Dan Shaughnessy’s Sexist, Racist, and Elitist Remarks

I want to start out with a sort of disclaimer. This column will likely mean nothing to Dan Shaughnessy. Hell, there’s a website with the sole purpose of highlighting his idiocy. This is more for the people of Detroit, and a statement to the witless and pompous journalists that have made a parlor game out of trashing the city of Detroit. I, by no means, have to poetic gifts of a Mitch Albom, or a Maureen Dowd (what have you, those are two of my favorites), but, this is what I can say.


Dan Shaughnessy has made a career out of antagonistic journalism. He’s an arrant fool. Anytime he puts pen to paper, or I should say, one of his craven fingers to keyboard, it’s geared towards the same negativity army that signs his paycheck. I rarely read him, if only once and a while to get a good laugh. This time, though, he was way out of line.

William Shakespeare once wrote, “He jests at scars that never felt a wound.”

The pomposity of this “journalist” is nauseating. He sits in his Boston office, and with a few paragraphs, insults millions of hard-working Detroiters in an unprovoked, gratuitous remark all in the guise of journalism. If you haven’t seen it, here it is:

[Johnny Damon’s] decision to stay with the Tigers is downright idiotic . . . or there is some larger force at work.

I keep playing this out in my head, and none of it makes any sense. Why would Damon want to stay with the moribund Tigers when he had a chance to join the Red Sox for 5 1/2 weeks of stretch-run fun? Why try to keep hitting at cavernous Comerica Park when he could return to friendly Fenway? Why play games that don’t matter when you can play games that still matter? …

Think about it: For the next five weeks, you could live in downtown Boston and your wife could shop on Newbury Street. Or you could live in downtown Detroit, amid the boarded-up buildings and the proverbial skeleton frames of burned-out Chevrolets. Is this really a tough call?

Really. Why wouldn’t Damon come back to Boston?

Where do you even being to dissect something like that?

I guess first, who are you to pass judgment? If he’s happy with where he is, then that’s it. Johnny Damon made a decision about his own life. This is not sports, this is not statistics, this is not a controversy…it’s a decision he made for himself and his family. You are not a deity, you are a sports writer.

And that is barely scratching the surface. These comments are sexist, racist, elitist, mean-spirited, and condescending.

Characterizing metro Detroit the way Shaughnessy did is as slimy as one would be to characterize Boston like this:

The struggles of others makes the sadistic feel better. What kind of person do you have to be to kick someone while they’re down? And to pick on the people of Detroit, the people of Michigan, who are particularly down right now, is truly cruel.

We are well aware of the problems. Some people have lost everything. Unemployment is through the roof, home foreclosures are exponential, and to Dan Shaughnessy, it’s a fine example of why Johnny Damon is an idiot.

Shaugnessy words really boil down to anger over how someone could want to live in metro Detroit over pristine Boston. Even if Damon has ulterior motives, like a contract next year, to say that there is something “idiotic” about choosing a diverse, hard-working city and state is inherently bigoted.

I’ve lived in Boston for three years while attending school, but I prefer the humble, quiet, and beautiful Detroit, Michigan. Matter of fact, I’m going to return here for law school, even if my grades are good enough for Boston University, or Suffolk Law. I like it here. My parents lived here. My grandparents lived here. What an idiot I am, right? Because Dan Shaughnessy knows what’s best for me and Johnny Damon.

And the kicker, Shaughnessy suggests that a woman’s only concern is shopping. How incredibly chovanistic. Shaughnessy’s primary argument is that Damon’s wife could have shopped on Newbury, and then probably grabbed some food at Capitol Grille. As opposed to eating lobster and steak at an overpriced, homogeneous restaurant, while the intellectual elite walk by, some people may prefer to go to a polish restaurant in Hamtramck, or a Greek restaurant in Greektown, or a Lafayette Coney Island in Detroit. He speaks as if something is wrong with shopping here…or restaurants here…or entertainment here. That’s a dangerous implication that Damon’s rich, white wife belongs on Newbury Street.

There are beautiful streets in every city. There is also poverty in every city. As we try to lift ourselves off the mat, we need a hand, not a reminder of how bad things have been. So shame on you, Dan, for criticizing an athlete who loves this city.

