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Snowed Under by Reaction to Downey

February 29, 1992

Why does Mike Downey have it in for the Italians? First, he unfairly criticizes skier Alberto Tomba for being a "masculine Italian who goes around with his index finger and thumb in a permanent pinch," then berates him for being like a "promiscuous male" invoking images of offensive comic Andrew Dice Clay, convicted rapist Mike Tyson and the unfortunate Magic Johnson! Since when is liking women a crime?

If such idiotic comparisons weren't enough, he later continues his anti-Italian attack on U.S. ice hockey team captain Clark Donatelli, calling him "overwrought" for "tongue-lashing" a biased referee and being "emotional" and "cursing." In an earlier piece, Downey refers to Donatelli's teammates as "overrated thugs." Why? Is it because their names happen to be Sacco and Donato?

Ice hockey is not chess. Italians happen to be emotional. When one of your teammates lands in the hospital from a concussion delivered by an opponent, that tends to be upsetting.

May I suggest Mike Downey (or is it Morton Jr.?) tone down his references. He is not a movie critic drooling over the latest Mafia film, but a sports writer writing about real people.

JOHN PRIMAVERA, San Diego

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