Between Facebook, Twitter, voice mail, e-mail and courier pigeon, reactions to my column on the undercurrent of race in the Dak Prescott/Tony Romo debate was quite ... interesting.
And here is a sampling of the emails and voice mails I received.
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“I just wanted to express my displeasure and shock at reading the bile that you expressed to publish in the front page of the sports section, and revealing your stupid opinion on the undercurrent of racism, in your opinion. Exactly what survey have you based this on? Your and the Star-Telegram’s choice to shovel this excrement on the front page reveals your own reverse psychology on racism. I hope many readers join me in skipping any articles or radio commentary made by Heir Engel. Being able to wipe you from my sports input is a blessing I can control.”
- Anonymous Caller
“Just read your column - it’s right there where it needs to be. It’s time for racists and homophobic people to get over it. Life moves on.”
- Anonymous Caller
“Mac, having been on the planet for over seventy five years I am seldom surprised by anything. Then I read something, your Thursday column about Dak Prescott as example, and I am reminded of how stunned I can occasionally be. Racism! How can we be on the earth and not see the potential for our destruction in its maintenance?
“Has so little progress been made against hate in the world that someone like Betty still exists? Where did the information she trumpets come from? Does she know something we don't?
“Betty is the kind of sub human that perpetuates that which has the most dramatic potential for us to fail, to rob us of our enormous potential to thrive while diverse. She is incapable of seeing that there is only one way for there to be any real chance for the community of all of us to make sense of our very existence. She is a dedicated hate monger, a person who not only exhibits prejudice of the worst kind but attempts to sell it via contrived nonsense, making up random stories to justify her deception of self.”
- Mr. Biddle,
Fort Worth, Texas
“I appreciate the column concerning the colors of quarterbacks. I thought he did a real good job of lining things up for people who have a problem with the color of our skin. Real good job.”
“Appreciate you shining a light on the salamanders of our species who feel ever more emboldened to express their racist views following the most recent political season. I expect we will see more as things continue to devolve.”
“Dak is awesome! Leave it to a reporter to try to turn a great rookie start into a race-baiting article. I love Dak's abilities. I love Ezekiel's running prowess. And up till now, I've loved your journalistic doings. No more. Love you in FWST. Loved listening to you at times on (the radio show Galloway and Company). Absolutely do not like reading you play the race card at this point. Shouldn't we be well past this?”
(Should be noted I never appeared on the radio show “Galloway and Company)
“Thank you for printing the story. I am STUNNED over what people say. Racism abounds, especially ALL over the South. But if people elect a man like Trump to become President of the United States, it is to be expected. Sickening.”
“Mac, Nice article on Dak today. Dak is ‘just what the doctor ordered for the Cowboys.’ He has been a classy leader & motivator that has bought everyone together. He may not be the passer or have the IQ of Wentz, but, he has the leadership quality to make the people around him believe in themselves & each other - even Jerry.”
“Your column on the above referenced date did more to give voice to the views of ‘Betty’ than 1,000 people with her poor view of life and people. You, Sir, in fact magnified “Betty.’”
“Amen. My only criticism is that you were not harsh enough about the idiot! Keep up the good work.”
“I have not heard one thing about the race when it comes to Dak Prescott and you take one voice mail and turn it into news?! Seems to me you are the race-baiter. Do we have to turn everything into race? Of course there are still some racists. This is not "news". This is bottom of the barrel journalism at it's finest. Unbelievable.”
“Why did you feel the need to write this? 99% of the people who read the quote immediately thought "what a racist moron". Unfortunately there will always be a few people out there like this but that's just it, a few. The overwhelmingly vast majority doesn't view it this way. I guess my issue is that in the media world today if one person says something outrageous it becomes news and then another story follows and another. Eventually it's all you hear and people start thinking it's a huge problem, then they start taking matters into their own hands. To me it's one or two people with a stupid opinion and it should be treated as such, ignored and forgotten.”
“Mr. Engle, Up until today, you were the first sports article I read in the newspaper. I am so disappointed in the racist-baiting story you wrote today about Dak. I have no idea why you quoted, in length, this race biased letter you received-and of course not including the woman authors name. I would have never believed that you could or would write this story. I hope this is the last time you will write an article that is in poor taste and beneath (I hope) a person of your perceived character.”
“As usual, nice article today (1/5/17 DAK), but damn, it will stir up the hornets nest. I know folks like that are still around, but damn, it's soooooo depressing to know they live here locally, and furthermore, leave messages on phones, or e-mails. I just don't understand!! Have a hell of a day.”
