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Media MonsterSports & Race

Radio Host: The Miami Heat In Hoodies Photo Is “A Publicity Stunt,” Also Blames The Hoodie For Trayvon Martin’s Death

Before we go any further, we should note that this radio host was not Rush Limbaugh. Indeed, I was surprised as well, but these words came from Sirius XM radio personality Dan Graca. Graca said some pretty inflammatory things on his show yesterday, including a “guarantee” that Trayvon Martin would be alive if not for his hoodie, and that he can’t figure out the message behind the Heat posing in support of Trayvon.

Graca discusses this issue on two fronts: the increasingly popular idea that Martin was asking for it by wearing a very common piece of clothing, as well as the athlete reaction to the tragedy — mainly, the picture of the Miami Heat wearing hoodies and standing in solidarity with the slain teen.

Listen to the comments:

Piggybacking on the greatly misinformed Geraldo Rivera, Graca starts in by disagreeing with the Fox News pundit, but then adds these thoughts:

“I guarantee you one thing, is that, if Trayvon Martin that night was not wearing a hoodie, I bet you dollars to donuts he’s still alive today, okay? Because no hoodie means no warrant for suspicion.”

“It makes you look like some type of badass. That’s all well and good, but is it really worth it?”

Pundits like Graca are looking for an easy explanation of why somebody would go and shoot a black person for no reason. But the hoodie, which they perceive as a symbol of hip hop culture, is anything but a “suspicious” garment. Even cursory research of the hoodie tells you that it dates back to Medieval Europe, gained great popularity because of the Rocky movies, and was a major part of the fashion collections of Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren. Can you think of anybody less “badass” than Armani?

But Graca isn’t done there. He goes on to attack the Miami Heat for their show of support, calling their picture a “publicity stunt.”

“And by posing in these hoodies, they’re making it a black-white issue, instead of supporting the family, or — calling for justice.”

“What they’re doing is not going to bring the victim back alive.”

Let’s throw out the bit about “not calling for justice,” since that’s exactly what the photo is doing. How posing in a bunch of hoodies makes this a “black-white issue” illustrates that people like Graca continue to see the hoodie as a “black” garment. And his ridiculous claims that this will not bring Trayvon back is clearly true — of course it won’t. But else can we do? If we had to stop everything that didn’t bring Trayvon back, we would all sit in silence as more innocent people were killed.

Graca’s most damning line, to himself and to his argument (besides asking why Mike Miller, a white player, wasn’t in the picture before acknowledging that Miller wasn’t even with the team that day), is when he says that the Heat are saying “Look at me, I’m a celebrity, and I need some attention.” If these athletes did not speak out, we would want them held accountable. With great power comes great responsibility, and players like LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Amar’e Stoudemire and others should be commended for trying to bring attention to this devastating tragedy. To call it a publicity stunt is ignoring the fact that, as Graca himself said, people are just learning of this story now. If anything, it needs more publicity.

So, in a way, thank you Dan Graca, for your little publicity stunt in attacking Trayvon’s fashion sense and the Miami Heat for their show of support. The more said about this story, the better, so perhaps people like George Zimmerman will think twice about chasing down an unarmed teen, whose only crime was being himself.

[h/t reader Tom, photo from Flickr]

  • DJKolbe

    Agree that if he weren’t wearing the hoodie he would probably still be alive.  What happened to the kid is terrible and I hope his murderer is brought to justice.  However, there is something inherently suspicious about someone who is concealing their face.  White, black, asian, whatever.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DUYNMQ3BZ4UGLJCG7KVHWNXXXQ Anonymous

    remember when a common defense for rape was – she was asking for it because of her short skirt or because she was a slut…same issue here a person’s clothing should not be an invitation to label them as criminal and then murder them.  We all need to look beyond the superficial and recognize that all the people wearing suits aren’t necessarily law-abiding (Madoff etc.) and anyone wearing a hoodie isnt necessarily a criminal  

  • Thom

    Problem is that he didn’t say Trayvon would “probably” be alive, rather, he “guaranteed” it. “Dollars to donuts” is what he added. Is there any doubt, knowing what we know now of this story, that even if Trayvon were wearing an Orlando Magic jersey & hat, Zimmerman would still have profiled him, ignored the 911 operator’s instructions, & gunned the kid down? Also, asking, “why was the kid wearing a hoodie in Florida?”, is the same mentality as asking why a rape victim was wearing a skirt to a bar. It’s ignorant & it’s irresponsible.

  • Caramel2000 2008

    Dats bullshyt its like u sayn if it was ur son n he got shot 4 haven a hoodie on get real

  • Anonymous

    The Radio host is just trying to get his
    face on someones camera with that
    statement that’s all.

  • Anonymous

    I wear hoodies all the time and I’m a 32 year old white woman. I agree with the parallel to short skirts means you deserve rape. Both are ridiculous.

  • Jacobjakeu

    Fine… blame the shooter.

