In an Aug. 8 NewsBusters post suggesting that ESPN writer Jason Whitlock's comment on what he called the NFL's "officiating crisis" -- "It's ridiculous to have 50 year-old white guys chasing after 25-year old black guys" -- was racially insensitive, Mark Finkelstein claimed that Air Force football coach Fisher DeBerry was "reprimanded by the Air Force Academy and forced to issue an apology" for saying that black football players "can run very, very well."
But Finkelstein misrepresents the nature of the controversy over what DeBerry had said. In fact, according to the article Finkelstein cited as evidence of his claim, DeBerry had implied that his team lost a game because the other team "had a lot more Afro-American players than we did, and they ran a lot faster than we did," further noting that "You don't see many minority athletes in our program." Indeed, DeBerry said in his apology that he was apologizing "for remarks I made recently about minority recruitment." His saying that black football players "can run very, very well" was never the issue in and of itself, as Finkelstein claimed.