Jan. 27, 2017
Bobby Bowden and George Karl: Attack on Single Parent Homes
Something that is starting to rear it's ugly head is the attack of old white men on modern athletes, many of which come from single parent homes. George Karl made some very critical opinions of Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin in his book basically saying that the two are immature and spoiled due to a lack of father's in their life. A few weeks later Bobby Bowden appears on the radio saying that many of his players in the latter part of his career came from homes with no father and grow up to "men like their mommas" and used "that's why they wear earrings" to try to soften the blow (but failed miserably).
First things first there are some unsettling racial undertones here. All of the men Karl mentioned by name are Black. Bobby Bowden did not single out any player by name, but I'd be willing to bet that a majority of the ones he was talking about were black. That being said, it came off as two old white man using the single parent home as an excuse as to why they were not more successful during these specific points in their own careers. They are pointing to a self-entitlement that they believe comes from a lack of discipline that a father would provide in the family. They are in turn pointing the blame a single parent homes, many of which (all in Karl's case) are black families.
Unpacking that a little bit more. Statistically speaking, black men according to data are just as involved in their kids lives as any race are despite stereotypes. Even in situations like these where a single mother is raising kids the kid normally has many father figures along the way, whether it be a grandparent, teacher, coach, brother, etc.
What this actually was, was two aging coaches who were struggling to deal and connect with the next generation and using something they obviously know nothing about (but think they do) to rationalize their own short comings. Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin got George Karl to the Western Conference Finals against the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers, and once traded the replacements were solid (far from a contender though). Bobby Bowden led, the once legendary program, Florida State University. The powerhouse team fell into mediocrity toward the end of his career, and has since returned to prominence under Jimbo Fisher.
I guess in summary, I think these two once great coaches are trying to deflect blame from themselves, and trying to put it on the modern day family.