Oregon defeated Arizona 41-19 last Saturday. With the win, the Ducks moved to 4-0 on the year and earned the No. 3 ranking on the AP Top 25.
Unfortunately, the team’s success wasn’t the main story coming out of last weekend.
Rather, it was one specific video featuring head coach Mario Cristobal.
The issue arose after wide receiver Kris Hutson caught a pass just before halftime, only to flex and spin the ball around in celebration. This led to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Cristobal didn’t take kindly to the penalty, subsequently blowing up at Hutson.
That led to an interesting back-and-forth between Fox Sports radio host Doug Gottlieb and ESPN’s Rod Gilmore.
Moreover, the image of a 51 year old White man berating a young Black man so publicly rubs a lot of us the wrong way. Especially w/all the racial injustice. Bad optics. U can deliver the lesson w/o flexing your power & control. It did not make Black parents I know happy.
— RodGilmore@espn (@RodGilmore) September 27, 2021
No Rod, it rubs you the wrong way. You are making it racial – (MC is Cuban BTW)- most parents want discipline for their son. You think yelling at a kid for some bullshit is too hard? Cmon man. https://t.co/1d90COjnHP
— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) September 27, 2021
Reactions to the exchange were mixed:
@RodGilmore never played organized sports.
— RUDY RUINED EVERYTHING (@ZACHSPAULDING5) September 27, 2021
Apparently it’s racist when a Cuban American Head Coach chews out an African American player who is penalized for a bad decision he made after the play was over with. Actions w/out accountability is chaos. Actions w/ accountability is orderly. U should know this as a fmr athlete. pic.twitter.com/RODVQWvtYn
— Colt_6920 (@Colt_6920) September 29, 2021
No one is making this about race but you man. It’s a football coach disciplining his player who made a selfish choice that hurt his team at a critical moment. Btw, please don’t call another Oregon game since you can’t be impartial with Oregon. Almost insufferable. -All Duck Fans
— Paul Lyford (@daballa91) September 27, 2021
Society man, it’s falling apart at the seams and the media both sports and national news are the driving factors.
I want my son coached like this every damn day of the week.
— . (@BEHEMOTH_79) September 27, 2021
It feels like this young college football season has been filled with a lot of these sorts of, frankly, non-football issues. The best illustration of it was the brouhaha over whether a female SEC reporter’s wardrobe was “inappropriate” a few weeks back, with last weekend’s incident of pretty flagrant bullying coming in a close second.
Actions have consequences. https://t.co/soa76PJdJ5
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 30, 2021
This is just more par for the course.
If history has taught us anything, it’s that the two groups on opposing sides of this debate won’t come to a resolution. So everyone’s best bet, if they’re not too invested in the conversation, is to just move on with their lives.