“Mainstream Impact”

I had planned to write something about the PBR event in Oklahoma City, but an article on the PBR website, “Mainstream Impact,” has so disgusted me that I want to address it instead.

The article was about the PBR’s early effort to get mainstream publicity. It describes two appalling examples of racism in action, treating them as humorous. Obviously racism is alive and well in the PBR, since apparently in all these years nobody has apologized for these incidents.

Incident #1:
Keith Ryan Cartwright described how Ryan Seacrest had interviewed Ednei Caminhas and Ross Coleman for “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno. Here’s the text:
“At the time, Caminhas’ broken English was spotty at best, so the show played along by subtitling his interview with “@#%^&@#.”
“That’s just one of the many times in the previous 19 seasons the PBR has been featured on late night talk shows…”

Played along? Played along with whom? With the rest of the bullies? The PBR thinks what’s important is that it was featured on talk shows?? At the expense of one of their riders? They think it’s funny that because English isn’t Ednei’s native language, they were so clever to trash him that way? What an appalling way to treat someone, let alone a World Champion! How would an American rider like to be disrespected that way on a foreign TV show?

The PBR could’ve hired a translator for an hour so people could hear what Caminhas had to say in his own language. That episode show so clearly how little the people in charge think of foreign riders as human beings— the riders with darker skin, that is.

Probably someone will respond to this post saying Ednei didn’t care, he laughed, it was just a joke, etc. Wrong. Jokes are supposed to be funny. And you know what? Even if the victim of an ugly “joke” denies its effect, the people who perpetrated it have shown their racism. What choice does the guy have but to “go along to get along”? He was outnumbered by a bunch of jerks.

Incident #2:
The article talks about Justin McBride and Ross Coleman on a TV sports show. McBride said that the hosts made him so comfortable, “I actually had a pretty bad screw up.” Describing a fan who jumped into the arena while the bull was still running around, McBride said, “Yeah, this drunk Injun from in the stands jumped down.”
“Everyone on the stage was still laughing, so McBride never thought twice about what he had said, while Abbott [Denise Abbott, senior director of public relations] cringed and wrote in her notebook: MEDIA TRAINING IMMEDIATELY.”
“However, in the moment, the segment went so well the producers asked McBride and Coleman to overstay their scheduled segment and were featured for half the show that night…”

There are so many things wrong with this scenario, it makes me want to slap a lot of faces. If McBride’s comfortable, he lets his real ugliness show, is that it? Making a racist remark– and then making excuses for it— is not a “screw-up.” Fluffing a line or misreading a cue card is a screw-up. McBride’s comment was a nasty racist slur.

Media training?? That’s putting a Band-Aid on an abscess. This episode was not about media training, it’s about festering RACISM. McBride needed to have his tiny little mind washed out with soap. Polishing his act doesn’t get rid of the underlying disease.

The people on the stage were laughing; the show was going well, ha ha ha, because they obviously didn’t think of Native Americans as individual human beings. They joined in laughing at an ugly stereotype, and instead of bleeping McBride or cutting out that part of the segment, the producers chose the almighty dollar over basic human decency— never mind the millions of people McBride insulted!

McBride called his remark an “unintentional and honest mistake.” That’s the classic defense of every racist when they get caught out. There is no such thing as unintentional racism; it is never a “mistake.” A mistake is making a typo or spilling milk. Nobody makes a racial slur by accident. The fact that other people had to tell McBride what he did shows that he thinks racism is normal, and that he assumes everyone thinks that way.

The article says the producers “overlooked the slip and invited each World Champion to appear on the show for the next several years…” Overlooked the slip?? First of all, it’s not a “slip.” Mispronouncing a familiar word is a slip. Calling a person by someone else’s name is a slip. McBride’s remark was a deliberate choice, a rotten stereotype— and he thought it was funny! The fact that the producers ignored it shows that they had no problem with racism; they were racists themselves. If one of them had Native American blood, I doubt they would have “overlooked” what McBride said.

