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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Twitter tweets claim Boise State's Hout did use N-word to Oregon's Blount

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Twitter was the source of the latest information torpedo in the (unfortunately) still unfolding story behind the "punch seen round the sports World" by Oregon Running Back LeGarrett Blount to Boise State Defensive End Byron Hout.

Track athlete E.J. Prince used Twitter to blast this:

@realskipbayless Just talked to Jamere Holland (from Oregon WR) said that L. Blount socked dude from Boise State cuz he called him a n_____

Jamere Holland is Oregon's wide receiver.

Prince also tweeted this:

@q17 yeah I just hope the news about LaGarett Blount being censored gets out to people like @jemelehill

@jemelehill is ESPN Columnist and Analyst Jemele Hill.

There's no indication that she responded to Prince's Twitter feed. He also sent a tweet to Skip Bayless; no tweet back to Prince from Bayless. Basically it seems that Prince's story is being ignored by certain mainstream media people. I can't confirm that, but it seems that way.

The main problem has been that none of the main actors in this play are talking. LeGarrette Blount's not moving his lips. Byron Hout's lost his voice. Both schools are silent on the question.

(And on that note, my first blog post speculated on the use of the N-word, not claimed that Hout used it as one blogger inaccurately wrote; this is different.)

E. J. Prince's value in this story rests on his tweet that he talked to (not tweeted) a friend of Oregon receiver Jamere Holland who plays for Oregon and who I will not name here.

E.J. Prince's value is that he's part of a larger "grapevine" network of multi-racial athletes, some connected via the fraternity system and athletics, some not. I contacted Prince on Twitter, and after following each other, exchanged private messages.

From that series of contacts, I made several calls to confirm what Prince was tweeting and I got more information than I bargained for.

Friends of Oregon wide receiver Holland had no idea that Prince put his name on Twitter because there's some kind of "gag order" placed on Oregon players regarding this matter, and they feared Oregon coaches would punish Holland.

This was told to me by an unnamed source over the phone, who said "Young people don't care (about explaining who said the N-word); it's the older people in suits, all of those, who care."

There seems to be an idea that if Blount keeps quiet about what was said then the Oregon would take care of him. What I explained is that Oregon would present a better picture for minority players if it stepped up to defend a player who was the target of a racially-charged statement.

But I think what stopped Oregon from doing that was Blount's punch and his subsequent tirade. Blount's from Mississippi and there's an old school view of the use of the N-word down there: no one uses it, period.

Again, no one is excusing Blount's actions; but there's a view within the grapevine I tapped that the media is unfairly piling on Blount but not punishing Hout. Moreover, every black man I've talked to regarding this story said they knew something racial was said to set Blount off.

It's that nasty experience with being on the receiving end of the N-word that bonds African Americans. There's an idea in some quarters in America that because the word is used in rap music, it's common and accepted to use it in American culture. It's not and its not even desired in the music.

What this proves is New Media is the new grapevine of our country and the World. I hope Boise State fills in the blanks in this picture, but if they come out and say Hout didn't use the N-word, they've got a whole lot of people in Oregon and part of a grapevine on the West Coast willing to tell another story, even if its through Twitter.


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