people at Fox Sports might not notice the race-baiting or notice it, and like me, find it easy to look the other way because they can. Whether it’s the race-baiting itself or enabling Clay by being willing to ignore it, that is, for some people, like that FedEx logo’s arrow. It’s hidden in plain sight and it’s pretty easy to miss.

What am I going to do with my guilt & shame?

People have asked this question in ways that range from the very vague to the very specific “What the fuck do you hope to accomplish with this?”

I’m not looking to take down Clay Travis. I’m hoping though that maybe I can get a few people to see the arrow of Clay’s race-baiting  hiding in plain sight just like it is in the FedEx logo or to see that they’re aware of it and letting it slide.

I’m not sure of the best way to accomplish that.  I do think about stuff like reaching out to Beadle’s brother to see if he’d be up for doing a daily podcast where we do nothing but shit on the viewership for LOCK IT IN. I’m sure that would be a lot of fun for a week or two but I don’t think that’s probably the best approach for shining a light on Clay’s race-baiting.

And I know a lot of people love to see Clay being dragged through the hot coals of Twitter…just because. But a lot of that is driven by anger and one thing I’m pretty sure of: you can’t piss people off OR act all pissed off yourself and have any hope of getting someone to see something that’s hiding in plain sight.

That doesn’t mean I won’t reach out to Beadle’s brother and mock the show’s ratings just because Clay always hangs on the rim so long when he dunks on other people’s shows. It just means I’m going to figure it out as I go along. I’m sure I will alienate plenty of people on the way to figuring it out.

I’m willing to risk it.


Leave a Reply