“Mac, I normally agree with most things you write about, but your article on race in the Cowboy nation was unnecessary. As a lifelong Cowboy fan I haven’t considered or observed anything racial regarding Dak. Your article was the first racially based subject I’ve seen. You must be hurting for subject matter.”
“Your editors should have discouraged you from publishing your Thursday commentary. You should have responded to ‘Betty’ in the same way she communicated with you, privately. Chiding her to ‘shut up and get over it’ will fall on deaf ears while repeating her rant for all to read will surely give her great satisfaction. You should be ashamed of yourself for spreading that nastiness. I am writing you directly instead of to Letters to The Editor because I do not want to further the public discourse or encourage “Betty.”
“While I agree with everything you said, I wish you could’ve said it without printing ‘Betty's’ words. I believe you could have stated your case without giving life to her racist views. Did you consider that printing her words now gives her a public voice? I wish you had dealt with her on your own, and then written your article.”
“Well, thanks for pissing in everyone’s punch bowl with your moronic piece about ‘racism’ and Dak Prescott. Why in the world would you want to give a larger voice to someone who is clearly mentally disturbed and represents MAYBE .001% of Dallas Cowboy fans? That kind of crap should be buried, not given a megaphone. But no, our own social justice warrior thinks it’s somehow incumbent or noble to print that nonsense on the front page of the sports section and then try and blame it on Trump and the people who voted for him??
“So, why did you do it Mac? Did it make you feel better? Did you think you were exposing something that no one else knew about? Or, maybe you just thought it would be a good idea for you to share your political opinion of 60 million Americans. Fact is, 99.999% of the people of all colors that are fans of the Dallas Cowboys couldn’t be happier with Dak Prescott. The fact that you found one ugly, miserable human being that’s not and chose to give them prominence is on you.
“What we need is a whole lot more unity, which Dak and Zeke and others have brought to Cowboys fans and a whole lot less of your lecturing and trying to show everyone how sensitive and enlightened you are because you’re “exposing” racism. When everyone is feeling good about the team and its prospects, surely you could have found something more relevant and upbeat to write about that actually deals with sports! If you want to play the SJW, get another gig or put it in an Opinion column......I don’t want to see that drivel on the Sports Page!!!”
“Damn Mac! Did you have to start today's ST article with the racist criticism? Jezz, I certainly hope that these type of folks are the small of the smallest minority. To me, not worth mentioning; but apparently you see more of of it than I do. Dak is a great guy. My nephew played with him at Ole Miss and can testify to that.
“Just think we've come a long with with the racism thing. I've seen it in my work and social environment. It's way less of a problem than it was 20 or 30 years ago. Just sometimes think we stir too much of it in the news. Again maybe I'm not as exposed to it as others may be.
“I leave you with a good word. I enjoy your articles, keep up the good work.
“I am a Cowboy fan and have been. I talk to other fans. I have never heard anything racist about Dak Prescott. In fact, the first time anyone played the race card on Dak was in your column. Why did you put this out there? Slow news day? Sale papers? Or to create division? I believe that you were bamboozled by a fake source, if there really was one. Like your column says ‘shut up and get over it.’”
“There are always going to be fruitcakes out there bringing this stuff up - why do you keep writing about it?”
“I am just getting back into the Dallas Cowboys, and I attribute it to Dak Prescott. I think he is a fine young man.”
“I really appreciate this article. I have a half-white grandson who plays quarterback and I might be appreciate what Dak is going through.”
“I live in Burleson and I am dismayed that you would publish what city the lady who left the message. I am really upset you would put our city’s name in the article. I think you need to hear from the mayor here in Burleson, or some other prominent person, that that person does not represent this city. She’s just an individual who called in.”
- Anonymous female caller
“I read your column and I thought it was marvelous. I think you did good. I am sure you will get some heat on it from some dummies. I think you did good.”
- Anonymous male caller
“Mr. Engel. I’ve left messages for you criticizing you over your articles over Tony Romo, thinking that you should give him more respect. I just wanted you to know that I agree with you 100 percent. That woman was way out of bounds. Dak is going to be a good quarterback.”
“My message is brief - I can’t imagine what inspired him to try to stir up something that has not been a problem for the Cowboys. I don’t know how desperate he is for attention. I think it’s about the most inappropriate thing he could have published.”
“I appreciate the column. It was right on the money and articulate and well written. I wish the other Dallas Cowboys, other than Dak, would emulate him.”
- Anonymous caller