McBride called what he did a “blunder.” It wasn’t a blunder. A blunder is when you ask a fat woman if she’s pregnant. People don’t accidentally make racist slurs. Again, this is the usual racist defense. We’re supposed to think some hateful remark came out of his mouth without his consent. He’s one of those people who think you just have to be careful what you say— never mind what ugly stuff is in your head.

Bonus Bullshit:

Characterizing McBride as the face of the sport makes me sick. He’s still a crummy commentator; he’s just out front because he’s cute and plays guitar and sings. Sort of. The article says, “McBride had clearly become the biggest star in western culture.” In whose mind?? How do you rank him above Ty Murray?

The article goes on to talk about publicity plans for the future, and about the young guns taking over from McBride, Coleman, and Chris Shivers. It mentions J.B. Mauney, Douglas Duncan, Ryan Dirteater, Stormy Wing, Chase Outlaw. According to Abbott, “Those are the guys who are going to take us there.”

Not one Brazilian rider is mentioned. Apparently they’re not welcome in the PBR’s media effort, even if they hold the top spots in the riding. Naturally, the excuse will be that it’s a language barrier thing. Uh, let’s see; Austin Meier does a national commercial saying two words— or rather, one sound and one word: “Uh…yeah.” I think any Brazilian can handle that.

The PBR is making minimal effort at providing translation during events; meanwhile they ought to be paying for English classes. What’re they gonna do when Silvano’s English lessons kick in? Or he becomes the richest cowboy in the history of bull riding? Or maybe even wins another world championship? Are they going to pretend he’s still not good enough? What’s wrong with using Adriano Moraes as a spokesperson? He’s quite a personality. Even more obvious, use the most photogenic rider in the PBR as a media star: Guilherme Marchi. Oh, dear; he’s Brazilian. We can’t do that.

He certainly couldn’t do worse than McBride. Check this quote: “As things evolved and as my riding improved, I think, my media skills improved too as I went.” “It got harder for me to do,” he admitted, “but, I will say, I never shunned from it.”

Shunned from it? This is the guy who’s your media spokesperson?

In contrast to the PBR’s “oh, what the hell” attitude about racism, when ESPN’s website posted a headline about Jeremy Lin that read, “Chink in the Armor,” and a furor erupted, ESPN issued an official statement on air and on their website, apologizing for comments made on ESPN outlets, and gave details about the disciplinary action it was taking:

“At ESPN we are aware of three offensive and inappropriate comments made on ESPN outlets during our coverage of Jeremy Lin.”
“Saturday we apologized for two references. We have since learned of a similar reference Friday on ESPN Radio New York… We have engaged in a thorough review of all three and have taken the following action:
• The ESPN employee responsible for our Mobile headline has been dismissed.
• The ESPNEWS anchor has been suspended for 30 days.
We again apologize, especially to Mr. Lin. His accomplishments are a source of great pride to the Asian-American community, including the Asian-American employees at ESPN. Through self-examination, improved editorial practices and controls, and response to constructive criticism, we will be better in the future.”

The PBR might want to make note of what they should do when another racist incident happens…because unless they conduct serious reality therapy with their people, it will.

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About Bull Riding Marketing

Creative services, marketing and public relations professional from entertainment industry background. Published in magazines and newspapers worldwide. I believe bull riders are the new rock stars.
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24 Responses to “Mainstream Impact”

  1. C, says:

    Hilarious! You deride the PBR for deleting critical and negative comments and for banning people and then you turn around and do the same thing.

    And please provide the source of your statement ‘I don’t care how much schooling the judges have; they’ve got a problem with the riders from South America, and millions of bull riding fans agree.’ Where did that MILLIONS figure come from?

    Like

    • I’ve approved plenty of critical and negative comments on this site, as you’d know if you read them all. The only time I ban anyone is if the person repeatedly launches personal attacks. About one person a year fits that category, and that’s after they’ve been given two or three chances to be civil.

