By Perry Green, AFRO Sports Editor, pgreen@afro.com

Most Blacks folks would probably tell you they expect White people to say the N-word when they’re amongst themselves or feel no Black person is watching. That may have been the case with Villanova  guard Donte DiVincenzo, who deleted his Twitter account after old tweets from 2011 surfaced of the 21-year-old White male saying n*gga.

DiVincenzo—a six-foot-five-inch shooting guard from Wilmington, Delaware, became a celebrity overnight after earning Final Four MVP honors with a career-high 31-point performance in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship game Monday night. He was so good, even LeBron James chimed in on his performance, telling reporters Tuesday “that kid made himself a lot of money,” referring to the expectations of DiVincenzo’s NBA draft stock rising.

Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo repeatedly used the N-word and homophobic slurs on Twitter years ago. When questioned about those slurs, he deleted his account. (Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

But with instant fame, came instant public interest for DiVincenzo. Suddenly, the same Twitter page that no one outside of his own circles of friends cared about, was now being followed by thousands of people, some of whom began retweeting several old tweets made by DiVincenzo that contained offensive language.

“Ballin on these n*ggas like I’m Derrick Rose,” DiVincenzo tweeted back in August 2011. DiVincenzo was 13-years-old at the time and was quoting a Meek Mill lyric, for verbatim. He later tweeted in December 2012 that he was “Chillin with my n-words, say it like a white kid.” He also tweeted a gay slur that year, calling someone a “faggot.”

Villanova University’s official basketball team Twitter page, @NovaMBB tweeted a statement Tuesday falsely claiming that DiVincenzo’s Twitter page was hacked and that none of the offensive tweets were actually made by him. But they deleted that statement not long after people began to accuse them of trying to cover up the story.

DiVincenzo’s usage of the n-word doesn’t come off as if he was using it in a racist light. It seems more like DiVincenzo is one of those White kids that simply can’t help themselves from imitating the style and trends created within Black urban culture. But it does bring attention back to the ol’ debate – do some White folk get a “Black pass” to say “n*gga” if they’ve been fully embraced into the Black culture?

 

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor