Ralph Wiley Dies

I am very sad to learn that Ralph Wiley died last evening. I remember some of his work at Sports Illustrated, but I am perhaps most familiar with his recent work on ESPN.com.

Wiley always made you think, if nothing else.

Wiley’s writing was intentionally provocative. “As an essayist I don’t believe in the fiction of an anonymous observer. Rather than the sham of objectivity, I think you should put your perspective up front. That’s only fair to the reader,” he told Essence in 1993, shortly after the publication of his second book of essays, What Black People Should Do Now: Dispatches from Near the Vanguard, was published in 1993.

I heard Wiley speak eloquently and passionately just yesterday morning on ESPN Radio. Wiley was so wound up that Dan LeBatard extended him to a second segment so that Wiley could fully expound his point.

On his last day, a man who I feel never quite got the platform he deserved was given just a little bit of extra time to speak. That’s fitting.