Blog Entry

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Posted on: October 19, 2011 2:16 am
Edited on: October 19, 2011 12:56 pm
Posted by Ben Golliverbryant-gumbel

NBA commissioner David Stern sat through more than 16 hours of labor negotiations on Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, but the harshest words aimed at him came from outside the bargaining room.

Emmy-winning television commentator Bryant Gumbel closed Tuesday night's episode of HBO's Real Sports with a pointed editorial aimed at Stern, whose league has made little progress in negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement since it locked out its players on July 1.

Gumbel's statement evoked slavery with reference to a "plantation," "boys" and "hired hands". Gumbel and a vast majority of NBA players are African-American. Stern is not. The following is a transcript of his editorial. 

"Finally, tonight, if the NBA lockout is going to be resolved any time soon, it seems likely to be done in spite of David Stern, not because of him," Gumbel said. "I say that because the NBA's infamously egocentric commissioner seemed more hellbent recently on demeaning the players rather than his game's labor impasse.

"How else to explain Stern's rants in recent days. To any and everyone who would listen, he has alternately knocked union leader Billy Hunter, said the players were getting inaccurate information, and started sounding 'Chicken Little' claims about what games might be lost if players didn't soon see things his way. 

"Stern's version of what has been going on behind closed doors has of course been disputed, but his efforts were typical of a commissioner who has always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer, treating NBA men as if they were his boys. It's part of Stern's M.O., like his past self-serving edicts on dress code and the questioning of officials. His moves were intended to do little more than show how he's the one keeping the hired hands in their place. 

"Some will of course cringe at that characterization but Stern's disdain for the players is as palpable and pathetic as his motives are transparent. Yes, the NBA's business model is broken. But to fix it, maybe the league's commissioner should concern himself most with the solution and stop being part of the problem."

Here's the video of Bryant Gumbel's editorial against NBA commissioner David Stern.

These are not Gumbel's first controversial remarks concering racial issues.

In 2006, reports that Gumbel had harsh words for then NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and then National Football League Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw.

"Before he cleans out his office, have Paul Tagliabue show you where he keeps Gene Upshaw's leash," Gumbel said. "By making the docile head of the players union his personal pet, your predecessor has kept the peace without giving players the kind of guarantees other pros take for granted. Try to make sure no one competent ever replaces Upshaw on your watch."

In reference to the 2006 Winter Olympics, reports that Gumbel said: "Try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention."
Back in March, Minnesota Vikings All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson made a reference to slavery during the NFL's recent lockout.

"It's modern-day slavery, you know?" Peterson said. "People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way, too." 

Hat tip: ProBasketballTalk

Since: Feb 26, 2007
Posted on: October 19, 2011 2:30 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Black people love Wayne Brady because he makes Bryant Gumble look like Malcolm X...

Since: Sep 5, 2010
Posted on: October 19, 2011 2:25 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Gumbel is a complete idiot to compare NBA players to slaves or Stern to a "modern plantation overseer".  These professional athletes don't know how fortunate that they are, it is sickening to read crap like this.  They are being paid millions and millions of dollars to PLAY A GAME, the sport that they supposedly love!!!  Do you think that slaves got paid millions of dollars?  Do you think that slaves loved their jobs?  They would chew off both of their arms and legs to be in the same financial situation that these players are in.  Stop these nonsensical comparisons, absolutely ridiculous.  Unlike most people many professional athletes get paid BEFORE they deliver the goods.  I don't see the owners complaining when guys like Haynesworth act petulant after "robbing the bank".  And how much they make is irrelevant any way, most players are bankrupt within 5 years of leaving the league (e.g. Iverson, Walker, etc.) because they are worthless uneducated spoiled brats who are nothing more than hood rats.  Come work a job as a coal miner, manufacturer, ER nurse, teacher and then see if your are complaining about being a slave!!!  This makes my blood boil.  What do you know about slavery?  Just because you are "african american" you are a qualified expert on slavery???  Really?!  These guys are living a life of complete luxury in the top echelons of worldwide wealth, the top 0.000001% and they are complaining?  Go play the game that you love and shut your dumb mouths.  The owners of any company should make more than the workers, name a company where that isn't the case.  The owners are the ones who are taking all of the risk and putting their wealth on the line.  If the team loses money and goes bankrupt do the players chip in?  No.  Ha ha, what a joke this whole thing is...  If you want to be whiny little bitches that is fine but never compare yourselves to SLAVES.  That takes away from the real hardships that the slaves endured over their whole lives, the slaves would be the first ones to lay a beating on these indignant punks!!!  There is a rant for you Gumbel...

