Agassi as Mr. T stirs controversy


Andre Agassi's Halloween costume choice is stirring debate on the Internet.

A photo of Agassi dressed as Mr. T, the gold-laden star of the 1980s TV hit "The A-Team," is flying around the Internet after it popped up Tuesday on the Twitter feed of Darren Cahill, Agassi's coach.

In the photo, a mohawked Agassi is at a party, wearing blackface, gold chains and camouflage and hugging a woman.

Cahill tweeted: "Another fun Halloween night for the kids ... err, actually the grown-ups. My wife (Victoria) with Mr T."

A follow-up tweet added: "And yes ... Mr T would be Andre Agassi."

Several sports websites ran the photo and included it in the debate that started when Phoenix Coyotes winger Raffi Torres dressed as rap mogul Jay-Z and wore dark makeup.

"To the surprise of absolutely no one in 2011, Torres was immediately criticized and demonized for using 'blackface' for comedic effect," wrote Greg Wyshynski, who writes the Puck Daddy column at YahooSports.com.

That Torres is the NHL's first player of Mexican and Peruvian descent doesn't matter, wrote Thomas Drance of CanucksArmy.com.

"Seriously people, don't do it, don't wear blackface on Halloween, or ever. It's stupid, it's ignorant, and it just doesn't fly."

Jason Brough, who writes NBC Sports' Pro Hockey Talk column, said Agassi, who has raised more than $116 million for his college prep academy through his benefit concerts, "doesn't get a free pass just because he helps black kids get an education. If you think what Torres did was wrong, what Agassi did has to be wrong as well.

"But it sure makes it hard to call Agassi insensitive to blacks," Brough added.

Agassi couldn't be reached for comment by deadline.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

David Walzog, executive chef at SW Steakhouse and Lakeside Grille, is celebrating a record October for the two Wynn restaurants. And he's positioning Lakeside, formerly Daniel Boulud Brasserie, as the place for lobster and the centerpiece of his seafood menu. He's featuring lobster from around the world, all roasted in a woodstone pizza oven to seal the flavor. …

Bobby Morris, former conductor for Elvis Presley and drummer on all the Capitol recordings of Louis Prima and Keely Smith, is back from New York City, where he was honored by Jules Follett of Sticks 'n' Skins Publishing as being one of the most influential drummers of the past century. That puts him in some elite company. Also honored: Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Joe Morello, Earl Palmer, Vic Firth, Hal Blaine, Joe Porcaro, Roy Haynes, Jim Chapin, and Ed Shaughnessy. ...

Singing legend Pat Boone, who had six No. 1 hits in the 1950s and early 1960s, will kick off the Veterans Day parade on Nov. 11 on Fremont Street by performing the national anthem. Jets from Nellis Air Force Base will do a flyover at 11 a.m. Radio talk-show host Alan Stock of Newstalk 720, KDWN, will emcee for the 13th year in a row.

SIGHTINGS

Former Indy 500 champions Mario Andretti and Parnelli Jones, at SEMA, the giant automotive specialty products trade show, at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Wednesday.

THE PUNCH LINE

"Every one of Brett Favre's 'retirements.' " -- From David Letterman's Top Ten Things That Have Lasted Longer Than the Kardashian Marriage

Norm Clarke can be reached at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.

 

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