City Paper is not for tourists
Sheila Johnson has jumped in some hot water that she can’t swim out of.
The Washington Mystics have been rotten throughout Johnson’s run as team president, having finished in the bottom half of the WNBA’s Eastern Conference all five seasons under her, and not winning even a single playoff game.
But Johnson has gotten a pretty free ride through all the on-court suckitude. She’s hailed by the gay community for not pretending the grandstands ain’t laden with lesbians, and, not coincidentally, she brought the Mystics back to the top of the league in attendance.
Perhaps the lack of criticism in the face of such lousiness let Johnson feel empowered to mock Creigh Deeds, the Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate in Virginia, as a stutterer during a fundraising appearance for Republican opponent Bob McDonnell. But she’s finding out she’s not bulletproof after all.
The incident was weeks ago, but she’s still being compared all over to George Allen when he called that kid “Macaca” during a Senatorial campaign a few years ago, even though stutterers don’t have enough advocates to make the noise that followed the Allen slur. The Washington Post wrote about it today.
Surely the legs of the story have something to do with the novelty of Johnson, a black Democrat, supporting a white Republican, McDonnell, in one of only two gubernatorial races in the country this year.
But there’s also the youtube clip of Johnson’s fake stutter, and that shows her to be every bit the naive, heartless jerk that Allen looked like. It’s the kind of moment that ain’t really worth apologizing for, unless you can come up with a way to apologize for being a naive, heartless jerk.
But Johnson, who hangs out with the Virginia horsey set, has now given one of those non-apology apologies, issuing a statement that she’s sorry only “for any offense he, or others, may have taken.” That’s a tack Allen, and countless naive, heartless jerks before him, already tried. It never works. So now the Mystics management, like the management of a lot of local teams in recent years, is gonna be hard to root for.