Since: Sep 30, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 2:24 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

If I own a business why should I not be allowed to make as much money as I can?  If I am an employee, why can I not ask for more?  Both can do what they want, but when the day is done the owner will have the last word, why.........because it's his business to do so.  Maybe he is successful and maybe he is not.  As an owner in the NBA you try to put a winning combination of players on the court; but at what cost?  At some point, you will look at your bottom line and realize you are paying too much with not enough return.

As for Stern, yes, he is an egomaniac and needs to be replaced.  The system is broken and so is the leadership.  Show Stern the door, let officials make calls without players giving their opinions,

I sure hope Gumball wasn't trying to compare today's black athlete's with slaves..............slaves had no options, in today's society you do not have to be a professional athlete, if you do not like the working conditions you are free to seek work in an environment more suitable to your feelings.  Do not blame Stern or owner's for the fact that most NBA players (race not considered) are not smart enough to earn a degree and too lazy to work an honest day.

Take the attorney's, commissioner, union representatives and anyone else who is a part of the problem and simply get rid of them all!

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: October 19, 2011 2:11 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

     Bryant Gumble, Michael Wilbon, Steven A Smith are all the same, based on their past comments...If they were white and made similar comments, they would have been fired....

     Anyone still defending Donavon McNabb as 'overrated and being built up the media'....A statement made by a white guy that got him fired from ESPN...Ofcourse the media tries to build up black athletes...

     The most obvious example is where the media cries foul becase the MLB doesn't have alot of blacks, yet the NBA is over 70% black and you don't hear a thing.....


Since: Jul 12, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:42 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

i really dont care..who makes what.. The nba has produced something like 6 different champions in their history... KILL THE lOTTERY.. IM TIRED OF THE SAME OLE .... Wheres the competition... If David Stern loses all this money..and the same teams are in the finals... How does Dave keep his job? His product is horrible... every professional sport eventually changes commissioners.... Wake up owners... Stern needs to go...

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:41 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

David Stern ordered the refs to give preferential treatment to star players and big market teams when making calls. Beside basically fixing games he has turned all but six teams into having no chance of winning a title and thus this is why all but six teams lost money last year. Stern has run down Bud Selig to become the biggest joke of any commissioner in sports history.

Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:37 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

yortroy2 are you really that stupid? First of all no one is worth what these players are being paid.  These so called men are playing a kids game and getting big bux to do it. When they take on a mans responsibilities they will be men and until then they are whiny spoiled brats.  Second why should they be able to tell the owners what percentage of the profit has to be their salaries?  How many jobs have you worked at thst you could dictate what slice of the pie you get? And it doesn't matter whose idea it was, it is still one of the stupidest things out there.  As far as being drafted if that is where the job is you go if you want to get paid and put food on your table.  They can always say no and not play. You don't like it don't sign the contract.  And to being locked in and going to a part of the country they don't want to go to tell that to all of our men and women in the military who are sent all over the world to places they don't want to go to.  How many of these spoiled crybabys would sign that contract?  All pro sports need a hard cap min/max, rookie pay scale, and non-guaranteed contracts.  You want your money earn it! 

I love my Lakers and Kobe is awesome but even he's not worth the money he's being paid.

Since: Sep 7, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:36 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

It's called an analogy. It does'nt mean they are exact parallels. Besides, he compared Stern to an overseer, he didn't compare the players to slaves. I think the comparison is spot on.


  1. A comparison between two things, typically on the basis of their structure and for the purpose of explanation or clarification.
  2. A correspondence or partial similarity.

Since: Sep 7, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:34 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

@scbull0303.  You have lost all credibility in this argument. You honestly believe that the owners make less money than they players? Are you at all knowledgeable about the NBA, Sports Leagues or how about business in general? You believe that a Millionaire owner pays a player more money than he himself brings in? That makes absolutely no sense. This is the type of BS that Stern and the owners have been able to get the general public to buy into. "look at the players and how much money they make. You don't make this kind of money. The economy is crap, and these wanna be gangstas are rolling around in impalas and escalades spending money that you will never be able to make."    The owners are winning the PR battle because of people like you that lack common sense. The owners are making millions above what the players make. FACT!!!  

Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:27 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Yelli guess gumbel's true self are coming out he is trying for al sharpton's job

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