As colleges and basketball programs, Cornell and Kentucky have very little in common. The contrasts are obvious: Ivy League vs. SEC, four-year seniors vs. one-and-done freshmen, David vs. Goliath.
All those contrasts make for an easy column, and Boston Globe sportswriter Dan Shaughnessy penned a pro-Cornell article highlighting the disparate nature of the two schools. In the process, Shaughnessy took a few potshots at Kentucky's poor graduation rate for athletes and coach John Calipari's checkered coaching past.
Though Shaughnessy's criticisms were relatively tame, a host of Kentucky fans took to the comments page and accused him of racism. "Your article is filled with tinges of racism and absolute class elitism," hurled one reader. "Referring to an Italian [Calipari] as a slimeball??? how cleaver and original. Just confirms the deep seeded racism that obviously still exists in the old school press - especially in the northeast," another fumed.
Undaunted, Shaughnessy confronted the commenters in his latest column, reprinting a host of the comments and smugly mocking his detractors.
The themes were repetitive and highly unoriginal. Most of them used the words “racist’’ and “elitist’’ — usually framed as “Your a racist’’ or “Your an elitist.’’
People. It’s “you’re’’ a racist. Not “your.’’
Whoops. There I go, being elitist again.
The bombastic columnist concluded by reaffirming his allegiance to the Big Red. "The "superlative umbrage" is hereby acknowledged. Go Cornell."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.