      Do the math yourself. This is from a Sept., 2012 PBR press release:

      “More than 100 million viewers annually watch primetime PBR programming on networks around the world…

      In the U.S., nearly two million fans attend Built Ford Tough Series and Touring Pro Division events each year.

      In Brazil, however, there are more than 1,800 rodeos each year, and they attract a combined live audience that approaches 30 million spectators annually – making it the most popular live sport in the country. Rodeo is the second most popular televised sport in Brazil, behind soccer.

      “You see 45,000 people show up and then another 40,000 people stick around to be a part of the environment,” said PBR CEO Jim Haworth, who recently attended a PBR Brazil event held in conjunction with Festa do Peao de Barretos. “It is phenomenal.”

      According to research conducted by Price Waterhouse Corp., a corporate finance and transaction service company based in Brazil, the Barretos event attracts 800,000 tourists annually and creates upwards of 15,000 temporary jobs during the weeklong event.

      “It’s something that is homegrown,” said Haworth, referring to the historical significance of bull riding in Brazil.

      He added that as the sport continues to grow and gain popularity throughout South America – PwC research shows the audience figures for Brahma Super Bull events grew by 170 percent from 2011 to 2012…”

      Like

  2. T. says:

    Several things… I think it’s funny that McBride referred to anyone being “drunk” as he has been known to drink, heavy at times, and on the job. Someone I know was on hold for the PBRNOW show that Justin and JW Hart did. While this person was on hold, apparently Justin didn’t know they could hear, and he said “I was fucking good, even though I’m fucking drunk”. Drinking and bull riding seem to go hand in hand, and I think it’s a shame, especially if the PBR says it wants to be taken seriously as a sport and be “mainstream”. Riders, get drunk the night before they ride, and the PBR laughs about it and actually encourages it with “after parties”. If a professional athlete gets drunk the night before a game, it’s BIG news, and bad press. If a rider gets drunk, it’s laughed about and “it’s part of the lifestyle”. Was Justin wrong for saying what he said? Yes. Should he apologize? Yes. Do we take political correctness too far and can’t just laugh at ourselves and make stupid comments? Yes. How many times have I heard blacks use the word “nigger” and nobody bats an eye. But when a white person says it, somehow, the word then becomes magically racist.

    Secondly, I do think there is some bias against the Brazilians, but not as bad as you make it seem. There are a number of American riders who get along very well with the Brazilians, most of them are the “Christian” riders, especially Mike Lee, Kody Lostroh and when he was riding, Wiley Petersen. Most of the Brazilians are good family men and men of faith. Most of the Christian riders are good family men and men of faith. They share a common bond, even though they are from different countries.

    BTW, I know you don’t like the phrase “We live in the greatest country in the world”. I’ve not only met with one of your favorites, Adriano, but have had lunch with him and talked to him numerous times. I told him about your statement and his reply was “We love our country, but yes, America is the greatest country in the world and that’s why we come here to ride”. I know many of the Brazilians and they have ALL said the same thing. I like most of the Brazilian riders, they work hard, and are dedicated. I like many of the other riders, as well. There are some I don’t care for, for various reasons. I do think you let your bias for the Brazilians come out and it clouds your judgment on many of the calls.

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    • I can’t understand why anyone would drink and get on a bull– seems kinda suicidal. And more than a few times I’ve seen cowboys dropping like flies on Sunday after the Saturday night “after party.” Losing points and money–not smart. Hope they live to grow up.

      About that “laughing at ourselves” thing: there’s a fallacy in that reasoning. If a Native American wants to characterize himself/herself as a “drunk Injun” and laugh about it, that’s his/her issue. None of the Native Americans I know use that phrase nor do they want to hear anyone else use it. I’ve yet to hear any of my black friends use the word “nigger;” the people I’ve heard use it are street thugs or stupid teenagers who think they’re cool. And yes, if a white person uses those slurs, it is racist. Ask around.

