As J.J. Redick, the Duke product and former NBA star, trends on Twitter for his emotional perspective on the situation of troubled Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, Redick faces the inevitable backlash and cynicism that rule social media.
Redick is hearing plenty of praise for his thoughts — which basically question why, if Texas Governor Greg Abbott can respond to a mass shooting by telling Texans lightheartedly to buy more guns, then why is Morant getting the “hammer”?
Gun culture is “pervasive” in this country, Redick says, and given that — isn’t Morant being singled out in a sort of vacuum? Redick doesn’t defend Morant’s behavior, but points out that for others, like Abbott, there are no “consequences.” How harsh then, he wonders, should the consequences be for Morant?
Many agreed, and professed to have an answer to Redick’s question:
BOOM. JJ Redick asks the question. I’ll answer it.— Larry Huynh (@larryhuynh) May 17, 2023
The media focuses on a black young man’s legal (but obviously stupid) gun promotion more than they focus on Republican politicians’ gun promotion because of systemic RACISM.
It ain’t hard.
But we can level the playing field.… pic.twitter.com/gKZVK3WKfg
But on Twitter the overall discourse seems in large part guided by Goebbels’ pervasive advice: Accuse your enemy of that which you are guilty. And there, conservatives accused Redick of self-dealing and hypocrisy — for pointing out hypocrisy.
Jason Whitlock, a conservative commentator, brought the height of cynicism to the Redick commentary, accusing Redick of just using Morant — because Redick wants a coaching job.
Whitlock takes perhaps the most derisive angle possible from which to view Redick’s words, asserting that Redick “cares nothing about Ja Morant. This is the ultimate clout chase. White liberals love using foolish black men for clout.”
Whitlock says Redick is “using Ja Morant to chase an NBA head-coaching job. He’s impersonating Steve Kerr and Greg Popovich to get a job.”
(Whitlock doesn’t show much respect in his comments for the NBA’s all-time leader in coaching wins either, failing to spell Popovich’s first name correctly. It’s Gregg.)
JJ Redick using Ja Morant to chase an NBA head-coaching job. He’s impersonating Steve Kerr and Greg Popovich to get a job. He cares nothing about Ja Morant. This is the ultimate clout chase. White liberals love using foolish black men for clout. https://t.co/cCgrzgovZW— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) May 17, 2023
Whitlock hit such a level of rancor that even his fans — many of whom also listen to Redick’s podcast — asked if he was doing the right thing with his hot take this time.
Bro, I love both you & JJ but this seems like a pretty shameful comment, unless you KNOW for a fact what you’re saying is true & don’t just THINK it’s true.— Author Jameis1of1 (@jameis1of1) May 17, 2023
It’s never a good idea to risk bearing false witness (a literal sin) against someone just to create Twitter content.…
Even among Whitlock’s fans, many brought up the possibility that, even if Redick is looking for an NBA head coaching job, mightn’t his sentiments be utterly sincere and not pandering? That combination of facts isn’t hard to imagine, though for some on Twitter it’s a logic that seems impossible to grasp.