    But the fact is, the kid’s dead, and if not wearing the hoodie would have prevented that, isn’t that better?

    No one thinks a rape victim ‘deserves’ it – but again, if not dressing in a trashy or provocative way might have prevented that, wouldn’t that still have been better?

    It’s called common sense, folks. The world’s an unfair place. Take that into account with a matter of how you present yourself.

  • Jacobjakeu

     A 32-year-old white woman and a black kid are two totally different things. People don’t presume most 32-year-old white women in hoodies to be gangsters.

    The rules are different for you versus a black or Hispanic kid, like it or not.

    No one is saying either victim ‘deserves’ it… but if a little common sense (in this case, from the parents) might decrease the likelihood of someone becoming a victim by even just a few percentage points, isn’t it worth it? My guess is, most victims in hindsight would say yes.

  • Anonymous

    lets get this striaght….did the shooter SAY he shot Trayvon over the hoodie???….NOPE…but you racists assume that was the reason…well to me all youre doing is exposing yourselves and placing yourselves in zimmermans shoes and simply stating the reason why YOU would have taken that shot, and thats sick as a mofo….id be surprised if this sports radio host who cant stay focused on the game instead of hating on the players will have a difficult time keeping his job….this is what i call THE OBAMA AFFECT….more and more of you racist loons are losing jobs everyday because youre too freaking dumb to know when its better to just STFU

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C6VTISVWOSMPSEMO36TZKUCXKU Dante Goodman

    A “hoodie” is just a sweater with a hood — a hood that is often very necessary in inclement weather. Black males cant wear sweaters now, in order to avoid being shot by hyper-aggressive maniacs like Zimmerman?  Its not the sweater, its the skin.

  • Anonymous

    This embarrassing display is a perfect example why sports news readers should always stay in the shallow end of the pool. When they try to comment on a real news story, they make idiots of themselves.

    This guy should remember the old saying. Better not to speak  and have people suspect you’re an idiot than speak and confirm it.

    Just keep reading the que cards, dude.

  • Winston Wolfe

    So, using the reasoning that wearing a hoodie is enough to warrant suspicion in anyone wearing that article of clothing, will the NFL be investigating Bill Belichick for any & all crimes committed in the town the Patriots play in every Sunday? What a gangster, wanna be tough guy the New England H.C. is…

  • 12voltman1

    No more trick or treating for you!

  • 12voltman1

    It’s called personal freedom. This is America.

  • 12voltman1

    Rules are different for different races?
     Be gone !! Go back to the 19th century.

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  • http://twitter.com/MaxineShawEsq Maxine Shaw

    “People don’t presume most 32-year-old white women in hoodies to be gangsters.”

    No, but they do presume them to be sluts and/or prostitutes. The comparison is valid.

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t it amazing that a sports jock is smarter than virtually the entire mainstream media, this guy should be running NBC, CBS, CNN, or any of the other networks that profess to read the news.

  • Mrz1015

    Rules are definitely different for different races. We still live in a f*cking country that has racism like it or not! Walk into a store as a white women with a hoodie on and nothing happens. I walk into a store with a hoodie on being a minority yeah I et followed around. Weather you like it or not we still have racism going on! Point blank period!!

  • 12voltman1

    So you agree withJacobjakeu?
     You think Trayvon was asking for it because he was wearing a hoodie on a rainy night?

  • 12voltman1

    Do you live in a cave?

  • http://twitter.com/TweeterSmart b smart

    sexy clothes cause rapes too, duh

  • tom5893

    zimmerman should be in jail he had no right to shoot that unarmed 17 year old boy because he looked suspicious cause he was wearing a hoodie. i mean cmon Trayvon had skittles and ice tea and zimmerman had a loaded gun and also hes a night watch why does he need to be caring around a loaded gun for? R.I.P Trayvon Martin

  • Jer29:11

    That is post hoc: A occurs before B, therefore A is the
    cause of B.  I mostly wear hoodies, and I’m
    black but I never got shot. Do you know how many black people wear hoodies at
    night and walk in unsafe neighbours?  That
    is, Trayvon died because that is what God said so.  I can assure you that no man has the ability
    or the power to end another man’s life if God has not permitted such a thing to
    happen. It’s unfortunate that Trayvon’s life was cut short when it was in full
    tide but the hoodie is not the cause of his death. Only God knows why he died
    at a young age. My condolences to his family; I can’t imagine how painful
    losing a teen can be. Peace 

  • Jer29:11

    Heat, if you want to support our youths, do it when they are
    still alive. Because once they close their eyes, they will never know or appreciate
    your loving support. Support the next generation before it’s too late.  I’m very proud of you Heat for showing your
    support to the Martins.. God bless you and wish you victory every day.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WFROKRCFF7GW4SWAR5PZRJ563Q Doug

    Hoodie or not, he probably could have outrun Zman if his pants hadn’t been around his ankles!

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