      Again, that phrase “political correctness” is gibberish. Somehow people have decided that it means something negative, and that no one should be expected to be respectful toward other races or nationalities. Treating people decently is always correct, and it has nothing to do with politics.

      Some of the riders get along fine with people from different countries, but the judges do not. The prejudiced scoring and frequent harassment of Brazilian riders at the chute are what I and thousands of other viewers see, and I’ve read plenty of hateful comments on websites and message boards. Nobody can tell us that Silvano Alves mostly deserves 83s and 84s. I comment when riders from any country get underscored, get away with a slap, or get DQ’d or not DQ’d for something. I think people have decided that the only riders I like are Brazilians, which shows a lack of reading comprehension.

      Most people who earn a good living in America, especially if they came from poverty, will say this is the greatest country in the world. When an American pins someone down and asks them, what do you think the foreign-born person is going to say? What people say at home or with their close friends may be different from what they say to the public. People in good economic circumstances, who have political freedom, are likely to say their own countries are the greatest, like the Italian and French vineyard owners I’ve met. They do business with the U.S., but they don’t want to move here. It’s all relative.

      So does Adriano know my name now?

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      • T. says:

        No Adriano doesn’t know your name. Never mentioned names, only what bloggers say. You just don’t want to admit that maybe, just maybe, your view is a little bias towards the Brazilians. The fact that you see a conspiracy around every corner should tell you something. However, in your own mind, a conspiracy exists at every event. There’s no use debating with you, as you see yourself as always right. But in most of your examples, there are no facts, just your opinion of what a judge “should” have scored someone. You’ve never been a judge, never been a rider, you don’t go to many live events, you don’t know most of the riders personally, and you get most of your information from watching TV. Yet, you seem to think that your “opinion” is fact. You have the right to print whatever you want on your blog, after all, it’s your blog. But printing opinions does not make them factual.

        BTW, Adriano has no problem saying what he thinks. If he had a problem with the phrase “America is the greatest country in the world”, he would say it. If you think otherwise, you don’t know him very well. Again, I don’t just know “of” the Brazilians, but know them pretty well and some of their families. You make assumptions of what they think, feel, say. I’ve sat down with most of them and heard and seen what they think, feel, say. There is a big difference.

        Lastly, I know you don’t like the prayer, and that’s certainly your right to say so. But many riders want it, and the fact is that a prayer is said at many professional sporting events. As a matter of fact, not only was the prayer brought back to the NFR in 2012, but the name of Jesus was mentioned. Nobody got up and walked out, nobody died from shock, and the sellout crowd every night applauded loudly. The prayer was put back into the NFR because a bronc rider stood up in a meeting and said they should put it back in and then a number of contestants backed him up. You or a few people may be “offended”, but there are 100s of thousands more people offended that you and a few minority want to take prayer of the sport. If you don’t like it, nobody is forcing you to buy a ticket or say the prayer, or even bow your head and close your eyes. I don’t like some things at the events, but nobody is forcing me to participate in the things I don’t like. I just deal with. So, for those that want prayer out of sports, just deal with and let others participate.

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      • Oh, here we go again. The only reason I approved your comment for people to read is so that they can see your real purpose here: To show off how much you know about everything and everyone in the bull riding world, and to put other people down. I kicked you off this blog once before for being nasty, and decided to give you a chance this time, since your first post sounded rational. Now I know this is your m.o.: A first post seems to invite conversation, the second post is always the attack.

        No matter what opinion I post here, I try to speak as if I’m dealing with a rational person, explain my views, and search for and present facts. I don’t care how much schooling the judges have; they’ve got a problem with the riders from South America, and millions of bull riding fans agree. And I don’t care who thinks what about prayer; it’s a slippery slope to include it in public events.

        You need to get a grip on your anger and stop misdirecting it at me. Don’t bother posting any more comments on here, from any email address. You’re done.

