Speaking Collectively vs. Generalization

Edward Anthony
2 min readDec 30, 2020

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Photo Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Being an individual who does social commentary occasionally, I hate when people accuse me of generalization. Maybe it’s just me, but last I checked, speaking collectively is referring to say, a demographic in general, not every single individual in that demographic. Generalization is when you put everyone in the same box.

Speaking for myself, I can say that when addressing whatever demographic, I typically make distinctions. I rarely use the terms all, everybody or everyone, and if I do, I say so specifically. I can’t get on the internet or pull out a phone book and say, “He’s not like that” or “She’s not like that,” so I have to speak collectively.

I saw on my news feed this afternoon an article about former NFL player Anthony “Booger” McFarland, who openly criticized so-called Black NFL players after the idiocy of Dwayne Haskins, who was recently released by Washington (I refuse to refer to them by that last name, that’s just ridiculous). He (McFarland) clarified in a tweet that he was not referring to all “Black” NFL players, however, in his 20+ years of being in/around the NFL, he has seen too many cases like Haskins. I’ve been watching sports for over 20 years, and I’ve seen too many cases like Haskins.

There’s articles out who have accused McFarland of putting every “Black” player in the same box; there’s one that argues the case of NFL flop Johnny Manziel and Ben Roethlisberger, who are white. Good examples, particularly Roethlisberger (I’m not a fan of that guy)and I’m not defending them, particularly not defending Roethlisberger, but from what I’ve seen, for every Manziel and Roethlisberger, there’s at least four to five Haskins.

If he was referring to all, then I could see where that would be a problem because there are plenty of guys who stay away from the nonsense, and it wouldn’t be right to put them in the same box as the numbskulls. Naturally, because people nowadays have an emotional response to nearly everything, they’re going to make this bigger than what it is.

On the surface, it comes off as if he put his own people on blast, but a lot of them tend to focus more on being “divas” and showing out or they’re engaging in some criminal activity versus putting the work in to improve their games. I’m sure he’s going to be called things like “coon” and “sell-out,” by a certain sector of the community, and while you (unfortunately) have groveling, pandering “Blacks” out there, I look at things from every angle, and I don’t see what McFarland said wrong here.

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