One of the last standing pillars of privilege, power and white exclusivity in sports is the Masters in Augusta, Georgia, which launches this weekend.
On a recent episode of his new show “Game Theory” on HBO, host Bomani Jones painted a picture of how a brother from Houston via Atlanta views the entire cultural landscape of the Masters as an elite event for white people.
Jones described the Masters as a “Homecoming for the 1 percent. White-collar All-star Weekend. Rich Folk Freaknik”
Then he added some news commentary, less about the glitz of the Masters and the millionaires and billionaires who pay exorbitant prices to watch Tiger walk the 18th green with victory already in hand, but about the unsavory aspect of the event that the news rarely covers.
Jones showed a USA Today news clip from 2014 about law enforcement targeting events like the Masters for increased prostitution and sex trafficking activity.
The video featured a guy named Stephen Emmett, who was identified as an FBI agent. Emmett says:
“We’ve seen that there’s a spike in these types of activities during these special events. People come to these events to have a good time and some people’s definition of a good time differs from what the law’s definition of what a good time is.”
Jones then makes a comparison between the green jackets worn by Masters winners and the green pimp coat worn by Bishop Magic Don Juan, the world’s most celebrated Black pimp.
“The green is for the money. The gold is for the honeys.”
To understand Bomani’s brilliance, you also have to have your pulse on Black subcultures and the connection between music, the stripper pole, sex workers and a culture of revenue generating that’s recognized as the “world’s oldest profession.”
Bishop Magic Don Juan is recognized as a cult hero in some communities and celebrated by rappers in songs and in person.
While Bishop Don Juan’s lifestyle is perceived as unsavory to mainstream America, he’s no Jeffrey Epstein. He’s also not celebrated like the dude who ran the BunnyRanch in Vegas or Hugh Hefner.
Jones shows the double standard in how white crime and Black crime is often perceived differently. Celebrating Tony Soprano and dogging Nino Brown for doing the same things. The Ozarks vs. 50 Cents’ BMF and Power Book series. It’s the same ratchet flow, just packaged with a billion dollar bow and some hand sanitizer.
“But to put it simply, the Masters is a flex of power and control,” Jones said. “And despite everything I suspect from the people behind the Masters they give us the most perfect week in sports and I love it every year. I eat that sh*t up like those Turkey’s Nino Brown gave away at Thanksgiving.”
The “New Jack City” reference was right on time.
“Behold Augusta National. Look at that sh-t,” Jones continues. “The water just glistening. The flowers blooming in technicolor. Grass looks like they put bonnets on it every night to keep it intact.”
He also took a light jab at longtime Masters commentator Jim Nance, who phrased the legendary description, “this tradition unlike any other.”
Jones said, “Dude… he just sounds like money. That man has been 62 ever since he was 25.”
The 41-year-old was praised by The Guardian as “a sports savant and a sharp cultural critique” who is also “thoroughly engaging.”
Jones’ ability to be insightful, sharp and hilarious, while seamlessly injecting a few F-bombs as he strolls through a treasure trove of Black culture references, systemic issues and perspective, is also on the money.
Not too many in the game can offer the broad range of analysis that Jones does, package it to a wide demographic, while staying true to his roots.