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  3. Esther says:

    I have to agree with others, not only do you seem prejudiced for the Brazilians and judgmental, but you seem to look for things to criticize. Your comments regarding Hummer and the other commentators blunders I never notice and I’ll bet most other fans don’t either. You probably would have been critical of Yogi Berra. As for the ‘drunken Injun’ remark – is it the word Injun or the word drunken that upsets you? You didn’t say anything thing about the remark ‘drunken cowboys’. Is it not just as insulting to cowboys as it is to Indians? If it had been a white guy in cowboy hat and boots and McBride had said ‘drunken cowboy’ probably nobody would have been offended. I could get upset over blond jokes, but I don’t. Also, maybe a Brazilian wasn’t used in the commercial Austin was because they don’t get bucked off as much. You didn’t seem to mind the showing of the country flags when there were more Brazilian flags than American flags. If the PBR didn’t mention where a rider was from there would probably be comments along the lines of ‘they never mention the rider is from another country’. Maybe PBR is just trying to show that it is an international sport.

    In an earlier blog you said you could do without the pyro, bellybuttons, praying, bad songs. Pyro seems to be part of a lot of sports today. Did you watch the Super Bowl? What did you think of Beyonce’s and her dancer’s outfits? Actually the Jack Daniels and Rockstar girls seem tame compared to some music performers today. As for prayer – most fans I’ve talked to like it. They also like the armed forces, which were at the Super Bowl also. I think the NFL knows something about marketing. What do you suggest instead?

    Like

    • I’ve been a professional journalist most of my life and was an arts & entertainment critic, so my natural tendency is to look behind the surface of what things appear to be, and tell the truth. Everyone who follows a sport is judgmental about what they think the team should’ve done, what the coach did wrong, which player should be traded, etc. I comment on what could use fixing, or at least joke about it, and I also say what I love or like about what I see.

      I am not “prejudiced for” anyone. When someone or some group is being treated unfairly, I speak up for them. When people were complaining about JB never coming out to sign autographs and get his picture taken with fans, and saying that he rode drunk, I defended him. When people direct negative emotions at a rider because of his nationality or race, I get on the rider’s side.

      Most of the people I hear from think Hummer’s foot-in-mouth episodes are hilarious, but find him extremely abrasive and would give anything to have Justin McKee back. You really have the wrong end of the stick when it comes to Yogi Berra. He’s one of my all-time favorites, and I was lucky enough to see him play. And you know what? When he felt a call was unfair, he got right up in the ump’s face, even if it got him thrown out of the game. That’s my kinda guy.

      As for “drunk Injun”: Do you not understand that this rotten phrase characterizes all Native Americans as drunks? Do you not understand that it is the equivalent of talking about “lazy niggers”? It is what is known as “hate speech.” If you don’t know what that is, here’s a definition: (I did not write it.)

      “Hate speech is, outside the law, communication that vilifies a person or a group on the basis of one or more characteristics such as color, disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, and sexual orientation.[1][2]
      In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group. The law may identify a protected individual or a protected group by disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, nationality, religion, race, sexual orientation,[3][4] or other characteristic.[5][6] In some countries, a victim of hate speech may seek redress under civil law, criminal law, or both.”

      I didn’t say anything about drunken cowboys, but if you’re comparing the two, there’s a difference. If a white man in cowboy boots and hat was drunk, it would be normal to describe him as a “drunken cowboy.” The person McBride was talking about was a white female, who possibly was drunk. Why did he say “drunken Injun” instead of “drunk woman”? Because he’s using an ugly stereotype of Native Americans as out-of-control, foolish drunks.

      Nobody who tells a blonde joke hates blondes. That’s the difference. No one’s life is in danger because they’re blonde. People whose skin is a color other than white are very often in danger just because of the color of their skin. Ethnic and racial jokes come from hatred, which comes from ignorance and fear. If you were offended by blond jokes, you could dye your hair. Even if they wanted to, people can’t dye their skin.

      I didn’t say a Brazilian rider should’ve been in the commercial instead of Austin. I said that Brazilian riders can be part of the PBR publicity effort even if they don’t speak fluent English, and I used that commercial as an example, because it required only one sound and one English word.

