Sometimes You Should Say Nothing



That's Whitlock on Jeremy Lin. I understand that it's hard to button it when you write for food, as I do. Perhaps it's impossible when, in your professional life, you write things like this:

"She'd rather eat, half-ass her way through non-major tournaments and complain she's not getting the respect her 11-major-championships résumé demands...[S]eriously, how else can Serena [Williams] fill out her size 16 shorts without grazing at her stall between matches?" 

"And you probably think I don't like Serena. You're wrong. I love her. She's the main reason I watch tennis. She's fascinating. Her power and skill are breathtaking. And when she's in shape, she's every bit as sexy as Beyonce."

There is a theory that "anyone" who talks for a living will eventually say something homophobic/racist/sexist. I think it's much more likely that if you talk for a living you will slowly reveal yourself. Roland Martin's tweet did not come out of thin air. Even in the age of spin, I think what people say has meaning.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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