Brandon Davies, a starting forward for BYU's basketball team, was suspended for the rest of the season for "fornication." Now that's an old fashioned word, but we all know what it means, and at least it has an active verb form, unlike the passive "having sex" which all of us are cursed to use if we are going to speak politely of f**cking. But that's a digression.
At first glance, Brandon's suspension an upholding of principle. BYU students all pledge to the school's honor code, which forbids premarital sex. The school is kicking away its shot at a national title, in the opinion of most sports pundits, by kicking Davies off the team before the overblown frenzy of March Madness begins.
This writer is no fan of college b-ball, or college football for that matter, thinking that the athletes that make so much money for their schools and ESPN ought to be paid, not just rewarded with scholarships, many of which don't even lead to degrees, so you won't read much about college sports here, but let us speak of Brandon.
First off, he's a college junior, male. Male college juniors think of little else other than sex. Premarital, marital, postmarital, missionary, doggie, oral, etc., all are constantly on the minds of college junior men. Fulfilling one's steamy fantasies is the number one mission of men of this age. To actually get any of them to pay attention to basketball, let alone their studies, is a triumph of the human will. So it's probably fair to say that Brandon is not the only BYU undergrad to engage in the act of effing. He's probably not even the only member of the roundball team that lost his virginity prior to marriage. He just got caught.
How he got caught is a mystery, officially. No one is saying, at least at this writing. Presumably he and his girlfriend did not feel their sex was so slammin' it needed to be uploaded to YouPorn. This writer's guess is they were ratted out. It says here that occurred because BRANDON IS BLACK AND HIS GIRLFRIEND IS WHITE.
Interracial dating is hardly the scandal it once was, you may have noticed. It shouldn't be; according to science, race does not even exist, except in the human mind. And if you don't want to believe science, abandon your car, your home and your microwave and go live in the woods, because that's where you'd be without it.
Mormons have a very interesting history regarding race, however. The founder of the faith, Joseph Smith, who claimed to have found the Book of Mormon inscribed in gold plates, buried in the ground, to which he was guided by an Angel named Moroni, and translated with the aid of "seeing stones" that were also buried there, may have had issues with telling the truth or his personal sanity, or both. That he claimed the golden plates were eventually taken back from him by Moroni, hence not available for inspection, made a great many people at the time extremely skeptical of his entire story. This just happened in the 19th century, in our very own USA.
Mohammed told a similar tale regarding the Quran, saying it was dictated to him by the Angel Gabriel (Moroni having not been promoted over him yet, apparently) but Mohammed did not claim that Gabriel left any rough drafts or post-it notes lying around that he eventually demanded the Prophet return. It also happened thirteen centuries ago, before English existed as a language, so witness accounts are not so easily obtained or understood.
Joseph Smith, however, despite any faults he might have had as a religious leader (and contemporary opinion was that they were numerous) did not specifically discriminate against blacks. He was an abolitionist.
It was left to Brigham Young, who seized control of the Mormon faithful after Smith was killed by a mob who apparently felt the religion they already had permitted them to murder anyone trying to start up his own, to exclude black men from the Mormon priesthood, labeling them "children of Cain." Brigham led the Mormons to Utah, where he settled them by the Great Salt Lake, enjoyed the company of his fifty-five wives (leaving him precious little time to fornicate, one presumes, even if he was so inclined) and eventually getting a university named after him, the one from which Brandon Davies was expelled.
The ban against blacks in the Mormon priesthood continued for quite a while. (The ban against women continues to this day, but that's another story) When would a disinterested observer guess that the ban was lifted? After the Civil War? No. World War II, when the armed forces were integrated? Not yet. 1954, year of Brown v. Board of Education? Not quite. 1968, the year of Martin Luther King's assassination? Not then, either.
It was 1978. That's nineteen-seventy-eight, people. It's only been thirty-three short years since the Mormon Church decided that blacks were equal with whites in the eyes of God.
This writer cannot think of any other religion that denied blacks spiritual equality with whites in 1978, at least in this country among mainstream faiths. People went to segregated churches, still do, because the news that there is no such thing as race is spreading slowly, but the white Baptists didn't think the black Baptists weren't eligible for salvation. Same for the Catholics and the Muslims.
Sammy Davis Jr. was a perfectly acceptable Jew.
Pretty reasonable to think, then that there's a sizable segment of the Mormon community that is still thinking that black Mormon priests are still a bad idea, and possibly a much larger one that thinks that interracial marriage, let alone interracial dating and fornicating, isn't very Mormon. As you can imagine, blacks have not been flocking to become Mormons even in the enlightened years since 1978.
If Brandon Davies had been satisfying his urges with a black woman, do you really think somebody would have snitched, and blown up BYU's shot at hoops glory? The thinking here is no.
Davies "may" be allowed to return next season and propel BYU's hopes along the hardwood floor of NCAA glory, as long as he keep his fornicating instrument in his shorts. Or he could get married to his girlfriend. Or he could declare himself a fundamentalist Mormon, therefore a believer in polygamy, and marry as many white women as he wants!
That be pimpin,' dog.