      I guess you missed all the times I said I don’t like the flag business because it sets up rivalry between countries. I don’t care who has how many flags, and I didn’t say one flag was better than another. It’s one thing to let people know which country a rider is from, but to ALWAYS pound it into our ears every time the guy is mentioned is a different matter. It obviously irritates a lot of people. Do you not hear me talking about Hummer constantly calling the riders from north of our border “Canadianaaronroy” and “Canadiantypozzobon”? The PBR has already shown that bull riding is an international sport. What they’re doing now is trying to pump up the rivalry between countries— which ends up making a lot of Americans dislike the Brazilian riders.

      No, I don’t watch the Super Bowl. I have no interest. The only time I’ve ever turned on the Super Bowl was to see The Who and Bruce Springsteen at half-time. I hate any costumes that are designed to display women’s bodies for “entertainment.” The Rock Star and Monster Energy “girls” (they are women, not girls, if they’re over 18) are just one end of the sexist continuum that leads all the way to pornography. Any woman displaying body parts for a living has no self-respect, and if she thinks being the T&A portion of a show is great, she’s a brainwashed idiot; I don’t care how talented she is.

      I don’t care what people think about prayer; the fact is that sports events are not religious ceremonies, they’re a public, secular event, and one particular type of religion shouldn’t be imposed on everyone. I’ve said before that a fair way of handling this issue would be to ask the audience for a moment of silence on behalf of the athletes; everyone could do whatever they want in the silence— pray, meditate, chant, or nothing.

      Maybe the reason you found only people who approve of featuring the armed forces and praying in support of war at bull riding events is that you don’t know other kinds of people. I know all different kinds of people. Again, politics and war are not part of sports, and I don’t think they should be mixed.

      The NFL’s marketing is about making money; they don’t care what they do as long as it makes money. They made a huge flap about Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” a few years ago, and now they have Beyonce taking off clothes; they realized they got huge publicity mileage out of Janet’s boob, so now they trash up the show to get even more publicity. Their players get busted for drunk driving, domestic violence, drugs, and assault, but the NFL keeps most of them out of jail. And they could drop all the fireworks and entertainment tomorrow, but people would still watch the Super Bowl. Nobody’s going to say, “Forget it; they don’t have explosions and half-naked women; I’m not going to watch the Super Bowl.” What do I suggest? I suggest making the Super Bowl appropriate for everyone who likes football. What do you think young girls and boys learned by seeing Beyonce degrade herself?

      People will still watch bull riding if it ditches the sexist crap, omits religion, and doesn’t mention war. It’s about the ride.

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      • Esther says:

        I’m not going to get into everything, but I will say this. Do I think Justin made a mistake in using that term – yes. Do I think he should have apologized – yes. Do I think he is a racist with hatred of Native Americans – no. I do think the part they gave Silvano in the opening skit of Saturday’s Sacramento event was, if not offensive, in bad taste. The Saturday event is on the PBR website if you haven’t viewed it yet.

        Like

      • You may not want to admit this, or understand this, but the fact is that an ethnic slur, a negative stereotype, is racist, and someone who uses one is a racist. It’s that simple. If someone uses the term “drunken Injun” and doesn’t think it’s racist, he has the IQ of a potato. Hatred isn’t always expressed with baseball bats. using language like that is an expression of hatred. The easy way to prove this is to talk with the people who are being insulted.

        The only Sacramento event I watched was the 15/15. If the skit is the one with Silvano supposedly bragging about himself and that screaming “cowboy” giving a lie detector test, I agree. It’s extremely offensive. I may take a look at the event.

        Like

  4. pazle says:

    . I forgive people for some slip ups. You are too judgemental.
    You seem to favor the brazilians. I go by the way each rider presents himself.

