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, 2006
Posted on: October 19, 2011 6:13 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Hmmm, yeh...the whitest black guy who ever walked the planet thinks he knows about racism.

Not buying it.

Maybe someone of less privilege could pull that off, but not THE BRYANT GUMBEL.

I guess it's true what they say about how playing the race card is the last refuge of morons and fools.

I'm no fan of Stern, but this just smacks of a desperate desire to be relevant.

News flash to Gumbel: You're still not.

Since: Feb 5, 2009
Posted on: October 19, 2011 6:13 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

So tired of this drama! not black or white issue.. here is the issue.. the players make 57% in revenue sharing.ill use lebron james as an example.. he is making like 12 million in base salary plus what ever his share of 57% is? if i pay u a base salary and then have to pay u half of what i make as well off u then who is winning? players are winning.. who the hell wants to pay lebron anyway he aint gonna win a chip.. slaves also where whipped and beaten.. maybe lebron needs to be whipped like a slave to score in the 4th? players are treated the way they act.. the players where all about teaming up and playing where they want  right? where is MIA big three right now? oh.. also notice lebron is on twitter looking for work.. i dont understand how when he has made over 100million in his pro career with endorsements and stuff.. I work a regualr job and wouild love to switch places with u AP.. no one makes them play they choose to play.. if i was treated like a slave and was paid almost 20million a year i would keep my mouth shut and keep working.. 20 million a year dam right u a slave now sign them dam autographs and take those pictures..

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: October 19, 2011 6:02 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

If Gumbel were white, he'd been fired 5 seconds later. Instead, he'll get support from cranks like Cornell West, Tavis Smiley and Bill Maher. HBO will break out the freedom of speech spiel. If Bernie Goldberg made a statement about NBA players and their background, he'd be booted like a football after an extra point. No freedom of speech spiel there. Gumbel can make racist statements with impunity, because the left-leaning media allows it. They only know how to attack the otherside whom they have nothing but disdain for.

How about the fact, that his statement could be seen as anti-Semetic? Stern is Jewish. Is Gumbel anti-Semitic? I can't wait to hear what the great Bernie Goldberg his colleague @ that joke HBO show has to say about it. He's the first writer to talk of bias in the media and exposing hypocrites like Gumbel. I hope he rips him, then leaves the show in protest.

It's time someone called this guy out for his idiotic remarks. It's time someone exposed him as the fraud he is. He's the Geraldo Rivera of sports. I can't say anything worse about him than that.

HBO probably loves it because their ratings will go up for the next segment of that pathetic series. People will turn in to see if there is a follow-up. Personally, I hope the series is canceled and Gumbel is forced to cover the Winter Olympics for the rest of his life. I hope he gets the luge and curling assignments.

Also it's about time the slavery references are strickened in reference to multi-millionaire athletes. It's a disgrace to those who truly suffered 150-250 years ago. Every time they utter them, fine and suspend them. The only sports figure that could make that analogy with any reason was Curt Flood whose case and its aftermath ended the reserve clause where the owners actually did own the players for life. Everyone else stop the insanity.

Since: Sep 16, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 6:00 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Always hated Gumbel, can't believe he is still on the air! 

Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: October 19, 2011 5:52 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Comparing pro football/basketbal to "modern day slavery", as AP, Sapp and now Gumbel have suggested..... is to minimize the real atrocities of the  pre-cvil war south.  Those african men and women were sold into slavery and had no choice in the matter.  Speaking for myself, I am tired of hearing of players who make millions refering to themselves as slaves.  IF you do not want to play pro football or basketball...DON'T.  Find another career. If Gumbel wants to find slaves..look to janitors working the 3rd shift for minimum wage.

Since: Aug 20, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 5:46 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

I am pretty sure there was no plantation where the hands were getting paid 50% of the profit. Nor were they making millions and millions of dollars for playing a game. This editorial is as far off base as is the players' opinion of what their services are worth. I do not know many businesses where labor gets 50% and the Owners get 50%. shut the league down for 1 year and I think the players will get a real understanding of how lucky they are. It is so typical for an African-American to play the race card. when will it ever stop? Enough already. start taking some responsibility for yourself and quit blaming what happened 50 years+ ago.

Since: Jul 2, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 5:45 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

  kind of funny he gave up speaking ebonics, and started talking like a white man.

Since: Apr 7, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 5:43 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Well said, don't forget about Memphis, Charlotte, New Orleans, all of whom are getting crushed by trying to keep up with big market squads.

Since: Oct 17, 2006
Posted on: October 19, 2011 5:36 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

NBA has been Irrelevent for years. I wouldn't lose one wink if it just folded. That may be hard for some of you guys, but would anyone of you loose sleep if the WNBA or NHL folded? The NBA is that relevent. I would lose some sleep over NHL but then again that's a real sport.

Since: Sep 23, 2009
Posted on: October 19, 2011 5:35 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Bryant Gumbel is still alive and doing sports? I thought he died years ago, or maybe it was just his objectivity that passed away. 

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