The USFL’s Tampa Bay Bandits have a turnover whip


Pictured: A whip?  huh?

Pictured: A whip? huh?
photo: Getty Images

Having a mascot/nickname that is intimidating is essential in sports. There’s a reason teams are never called “librarians” or “kittens.” And since Miami Football introduced turnover chain a few years ago, we’ve seen several teams mimic the gimmick. But every once in a while, someone goes too far — like cracking a real whip on the sidelines of a game.

(insert whip sound)

Yes, one of the most significant pieces of slavery in human history is used on the sidelines by the Tampa Bay Bandits when they make a profit.

I guess they are… “Beat your competition?”

Last Friday, Christian Sam – a black man – grabbed and cracked the whip after being intercepted against the (1-4) Michigan Panthers as the Bandits improved to 3-2 after their 27-20 win.

All about it only feels… racist. And the saddest part is that the clip was tweeted by the USFL’s official account, meaning the league is OK with it. However, this shouldn’t come as a surprise considering what the USFL has been up to during its relaunch.

Last month, the USFL made headlines when the former University of Michigan ran back De’Veon Smith was cut by the Pittsburgh Maulers for trying to order pizza if he didn’t want chicken salad. “Any disrespect towards football or employees, the USFL, etc. will not be tolerated.” Maulers coach Kirby Wilson told a documentary crew, all because Smith wanted some carbs.” He crossed the line, so we had to deal with that… Someone’s hurt feelings are a far cry from the good of the team. And we went ahead and turned that page, and I’m glad we did.”

And in March The league was sued for allegedly using some of the original team names and logos from the original release of the USFL without permission.

Just as the NBA didn’t get cool until they implemented some of the ABA rules along with their players, the same could be said of the USFL and the NFL. But all that has changed since this league of guys is run by names Kyle Sloter and Clayton Thorson leading the league when passing yards or touchdowns. And since the USFL doesn’t have players to get people to tune in, they have to crack whips on the sidelines to get attention. That’s pathetic.

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