    Like

    • A racist slur is not a slip-up. What he thinks came out of his mouth. A slip-up is a mistake, like putting too much of one ingredient into a recipe, or forgetting an appointment. Using an ethnic stereotype is not a mistake. I am judgmental about racism because it is hatred that harms human beings, and I’ve seen it firsthand. I favor riders who behave like decent people; I don’t care where they’re from or what color they are or what language they speak. Wiley Petersen and Ryan Dirteater are Native American riders. Would McBride have said that to them?

      Like

      • S. says:

        This reminds me of when Mel Gibson tried to say that it was a mistake that he came out with racist slurs when he was drunk. As if being drunk magically implants ideas in your head you’ve never had before. If McBride had simply said the was sorry and he’d work to educate himself and be more sensitive, that would have been a good step, but apparently neither he nor the PBR think that is important? (I personally feel that the PBR is in a state where they are trying to control all aspects of their image but are alternating between being inept and heavy-handed at it and are definitely not getting some really basic parts of PR),

        I also am tired of the PBR ramping up the Us v. Them, with Us being US riders and Them being Brazilian riders. (I guess guys from Australia and Canada are sort of part of Us? Although I’d love it if an Aboriginal or First Nations person qualified– that would really confuse the PBR.) What difference does it make where people come from if they’ve qualified to ride here?

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      • Yeah, and McBride wasn’t even drunk!
        Apologize? Admit wrongdoing? Make an effort to change? Surely you jest! The PBR has yet to admit that ANYTHING it does is less than perfect, no matter who it offends or how loud the outcry.
        There probably are plenty of indigenous riders in several countries who could qualify for the CBR’s Horizon Series or the PBR Touring Pro Division– if they could get access. I’ve black riders in CBR events. Isn’t it amazing how the PBR somehow hasn’t managed to come across any?

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      • S. says:

        I’m not sure what his ancestry is, but there was Lee Akin, and Fried Twinkies talks about an older African American rider. I remember a guy with dreads and gold teeth being around for a couple of events a number of years ago. You can imagine the kind of commentary that came out about him… But yes, access is a big problem.

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      • Was the older guy Myrtis Dightman, Bill Pickett, Charlie Sampson, or Jesse Stahl? Lee Akin is from Oklahoma; he looks like a mix of different races. He actually qualified for the PBR finals a few times. The guy with the dreads is CBR rider Craig Jackson– but he cut them off last year. Bummer. There are so many sources of black riders– I’ll bet if I started fishing, I’d find Latino bull riding circuits, Argentinian, Mexican… There’s a great article about black riders on the blog: lizditz.typepad.com

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    • S. says:

      I think it was Charlie Sampson, but I would have figure out where my copy of the book is to verify. I remember Lee Akin riding, although I thankfully did not see his horrible accident. He has showed up in the audience to some PBR events, and while he’s doing remarkably well considering, it looks like a very tough road. Craig Jackson, yes! It probably was the 2007 season that I’m remembering him from– I liked him.

      There haven’t been many Mexican/Central American riders in the US BFTS that I can recall (besides Rocky McDonald). I believe that charros can use both hands to ride bulls, so transitioning to the PBR rules is likely challenging. It probably would help if they had someone like Adriano is in Brazil, working to promote PBR Mexico.

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  5. Becky Thompson says:

    All the hype of JB this weekend and all the talk about “it is the American’s turn to win the BFTS” only fuels the racism in the PBR. They (the PBR) fuel this by showing on the screen the number (by country flag) who is from the USA. As long as these events are open to all riders that qualify fans should not be concerned what country they are from. Remember, we all came from another country (unless you are a Native American). The USA is not “pure”. We are a country of immigrants. After all the hype about “could this be the weekend that JB becomes number 1?” I could not stay up to listen to all of the event lat night. I see this morning that JB not only did not win the event, he came in 5th and has slipped into 3rd position in the world. I also saw that a person that does not ride under the North American Flag came back and won the event. I am sure that there will be many negative things said about Marchi winning instead of JB.

