Blog Entry

Kessler: NBPA treated 'like plantation workers'

Posted on: November 8, 2011 8:59 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 1:25 am
Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

Here we go again.

Months after television commentator Bryant Gumbel sparked a national controversy by referring to NBA commissioner David Stern as a "modern plantation overseer" -- a comment that NBPA executive director Billy Hunter distanced himself from -- union lawyer Jeffrey Kessler has taken to invoking slavery during the most critical stage of the league's ongoing labor negotiations.

The Washington Post reports that Kessler, like Gumbel before him, made referenece to a "plantation" in a criticism of the NBA's bargaining strategy.

“To present that in the context of ‘take it or leave it,’ in our view, that is not good faith,” Kessler, who also represented the NFL players in their labor dispute with the NFL, said in a telephone interview Monday night. “Instead of treating the players like partners, they’re treating them like plantation workers.”

Kessler's comments, the paper reports, led Stern to call him the "single most divisive force in our negotiations." They are, by far, the harshest criticism levied at Stern by someone affiliated with the NBPA during these ongoing labor negotiations and they represent a stark contrast to Hunter's more subdued response to Gumbel's similar attack on Stern. 

Back in October, Gumbel said that Stern "has always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer, treating NBA men as if they were his boys." He also referred to Stern's opinion of the players as "hired hands."

Gumbel's controversial comments sparked a round of responses almost immediately given that a vast majority of NBA owners are caucasian while a vast majority of NBA players are African-Americans. Shortly after Gumbel's comments were made, NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said that they were "outrageous." Hunter said that, while Stern is a "hard-charger" in negotiations, he is not racist "at all." Basketball Hall of Famer and TNT commentator Charles Barkley simply called Gumbel's comments "stupid." The Reverend Jesse Jackson warned such talk could make these negotiations take an ugly turn.

Coincidentally on Tuesday, Stern was asked in an interview for his thoughts on Gumbel's comments. "I think that’s just an occupational hazard," Stern said. "If you're the head of the league you take what everyone dishes out."

The Sporting News notes this is not his first explosion. He has recently accused Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen of "hijacking" negotiations and he recently called the NBA's offer to players a "fraud."

Since: Jan 2, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 9:30 pm

Kessler: NBPA treated 'like plantation workers'

Gotta love it when Millionaires , are having to actually fight for something and all they have is the "RACE" card in the pocket.  Not only do I not care about the nba..these are the things that make me pray they dont play that stupid never ending worthless sport for atleast a year..if ever. Gotta love it when ya cant stand on your the race card...sad. thugs  sad.  BTW  decertify it worked for the nfl...dumbasses..

Since: Nov 7, 2009
Posted on: November 9, 2011 9:06 pm

Kessler: NBPA treated 'like plantation workers'

Dude, ticket prices are not going to come down if the owners make more.   that's how they became owners.   The occupy wall street thing....fascinating really......1...this country was founded on is truly the bedrock of this country, not capitalism, freedom of speech and dissent................When the middle class scorns and scoffs at the lower class, the fringe, the malcontent, the upper class/political class, finance class giggles and is amazed at how their act has worked for so long.  You're the sucker at the table dude taught that your enemy is the poor guy, not the rich guy.   Believe me, the rich guy is doing you more harm.

Since: Nov 7, 2009
Posted on: November 9, 2011 9:01 pm

Kessler: NBPA treated 'like plantation workers'

Oh yeah, whipped, beaten, killed, worked unto death, poorly fed, separated from their familyn,taken to a strange land, ever knowing any hope..............That sounds like a typical NBA players lifestyle right there.....What a maroon.

Since: Jun 18, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2011 8:25 pm

Kessler: NBPA treated 'like plantation workers'

Was Kessler a towel boy at Penn State?

Since: Oct 17, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 8:16 pm

Kessler: NBPA treated 'like plantation workers'

My personal opinion - I DON'T CARE!

The NBA consists of 2 groups: the owners: pompous, self-indulgent and egotistical and the players: pompous, self-indulgent and egotistical.  WAIT! Now I have figured out the problem.

I serve notice to both - you don't protect our country or its interests or its freedoms either at home or overseas, you don't build and maintain its infrastructure, you don't manufacture goods or keep our country fed. In other words - WE DON'T NEED YOU! For true basketball desire, heart and talent we watch NCAA basketball.

I, personally, have enjoyed the fact that I don't have to watch clips on ESPN that represent the 8 to 12 seconds that a player actually hustled during a game leaving the other 47 minutes and 50 seconds where all 10 players jog up and down the court rarely playing defense (or offense for that matter). Nor do I have to watch self-absorbed, over-hyped "stars" and owners in the stands.

So, as far as I care, stay home - you are truly not missed!

To the owners go back to what you do best - living your non-NBA lives.
To the players - good luck doing something else. Maybe you could do something useful to society.

Since: Feb 8, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 7:36 pm

Kessler: NBPA treated 'like plantation workers'

Wow.. That was dumb Kessler. You have no IDEA what it was like on the plantation. Bein the plantation owners bitches, pickin cotton, pretty much everything. From what I've learned. Some were beat to death and killed. AND GOT PAID ZERO DOLLARS.

Bouncing a ball, excercising, partyin, buyin sh*t you dont even need, makin more in a year that some people make in a lifetime. Complete oposite.

Since: Nov 9, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 7:27 pm

Kessler: NBPA treated 'like plantation workers'

Give me a freakin break guys making millions a year!! coming from where 1/2 of them started this like winning a daily lottery. As an owner I would say to bad take it or leave it and send them packing, maybe they would like to pack groceries or at 7-11 for $8.00 an hour.

Since: Jun 13, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 6:40 pm

Kessler: NBPA treated 'like plantation workers'

This I still don't understand.  The owners should be entitled to pay the players whatever percentage they choose.  Why run a business where you take all the risk only to have you're employees try to take you for all you've worked for.  This is the same argument the Occupy Wall Street crowd is using, "Its not fair that someone else is better off than I am".  Quit whining people, get out there and work for it.  Before you say there are too many obstacles in your path such as racism and classism take a look at our President, he is black and did not come from a wealthy background.  I believe the owners need to put the players in their place once and for all, offer them 30% of the revenue; no more, no less.  By doing this they will ensure the league and teams will survive.  Additionally, tickets prices will be able to drop allowing more and more families to attend increasing interest adding more and more revenue.  If the players don't like it they have other employment options; unlike slaves, to pursue.

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2011 6:09 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 23, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 5:56 pm

Kessler: NBPA treated 'like plantation workers'

You are not a partner, you are a well paid employee.  And if you do not like playing basketball for $15 Million a year, come on over to the real world with the rest of us.

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