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August 14, 2008 4:35 PM

Phil Mickelson Got "Jackie Robinson Off His Back"

Um, say what?

Dan O'Neill, a contributor to NBCSports.com, is either dumb, or racist, or both, based on his column from the PGA Championship that ran Sunday afternoon. Let's see how he chose to begin a piece about Sergio Garcia's struggles in majors (emphasis mine).

That's 41 down, one more to go for Sergio Garcia.

You remember the No. 42. That was the number of majors Phil Mickelson played in before he won the 2004 Masters. That's the amount of frustration, heartbreak and second-guessing “Lefty” endured before he got that Jackie Robinson off his back.



Uh, Jackie Robinson wore number 42, so, um, there's that...I guess?

...[W]hen you're discussing someone's inability to achieve something, you don't say, "Man, glad to finally get that 42 off my back!" You say "Whew! Glad that monkey is finally off my back."

Which means that, yes, unfortunately, Dan (and whoever the hell edited this column), you just made "Jackie Robinson" a synonym for "monkey". Which would probably be fine if the latter wasn't a term frequently used by people with bigoted predispositions.


Well, that's just tasteless. And ignorant. Something tells me Dan O'Neill won't be writing many more columns.

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