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The Multi-Racial Appeal of Derek Jeter

I was watching the Mets-Giants game on SNY last night and saw something pretty kooky just before the 9th inning. A commercial for the Ford Edge SUV, endorsed by Yankee captain Derek Jeter–who happens to be bi-racial–starts with a middle-aged white male, wearing a baseball uniform and surrounded by microphones like he’s a coach addressing reporters. 

The guy says, "Jeter? The guy’s got an edge."

Then it’s on to an attractive white woman, dining al fresco, seconding the notion that Jeter has an edge. 

Next is a white man in a tidy suit and power tie, on the steps of a courthouse or city hall, and finally, three white children in Little League uniforms, all agreeing that Jeter indeed has an edge. 

Jeter then comes on to tout the "Vista roof" of the Edge SUV. 

Later, in the same commercial pod, a different Edge spot rolls. A black construction worker says "Jeter? That dude’s got an edge!"

Then it’s a Spanish-speaking cab driver, saying something in Spanish (I’m guessing it was something about Jeter’s edge), then a black, female toll collector saying "Oh, he’s got an edge, alright," and finally a black man at a barber shop, enthusing, "He’s got an eeedddggge, baby!!!"

Jeter then comes on to tell viewers about the voice activated sound system. 

I don’t believe the commercial implies that white people hold the monopoly on positions of power, expensive clothes, and pricey al fresco dining, and that black people are relegated to difficult blue-collar jobs and hanging out in barber shops. But it might’ve been nice for the spot ease up on the stereotypes a bit and put a person of color in a suit, or have a white guy drive a cab. 

And what’s SNY doing airing Jeter spots during a Met game, anyway?

Michael Malone
Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.