Kansas City Star and FOXSports.com Columnist
Jason Whitlock, columnist for the Kansas City Star and FOXSports.com, is widely considered the most provocative, thought-provoking and entertaining sports columnist working today. The September 2007 issue of Vibe Magazine tabbed Whitlock as “one of 40 people who will change the world.” Presidential candidate Barack Obama was also on the list.
With a column-writing style stolen from his boyhood idol Mike Royko and courage gleaned from his mentor Ralph Wiley, Whitlock has made a local and national name by boldly and insightfully addressing the most sensitive subjects in sports.
His April 11, 2007 column on Don Imus and Rutgers basketball best illustrates Whitlock’s knack for turning sports commentary into social commentary and providing a fresh outlook on a controversial topic. The column, “Imus isn’t the real bad guy,” is one of the most pervasive pieces of newspaper journalism published. It has been compared to Pulitzer Prize-winner Leonard Pitts’ column on 9/11.
The column, which argued that African-Americans should examine hip-hop music’s culture of black-on-black disrespect rather than castigate an old radio shock jock, served as the foundation of two episodes of “The Oprah Winfrey.” Whitlock flew to Chicago, met Ms. Winfrey and appeared on both shows alongside rap-music mogul Russell Simmons, the Rev. Al Sharpton, New York Daily News columnist Stanley Crouch, singer India Arie and others.
The column and subsequent follow-up columns penned by Whitlock helped spark a national debate and focused renewed attention on an issue that had been placed on the backburner. In the aftermath, Sharpton and Simmons both called for rappers to quit using the N-word, bitch and ho. The NAACP held a mock funeral for the N-word. The leading African-American media outlets, including Ebony Magazine, all published detailed reports about the “war on rap music” or “a culture of disrespect.”
The Imus columns widened Whitlock’s column reach and have made him a highly-sought guest on many political/news networks, including CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News.
Whitlock’s reputation with sports fans across the nation had long been establish through his work with the Kansas City Star, where he has worked as a sports columnist since 1994. Kansas City readers are used to Whitlock’s columns driving discussion, debate and passion. From his 1994 column making light of the Kansas-Kansas State football rivalry to his threatened boycott of Royals baseball games following the 1994 work stoppage to his belittling of Texas basketball fans during the early years of the Big 12 Tournament to his yearly Chiefs grades to his reporting on former Kansas basketball star J.R. Giddens’ involvement in an ugly bar fight to Whitlock’s chilling interview with Larry Johnson before LJ’s 2007 training-camp holdout, Kansas City sports fans have come to expect Whitlock to be the lightning rod of local sports talk.
Whitlock writes a weekly column for FOXSports.com titled “Real Talk.” He had previously written the “Real Talk” column for AOL Sports. His columns detailing the lawless, disrespectful atmosphere during NBA All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas triggered shockwaves throughout the sports world. Whitlock was one of the first writers to strongly question district attorney Mike Nifong’s handling of the Duke Lacrosse investigation.
Whitlock also had a six-year association with ESPN.com and ESPN television. He wrote a weekly column for ESPN.com and on the TV side guest-hosted Pardon the Interruption, Jim Rome is Burning, The Sports Reporters and appeared on Outside the Lines.
Whitlock also has worked successfully as a radio talk-show host at Kansas City’s WHB and KCSP, broadcasting his own shows, “Jason Whitlock’s Neighborhood” and “The Doghouse.” Whitlock also has guest-hosted Jim Rome’s nationally syndicated radio show “The Jungle.”
A 1990 graduate of and former football starter at Ball State University, Whitlock is an Indianapolis native who proudly claims to be the founding and last dues-paying member of the Jeff George Fan Club. George and Whitlock were high school teammates, winning Indiana’s Big School state championship in 1984.
Before working at the Kansas City Star, Whitlock worked at the Bloomington Herald-Times, The Charlotte Observer and the Ann Arbor News. He’s also written for Vibe Magazine and The Sporting News. He’s won numerous writing awards.
A Public Apology to Jason Whitlock
I then wrote that I couldn't imagine Jason Whitlock admitting his mistakes. Was it meant to be a slight? Not really. Was it meant to be malicious? Not at all. Was it rude? Probably. And, for that I do apologize. I'm a reader of Whitlock's, and I ...
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