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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 28, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:56 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

After reading this article and commenting, I actually started to watch the video, but realized I needed to take a dump and knew that would be a better use of my time. Gumbel has proven himself many times to a moronic racist. I guess he make HBO lots of money with his controversy and can get away with it because he is not white. I personally will never watch his show, just read about it in the blogs and columns.

Since: Oct 19, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:51 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

Could someone please explain to me :  Hank Williams Jr. compares the shock of the President and House Majority Leader playing golf together to what would be the shock of Hitler and Netanyahu playing golf together (not actually comparing Obama and Hitler as people) and people go crazy and he loses his job.  Bryant Gumbel calls David Stern a plantation overseer and its ok?  If Williams Jr. was Jewish would this be ok?  Because Gumbel is black it's ok?  To me different races of people getting treated differently seems like the definition of racism.  Maybe I am wrong, but I don't think so.

Since: Sep 10, 2009
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:50 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

Spot on.  Couldn't have said it better.  Take race completely out of the NBA issue, the system is broken.  The players have taken and taken through every CBA over the last decades, and now the general economy is down, and  many NBA owners are losing a lot of money.  Like any employee-employer arrangment, the employer can only allow a negative cash flow situation for so long before he/she must change the model.  If the employer is not making money, the employees will find themselves without jobs.  It will be laughable if the players decide to try to create their own league.  They have no idea the expenses involved in running these teams.  They are employees.  Employees cash a pay check unrelated to how well the company is doing.  I've said all along, let the player work on commission based on profit.  Then the smart players would police the stupid ones themselves.  If someone was out late, tarnishing the NBA image, it would effect everyone's paycheck, and that would be dealt with by the players.  If the league is losing money or becoming less profitable, then the players' salaries would go down.  In times of prosperity, players salaries would go up.  The players would never go for this though.  They want to take a paycheck, period.  

Since: Feb 28, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:49 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant


You are wrong on the wage fixing, salary cap and maximum salaries. Many companies and government entities have maximum salaries fixed based on years of experience or education. You have a minimum and maximum salary based on the scale. Many unions have the same scales and contracts with salaries based on certain criteria. If IBM and and Microsoft was one larger company with different franchises, they most certainly could set an employee salary scale. You are comparing apples and oranges. Those are 2 different companies. The NBA is one league with many different franchises as part of the league. They most certainly can negotiate a salary cap and salary minumums and maximums. If the entire league feels it is beneficial to the league to have revenue sharing to promote the league, then they can also do that. Also, if you own property as part of your business and it has depreciated, you most certainly can depreciate the property. A home is not part of the business. I am sure the NBA owners are also not allowed to depreciate their homes as part of their team's business. Come on man, compare apples to apples. These players will still make millions and even the lowest paid player will earn about 10 times what the normal American home makes. Profit sharing is among business and among franchises. Businesses in a capitalist are not bound to profit share with employees or other franchises unless the owners desire to share the profits. That is up to the owners, not the employees. These guys do not have the risk or burden of running the franchise. They get paid extremely well. Even with an 11 percent pay cut, they will make more money on average in one year than the average american will make in a lifetime. I feel so sorry for them.

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:47 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

Like who in the world didn't know that eventually race would play a card in this mess.  Sure, slavery, getting paid millions of dollars to play a game versus slavery.  For an educated man this is the stupidest comparison around.  Tell me, when these NBA players are leaving high school or college why do they choose the NBA versus your standard 40 hour per week work force?  The answer is simple, MILLIONS OF DOLLARS that's why.  They can make more in a year playing than in a LIFETIME working.  So they choose to play, sign the big buck contracts and then complain that the owners are making too much money and they should make more  One player said a few weeks ago that they shold be making $50mil per year instead of the $20mil they are making now.  I just read that Shaq would like to own an NBA team, it'll be interesting to see him do that, and to pay HIS starting players $20mil per year.  I'm not totally for the owners, BUT, they incur all the expenses, they get the winnings just like they swallow the losses, why, because they OWN the team.  How multi millionairs can complain and even mention the word slavery is absurd - ALL FOR PLAYING A GAME.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:40 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

In the end, it doesn't matter who is right or who is wrong in this dog fight.
The only thing anyone who has a low paying job or is fighting to make ends meet thinks is that these are all a bunch of incredibly overpaid babies whining about money.  I for one am holding out hope that the season will be canceled. It's time for all of these guys (owners AND players) to stop putting their hands in the fans pockets and crying poor when they go to put the other hand in too.

Since: Dec 19, 2007
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:35 am

David Stern is a SHYSTER

I agree with the Gumbel 100%.
David Stern is definitely the PROBLEM.
The players are the SOLUTION.
David will come to realize that the NBA is his GOLIATH and that his little sling-shot really doesn't work.
Time to go back to the temple DAVID.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:31 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

As a black man, I disagree with the slavery references in such cases, but for a different reason than most.  Basically, it shifts the conversation from the matter which you are trying to address to focus on the validity of the slavery metaphor. 

What Gumbel SHOULD have said is what Stern is trying to do is LEGALIZE THE ILLEGAL. 

Wage fixing is ILLEGAL.  Microsoft cannot collude with IBM to determine what is they companies are going to pay employees, but that is what a salary cap is.  That is what a rookie wage scale is.  That is what max contracts are. 

Indentured servitude is ILLEGAL - suburban schools do not have to compensate inner city schools when teachers move on to find a better contract, even if the teacher sharpened their skills in the city and the original employer's quality will suffer as a result.  Yet Stern and the small market owners feel that the Dan Gilberts of the world should be compensated when Lebron James moves on after 8 years. 

Including depreciation of your building or franchise holds no weight in determining if you made or lost money.  Doubt me?  If you live in the USA, the value of your home is probably down 15-25% over the past 4 or 5 years.  Try claiming that depreciation on your taxes and see what the IRS says. 

I get that it is the American way for business men to try to make money.  That is the free-market system.  But if that is what Stern is going to stand on, then profit sharing goes out the window (ask Lehman Brothers if any banks shared their profits or losses with them), and small market teams that cannot carry their own weight disappear (ask your local book store owner... if you can find one) as do big ones who mismanage their money (ask Holihan's, Roy Rogers restaurants, and Caldor - remember them?). 

Yep, you can say "if the players don't like it, get another job."  I would reply "if your franchise is losing money and can't compete - shut it down (Clippers, Golden State, Nets, Hornets, Kings, Timberwolves, and Bucks)". 

Collective Bargaining is the only way wage fixing is legal, and once you go that route, the players then have to agree to whatever terms are set.  THAT is the American way.  The players have already agreed to a set of rules, now the owners want to change that.  Stern is teh mouth piece for a group of people who want only the aspects of capitalism that benefit them.  That is unfair and ILLEGAL

Since: Feb 4, 2007
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:26 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

You are right Charlie.  Let the NBA disappear and see the black players going to college drop down to nothing.  They only go to college to make it in the NBA.  The college game will become a LILLY WHITE NCAA league.  Let them form their own NBA and the white can form their own NBA league and we can play for the David Stern Trophy and the Blacks Meet the Whites for the WORLD championship.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:26 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

jasontmason, too late. They have already lost the support of working class people.  I for one gave up on the NBA long ago due to the overpaid babies playing the game.
If the NBA simply disappeared I would not be sad, I'd be overjoyed.  It would be some kind of justice to make these punks get a real job.
They get paid millions to do what they love.  I have no sympathy.
Not sticking up for Stern here but I'm saying the players have no leaverage, nor should they.
The NBA offers them a job.  Take it or leave it, I simply don't care.

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