As a 28-year-old African-American, I'm concerned about the backlash that will outlive the incident. Xavier and Cincinnati fed negative stereotypes about the violent nature of young black men that will last long after players serve their suspensions.
They're not true. Most young black men aren't violent. But Saturday's incident and others like it provide ample evidence for those who disagree.
Check the message boards.
Predictably, plenty have feasted on the viral violence involving multiple young black men.
After Cincinnati officials announced the six-game suspension for Yancy Gates on Sunday, I tweeted, "I figured 10 minimum for Gates. 6?"
Here's how one of my followers responded: "Only six? That's pretty soft for a gang beating."
Too often, the negative behaviors of young black men -- more than other groups -- are tied to their race. Their actions are sometimes viewed as cultural, instead of individual.
Medcalf rightfully goes on to say that as college athletes who have been given an incredible gift and the opportunity to use it to better themselves, that they are being held to a higher standard because of the number of folks out there fully vested in seeing black men fail, and that's basically been the case for a very, very long time.
That in no way excuses their actions. In fact, it makes Fox Sports Ohio writer Zac Jackson railing against the stiff suspensions given out to several players by both coaches and calling the suspensions "soft" not only totally predictable but nearly impossible to counter without bringing up race, and in a situation like this that's simply going to be a losing argument.
It's an unfortunate reality, made all the more real by our country's current political tensions. Cooler heads should have prevailed. They did not. Maybe I am overly sensitive being a pretty big black man myself. My father cured me of my temper in youth by sitting me down and explaining to me that as big as I was, if I ever really hurt anyone in anger, that I would not be shown leniency in any way by the system in North Carolina. I had to be better than that, not for his sake, but for my own.
You're just not allowed to show anger like that as a black man in America. And the reactions to this fight highlight exactly why. It's a lesson that has much wider applications for our political times, but that's an argument for a different night.