“Detroit gets a bad rap. I love it here. My family loves it here,” Johnny Damon told MLive. That right there, should be end of story.

From the city of Detroit, Dan, a big middle-finger to you.



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7 Responses to “Dan Shaughnessy’s Sexist, Racist, and Elitist Remarks”

  1. Dave Says:

    Wade, I just read this…and it’s incredibly stupid. You called Shaughnessy a sexist and racist (I’ll let the elitist part slide) with no evidence whatsoever. Any broad painting done in this blog post is done by you. You claim that Shaughnessy believes all women shop. He never suggests this.

    You spend 15 paragraphs examining four of Shaughnessy’s and jump to conclusions at every turn. Bringing up one of the most influential photographs in recent history from the Boston race riots in response to Shaughnessy’s words about boarded-up windows. Really?

    If you disagree, post a quote from the article that could be construed as racist or sexist. There isn’t one. He insulted your city, you were personally hurt and you unfairly slathered a celebrated journalist in print for all to see (not to mention praising a known plagiarist in Mitch Albom).

    He writes antagonistically and takes on a persona, you admit this, then you call him a racist and a sexist. Have you ever met him personally? I have. You couldn’t be more wrong.

    And, no, your words won’t matter to him. He’s faced stupid insults his entire career and he keeps, to this day, writing articles that get people riled up. Good writers evoke emotions…and boy did he ever with you.

    And, if nothing else, if you completely disagree with me…you probably shouldn’t go around on the internet throwing around accusations like that. It’s irresponsible, foolish and will have people questioning YOUR writing, not his.

  2. wadefink Says:

    Where you are wrong, Dave, is this wasn’t done for me. I wasn’t hurt by this, I couldn’t care less what he writes..I was hurt by the fact that it hurt other people. I gave a voice, as small as my voice may be, to the voiceless. There’s a lot of hardworking people here that don’t need that crap from some arrogant highbrow east coast writer.

    Second, what could be construed as racist and sexist? The suggestion that Damon’s wife would love to be shopping on homogeneous Newbury Street. What’s wrong with Michigan? That line is inherently sexist and has racial undertones.

    Third, as you said to me, it looks like I insulted your “buddy” (cause you met him) and look at the reaction I got from you.

    I stand by this.

    Thank you for reading, man.

  3. AJ Says:

    Wade, I’m no Shaugnessy fan, but his words were hardly out and out racist or sexist.

    Celebrities wives do like to shop; that may be a stereotype, but it’s hardly sexist. People with a lot of money like to shop. That’s why stores with overpriced things stay in business. Besides, he says Johnny Damon’s wife might like to shop. That’s not “All Women”, as Dave says.

    Boarded up windows is economic prejudice, not racial prejudice. Newbury Street isn’t known for being white, it’s known for being wealthy. (The racialization is on your end.)

    Burned out Chevy frames? The car industry is down, way down. That’s accurate, not racial, hardly elitist.

    There are lots of racially motivated attacks on Detroit daily (Detriotiscrap and Abandon Detroit are both run by White Supremacists, linking to something called “Chimpout.com”).

    Of all the things to call out Shaughnessy for, you took a really hard sinker and whiffed. Sorry man.

    • wadefink Says:

      I’m not going to delve into the relationship between racial and economic prejudice, and again, I stand by the notion that, whether intended or unintended, those comments had racial undertones.

      And putting the sexism aside, what is wrong with Detroit shopping? Has anyone ever been here?

      What a stupid argument.

      Thanks for reading, AJ.

  4. Freaknick Says:

    If Dan Shaughnessy ever rolls through my hood it’s his Chevy that’ll be burnt out. Watch yourself.

  5. Randall A. Quaid Says:

    A stellar article and a stellar argument. “AJ” and “Dave” (who probably never met anyone but I’m assuming a but ugly wife) likely stroll the internet, looking to stick up for a Klansman with an ink pen. Screw you guys, I’m going home.

  6. AJ Says:

    I know Wade in real life. You’re an asshole, Dennis “Fake Name” Quaid.

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