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: Mar 26, 2007
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:25 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

Given that Hank Williams was fired for his remarks, Bryant Gumbel would deserve the same for similarly irresponsible, unfair, and ridiculous statements.  Otherwise, there is a double standard at play here.  Of course there are different players here HBO / NBA vs. ESPN / NFL.  And personally I don't see why either of them should be fired just for some stupid comments, but I am just saying, let's see if there is a double standard.

Since: Oct 24, 2007
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:23 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

I love how Hank Williams is crucified for his comments and no one takes notice of this. I have always thought Gum-ball was an IDIOT. Stern is doing everything he can. What are you supposed to do when the thug life players come in and try to bully you into a new deal. They did everything short of pulling out guns and putting them to Sterns head. Whatever college basketball is better anyways. Let the NBA players hit the unemployment line like 12% of the rest of the population. They will learn like Hockey did, although entertaining sports, they are not Baseball or Football and the majority of people could give a crap about their game and wether or not they play.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:23 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

Well said, scbull!  I really enjoy HBO's Real Sports but Gumbel is a racist and obviously doesn't know the definition of slavery.  To call NBA players slaves is absurd.  They can choose to play or not to play.  Slaves can't choose not to work for their masters.  

I do have to disagree with one thing that you said, scbull....I think what Jimmy the Greek said was opinion, not a fact.  According to Wikipedia, JTG (on MLK's b-day in 1988) said: "The black is a better athlete to begin with because he's been bred to be that way, because of his high thighs and big thighs that goes up into his back, and they can jump higher and run faster because of their bigger thighs and he's bred to be the better athlete because this goes back all the way to the Civil War when during the slave trade'n the big… the owner… the slave owner would, would, would, would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have ah, ah big, ah big, ah big black kid."

Clearly a racist comment that JTG regretted immediately saying. According to the New York Times obituary, Snyder expressed regret for his comments, remarking: "What a foolish thing to say." While his CBS co-workers supported the decision to fire him, Irv Cross (a black) said in the "30 for 30" documentary about Snyder that he worked alongside Jimmy for a long time and never heard any racist comments nor detected any racist attitudes from him.

Gumbel's comments about Stern are just as racist as JTG's were.  But he won't be fired because he's black and in our society, we somehow allow blacks to say these kind of things. Until racists like Gumbel are called out consistently for outrageous comments such as his comments about Stern, racial predjudice will continue to exist in our country.  

Since: Sep 30, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:22 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

Yeah. Poor, poor BG as well as the NBA players. This guys been playin' the "game" his whole life--and now he wants to talk about racist owners....gimme a break.

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

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

Bryant Gumbel is black?

Since: Feb 4, 2007
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:18 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

Another big mouth racist from the HOOD

Since: Apr 7, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:15 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

Maybe what Gumball should realize and god forbid mention is that half of the teams in the NBA are under water. For every Lakers there is a Sacremento, a Memphis, Milwaukee, Even Atlanta which has a huge market never sells out unless Chicago or Boston comes to town. And they are paying Joe Johnson over 20 million a year. Not exactly a slaves wage! The money scale in this league has been broken for quite sometime. With a average salary of 4.8 million per player the system is definitely broken. A cap and some revenue sharing is needed or else you might as well be the MLB, with some players making more than some teams total payroll. Like I said you won't hear the LA's, Chicago's, or Knicks owners saying a thing, but there are 27 other owners who don't have billion dollar tv deals or are able to sell tickets for over a $100 bucks apiece. We will see if they band aid the problem or actually fix it, until then tell Gumbel to watch a hockey game and tell me if they aren't some of the world best athlete's.?. Simply a moronic statement. An old statement but apparently nothing has changed.

Since: Feb 4, 2007
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:14 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

About racial remarks, just consider the source, Bryant (the mouth) Gumbel.  He will do anything or say anything to create a racial uprising.  He is just angry because he isn't white.  Maybe in the next world.  Call him what he is, a complete A-- O. 

Since: Oct 18, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:13 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

and you my friend, speak the real

Since: Oct 18, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:12 am

Bryant Gumbel invokes slavery in David Stern rant

if hank williams would of said the same thing, he would be FIRED!!, funny how older african american men get a bit older and then everything becomes about race

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