George Allen Pretty Sure Black Man Played a Sport at Some Point

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Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Former Virginia governor and senator George Allen has already committed the first of what will presumably be many racial gaffes during his campaign for his old Senate seat in 2012. In an example of life imitating an Onion Sportsdome sketch, local NBC Washington reporter Craig Melvin, who is black, reported via Twitter yesterday that Allen can't quite grasp that he's not an athlete:

For the 2nd time in 5 months, fmr. gov. and sen candidate George Allen asks me,"what position did you play?" I did not a play a sport.

In all fairness, according to Allen's response, also via Twitter, this may be more of a memory issue than a race issue.

@craigmelvin sorry if I offended, ask people a lot if they played sports Grew up in football family found sports banter good way to connect

That football family Allen refers to was helmed by a father who coached in the NFL, so it's certainly possible he really does just ask everybody, over and over, what position they played. But Allen really needs to avoid any possible hint of prejudice — in addition to the notorious "macaca" incident, Allen has shown fondness for the Confederate flag, declared the Civil War "a four-year struggle for independence, sovereign rights and local government control” as governor, and has been accused of using "the N-word on a regular basis" in college.

Va.'s George Allen assumes black reporter played sports [On Politics/USAT]