ESPN The Magazine has a column about Michael Vick this week that features the Pro-Bowl quarterback as a white man, while asking the question what if Michael Vick was white.
Author Touré penned the piece to discuss the race and class issues surrounding Michael Vick’s story, but has claimed he asked ESPN to not use the picture of Michael Vick.
Touré says that picture is both inappropriate and undermines his entire premise, which is that Vick’s story is not possible without all of the circumstances (race, class, community, family) that have made up his life.
Here’s an except from the column to help better understand his point.
The problem with the “switch the subject’s race to determine if it’s racism” test runs much deeper than that. It fails to take into account that switching someone’s race changes his entire existence. In making Vick white, you have him born to different parents. That alone sets his life trajectory in an entirely different direction.
If Vick had been born to white parents, you wouldn’t even be reading this right now. That Vick would have had radically different options in life compared with the Vick who grew up in the projects of Newport News, Va., where many young black men see sports as the only way out.
Do you think the picture diminishes the article, and how inappropriate do you think it is?