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Malone's genes? Let's talk

I am a North Carolina-based fan of the Utah Jazz, so I follow local coverage of the team by reading the Deseret News online newspaper. In reading Marilyn Karras' Oct. 9 column about Karl Malone's salary, I found myself agreeing with her until I read these words:

"Karl Malone is a lucky man. He inherited some mighty rare and valuable genes." With those words she ruined any chance that I would ultimately agree with her opinion.I'm sure Karras thought she qualified that stunningly distasteful statement by writing, "He had a mother who taught him the value of working to make the most of those genes." But in my eyes, she did not.

What does Karras know of Malone's genetic makeup? Are you privy to his medical records? Would you have said the same thing about John Stockton?

As much as you write about women and discrimination and equality (and I am a black woman), how would you feel if someone told you a major component of a woman's success (or lack of it) is due to her "rare and valuable genes"?

Are these genes limited to black athletes? Why does this seem to be the case?

I can't tell you how offended I am by this comment. The sad thing is, you and most people in Utah probably accepted your thoughtless words unquestioningly.

And if you are offended by my branding "you and most people in Utah" as insensitive to racial issues, I write those words not because I believe them, but so you can see how it feels to be the subject of such stereotyping. In the end, all of it is mindless and harmful. As much as I may disagree with Malone's taking his quest for "respect" public, you owe him an apology.

Janelle Pierce

Charlotte, N.C.