Blog Entry

Billy Hunter: David Stern is 'not racist at all'

Posted on: October 25, 2011 1:21 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 1:28 pm
Posted by Ben Golliverbilly-hunter

They might stare each other down across the negotiating table, but National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter has NBA commissioner David Stern's back when it comes to allegations of racism.

Last week, Emmy-winning commentator Bryant Gumbel referred to Stern as a "modern plantation overseer" and evoked slavery in describing the ongoing NBA lockout in a nationally-televised editorial.

Hunter came to the defense of commissioner Stern on Monday in a podcast interview with

"David is a hard-charger," Hunter said. "David pretty much treats everyone the same. Obviously when you've got the set up that you have, a league that is predominantly black and a group of white owners, it may take on a different color or appearance, but I don't think David is racist at all."

Hunter joined other prominent voices in the NBA community who have stood up for Stern. NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver recently called Gumbel's editorial "outrageous" while television commentator Charles Barkley said the remarks were "stupid."

He also expressed surprise that Gumbel's commentary received so much attention. "I didn't think it was going to get any traction," Hunter said. "It was Bryant Gumbel's opinion." 

The Rev. Jesse Jackson said that Gumbel's "exposed a subtext of tension" and that he "pulled the cover off a very sensitive issue." Hunter, though, made an effort to distance himself from that opinion, stating that Gumbel's accusations didn't advance the discussion. 

"It's not healthy," Hunter said. "It's not healthy. It's just the nature of life in America, that's all. People make those assumptions every day. The difference is that we are on Front Street because we're very visible with professional sports, etc. People will make comments and render opinions that move their own agendas."

Asked if he considered Stern a friend, Hunter responded: "We don't socialize. We have a professional relationship, a respectful relationship. I like David. I don't dislike him as a person... The irony is, let me let you in on a secret: David and I are fraternity brothers. I was at Syracuse, he was at Rutgers but we were both members of Sammy -- Sigma Alpha Mu."

Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: October 25, 2011 8:54 pm

Billy Hunter: David Stern is 'not racist at all'

Emmy-winning commentator Bryant Gumbel
That's like saying "2-time pro bowler Brandon Meriweather".

Since: Oct 26, 2010
Posted on: October 25, 2011 8:44 pm

Gumbel's Mad!

Gumbel doesn't like the plantation system stern uses to keep control over all the black players in the league and wants a black commissioner.  Jesse jackson will get involved to maybe cash in somehow for his organization.  He needs some money.

Since: Jul 3, 2010
Posted on: October 25, 2011 7:03 pm

Billy Hunter: David Stern is 'not racist at all'


Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: October 25, 2011 6:39 pm

Billy Hunter: David Stern is 'not racist at all'

Oh great...Jesse Jackson wants a voice in the talks now!  The season will be doomed!  Who"s next Al Sharpton!  I have little use for the NBA anymore.  The game is mediorce, the prices outrageous and the players/owners all greedy!  No one cares about it until the playoffs arrive anyway!  You can have it!

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: October 25, 2011 3:12 pm

Billy Hunter: David Stern is 'not racist at all'

Bryant Gumbel is really only a part-time journalist...and Jesse Jackson, a part time diplomat and minister...

They are BOTH full time sensationalists. It's their true occupation.  They enter into tense situations and usually inflame them further, because it's largely how they've made their name-and their living.

Unfortunately, without racism, they would have to be a lot better at their day jobs, choose different occupations, or make a lot less money. So, they churn up racism, real or imagined, at every opportunity...and somehow, through all of their efforts, they've managed to "expose" racism among the owners and sponsors of the NBA... where 90% of the players are black, and average $5 million a year in salary.

If the NBA is an example of a racist organization, exploiting their employees, we should all be so lucky. It's a ridiculous accusation that disrespects everyone, and only distracts from the real issue. Accustations of stupididty would be harder to defend, however.

The problem here isn't about race- it's about business. Specifically, the NBA is a business that lost $300 million last year, and the players don't won't admit the massive amount of money they make, has an impact on that loss... or at least they are unwilling to give the owners a guarantee of making a profit, if it costs them some of their guaranteed salary. 

Billy Hunter needs to devote a little more time defending THAT, instead of accusations of racism.

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