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: Sep 7, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:25 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

By the same token, I'm sure there are a ton of starving Africans more than willing to sign up as a "minimum wage slave" while the Wall Street banksters rob the country blind. So I guess we should stop complaining about those banksters because someone out there is envious of our position in life, right?

There definitely seems to be a racial element in David Stern's "governance" especially when you look back at his dress code stipulations that specifically targeted hip-hop attire. 

Since: May 27, 2007
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:21 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Bryant Gumbel is African American?  (there... I spelled it right this time)

Since: May 27, 2007
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:20 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Bryant Gumbel is Afrian American?

Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:16 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Outside of the incestual media no one has listened or cared about anything Bryant Gumbel has said in 30 years....but for a day he gets to be quoted again by the media morons.

Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:10 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Where do I sign up to be a millionaire slave?

Since: Mar 24, 2009
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:10 pm

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

These comments by Bryant Gumble are totally off the wall.Comparing today's crop of spoiled mega-millionaire NBA players to slaves being held captive on some plantation & forced to do backbreaking labor is utterly absurd.Gumbel's comments demean the plight of so many truly oppressed souls that  had to endure the unimaginable brutality of a REAL plantation system (where human beings were actually OWNED by other human beings & were treated, at best, like pack mules). If becoming fantastically wealthy by FREELY CHOOSING to play a game equates in any way to what those poor people went through, then I'll be more than happy to kiss a pack mules butt.And if Kobe, Lebron James, Kevin Garnett, or any of these other unbelievably fortunate prima donnas feel opressed by their current situation then they should feel free to step aside right now. I'd be more than happy to sign up & take the place of any one of them on that "plantation"(as would 99.999% of the people in this world).Saying that these players are opressed when many of them are making $15 million a year (or more) just doesn't fly.Bryant Gumble owes the people in this world who WERE/ARE truly opressed a huge apology!

Since: Jan 11, 2009
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:06 pm

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

There are 30 NBA teams with 12 players on the team which is 360 jobs. It is an elite job. I will never criticize the players for what they are paid. Comparisons to everyday jobs are ridiculous! To say that these guys are overpaid is not fair. They are being offered these fantastic salaries and who in their right mind would turn down that kind of money? I manage a restaurant and if a restaurant company came along and offered me a half million dollars to run the restaurant, I would be there in 10 seconds. But the reality is that there are a lot of restaurants in the world and like any basic business model, supply and demand rules! These players are the elite group of a very limited business model, the owners are obviously making tons of money off of the players abilities. The owners at some point were driven by greed themselves to offer these players the contracts to increase the value of their business. Without the players, they have no business to operate! I am a Phoenix Suns fan and have been for over 30 years and never once did I want to buy a Suns jersey with Robert Sarver's name on it. The owners dug the hole and now they want to take back what they willingly gave the players. There is greed on both sides of this argument but greed is what has destroyed many, many businesses in this country over the years!

Since: Sep 17, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:02 pm

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

@ Finally an argument based on logic.  This is pretty much my view on the situation. Team "owners" are able to charge a mint for tickets and over-priced, bland food because of the players' talents. How much money do you think the guy that pays the "over-priced" athlete is making?  It is all relative.  Stop focusing on the money the players make; that is a red herring for the slow witted masses and frankly folks should not be counting other people's money. This is an issue of basic fairness.   

Since: Dec 23, 2006
Posted on: October 19, 2011 12:59 pm

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

Typical Bryant Gumbel!

He is no longer the elite play-by-play announcer he used to be as evidenced by the horrendous job he did for the NFL network a couple of years ago. Now he has to resort to attention getting stunts like this.  He played the race card when condemning the Winter Olympics for not having enough blacks.  Now he is trying to gather more attention by bringing the race card into the NBA labor negotiations.  Bryant Gumbel is an over-the-hill announcer who is trying to hang on to the limelight just like an over-the-hill athlete who still thinks he's got something left in the tank.

Since: Dec 6, 2006
Posted on: October 19, 2011 12:58 pm

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

I agree with Gumbel that Stern is the problem.  Stern is the most condesending elitest puke I've ever come across.  He thinks he is the smartest guy in the room, he may be, but show some humility   At press conferences he's insufferable, talking down to the media and fans like he is their Dad.  He obviously threw integrity out the window when he became commissioner.

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