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    • You said it. I hate that flag thing, and the constant identification of riders as “the Brazilian,” “the Australian,” “the Canadian”– or rather, “Canadianaaronroy and Canadiantypozzobon.” Do they ever say “the American, J.B.Mauney”? If they’re going to pit one country against another, they should just give them team uniforms with the flags on the back, structure the competition like the Olympics, and be done with it.
      I couldn’t stand the thought of watching an event on the LEC at 11 pm, so I didn’t get to see Marchi win. Dang! I can’t believe the PBR isn’t rebroadcasting the Friday and Saturday rounds. So lame.

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    • Esther says:

      So far there hasn’t been any negative post on facebook or the PBR website regarding Marchi winning.

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  6. CINDY says:

    SORRY, BUT I THINK YOU ARE OVER THE TOP WITH YOUR POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. WOULD YOU HAVE BEEN UPSET IF HE SAID DRUNK BRIAR? AS FAR AS THE FOREIGN RIDERS LEARNING ENGLISH, THEY NEED TO DO THAT ON THEIR OWN DIME, LIKE ADRIANO DID. THEY CAN SPEND THE TIME TO TRAIN AND WEIGHT LIFT, THEY CAN SPEND THE TIME LEARNING THE LANGUAGE OF THE COUNTRY WHERE THEY COMPETE AND MAKE LOTS OF MONEY. HAVE YOU EVER MET JUSTIN MCBRIDE? A FEW SHORT SOUND BITES DOES NOT MAKE HIM RACIST AND BY THE WAY, BEING BRAZILIAN, I DON’T BELIEVE, MAKES IT A RACIST ISSUE. MAYBE NATIONALISTIC, BUT NOT RACIST. I PERSONALLY HAVE SEEN MANY OF THE AMERICAN RIDERS HELP ALL OTHER RIDERS, NOT JUST THOSE OF THEIR COUNTRIES. I AGREE WITH YOU ON MANY ISSUES IN THE PBR, THE SLEAZINESS OF THE BROADCASTS AND THE DESIRE TO HAVE MCKEE BACK, BUT THIS IS ONE WHERE I PART WAYS.

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    • I don’t know what the heck a “drunk briar” is, but “drunk Injun” is a nasty stereotype of a race, and if you don’t think so, that makes you a racist. Ask Native Americans how they feel about that degrading phrase.
      The term “political correctness” makes no sense. It’s not a “political” issue to be civil to all races of people, and yes, it’s “correct” to treat all races the same– remember the “golden rule”? Put the two words together, and somehow that’s supposed to mean something negative? This is not about politics. It’s about human decency. Oh yeah, and what’s that other chestnut– “Love thy neighbor as you love yourself”? Isn’t that part of Christianity? Or are people allowed to cherry pick their morals and ethics?
      Nationalism and racism are very tied together. Someone who thinks their own country is better than any other country is very likely to believe that the citizens of their own country are superior to the citizens of the other country. The Americans involved in the sport have no problem relating to the Canadians or Australians; all those people have white skin and speak English. All kinds of races exist in Brazil, and many are mixed together; they have a complicated definition of “white,” but as far as I’ve seen they haven’t exhibited a negative attitude toward American whites.
      That wasn’t a sound byte–the piece was by the PBR writer; I hardly think he’d misquote a rider.
      And there’s no need to shout. (Capital letters in internet language means shouting.)

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      • pazle says:

        I find you kind of racist against our cowboys, If you grew up in cowboy country, you would know that his comment was not meant to be mean, it was just a local saying that slipped out. And if you lived by American Indians you might feel different.

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      • How on earth am I “racist against our cowboys”?? Do I say things like, “Those drunken white boys”? The fact that you think a racist insult is just “a local saying,” just a part of everyday life, is a huge example of racism! Do you actually think it’s right to judge millions of human beings by the few you’ve seen? I lived in a city for 28 years where 8 million people of every possible race and ethnicity live, and I have yet to insult a whole race. You clearly have no concept of what causes alcoholism, why it’s particularly devastating in certain populations, and why it’s cruel to sling around ethnic slurs, and I don’t have time to explain. Do some research.

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