Players Who Leave Early

I’m noticing patterns about healthy players who leave NFL games early because their feelings are hurt.

I remember Dez Bryant doing this.

I hope I’m wrong about the pattern I’m seeing. I think I might turn myself in for thought crime.

I just watched the 2014 football movie When the Game Stands Tall. I’m terribly disturbed by this wholesome Christian movie because it reinforces certain racial stereotypes best not discussed in the open. For instance, the movie promotes the theme that young black men are more prone to criminal violence than other types of people. It also promotes the idea that young black men are more prone to show-boating, to being me-first, and to caring less about other people and middle class norms of decency.

I also noticed in the movie that most of the key players in speed positions were black while the coaches were white.

I hated that the movie implied that blacks need stricter moral supervision than other groups. If anything, star black running back LeGarrette Blount has suffered from an excess of the white man’s discipline over the years and it has about squeezed the life out of this future neuro-surgeon.


[LeGarrette] Blount is with his fourth team in five NFL seasons. He missed most of his senior season at Oregon after getting thrown off the team for punching an opposing player.

Blount and Bell were arrested in August for misdemeanor marijuana possession after they were pulled over on the way to Pittsburgh International Airport for a team flight to Philadelphia for a preseason game.

Bell was also charged with driving under the influence, and coach Mike Tomlin said the two would be punished internally. The eighth-year coach never disclosed how he punished the two running backs and neither Bell nor Blount missed any playing time.

Blount leaving the field early could lead to discipline from Tomlin. If the Steelers consider releasing Blount they will have to weigh that against the reality they are already thin at running back.

Did you notice that Mr. Blount missed “most of his senior season at Oregon after getting thrown off the team for punching an opposing player.” This was outrageous white racism for using white standards to punitively punish a proud young black man who was only behaving in a way that was normative for his community. Thank God help is on its way in Oregon. Lord have mercy. When I see the evil machinations of the ice people, I’s bout lose my temper.

I might be wrong about this but I’m just sayin, it don’t seem like whites act right unless they have a healthy fear of the black man. Just sayin. Michael Brown, yo my brotha forever. Justice for Trayvon. Peace out, homies.


For the third time since 2009, Portland Public Schools is facing state sanctions for suspending and expelling black special education students at a rate far higher than the general student body.

Under the Oregon Department of Education reprimand handed down in early August, PPS must dedicate $1.5 million, or 15 percent of its federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act dollars for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years, to improving its track record of over-disciplining black students who qualify for special education.

The sanctions follow Superintendent Carole Smith’s announcement that cutting back on so-called “exclusionary discipline” is a major priority this year.

The state department used discipline figures for the 2012-13 school year to determine that black PPS students who qualify for special education faced long-term suspension or expulsion at a rate five times more frequent than their peers in the general student body.

State standards mandate that racial and ethnic minority special education students cannot be disciplined more frequently than four times the rate of the general student body. In addition to this year, PPS missed that benchmark in 2009 and in 2011.


PPS was one of three Oregon districts to found to be in violation of the state standards, along with Albany and North Marion. North Marion successfully appealed its sanctions.

District special education director Mary Pearson said she “wasn’t shocked” by the sanctions, given the district’s history of failing to meet equitable discipline standards.

District-wide, 17 percent of black students were suspended or expelled in 2012-13, compared to only 4 percent of white students.

In response to this year’s sanction, PPS will dedicate a portion of its federal special education funds to so-called “early intervention,” training school psychologists and teachers to do a better job of meeting minority students’ needs before they end up in trouble.


Pearson said the plan was “already in the works well before we knew that we were going to be sanctioned.” As a result, she said, no PPS programs will lose funding so the district can respond to the sanctions.

She noted that although a wide gap between black students and white students still exists, PPS’ overall discipline rates have decreased. Nineteen black special education students were expelled or suspended in 2012-13, an improvement from 44 in 2009-10.


Smith has said she wants to cut the district’s suspension and expulsion rate in half this year, while closing the gap between black and white students. During an interview with The Oregonian earlier this year, Smith noted that when kids are excluded from school as punishment, they fall behind in classes and their education suffers.

Last week, the school board gave her permission to use $4 million of a recently discovered $16.8 million windfall to pursue that and two other goals. Smith has yet to spell out how the money will be spent, but she has hinted that restorative justice programs, which ask students to think about how their actions impact the school rather than resorting to punishment, could be a part of the plan.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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