With the NBA missing games, inflamed rhetoric is bound to increase on both sides as negotations get heated and frustrations increase. That should come as no surprise. The fact that it’s Bryant Gumbel throwing out the most explosive statement regarding the lockout to date may be one though. Gumbel destroyed NBA commish David Stern on Real Sports with a brief editorial that ended the program. He described Stern by saying the NBA’s “infamously egocentric commissioner seems more hellbent lately on demeaning the players than resolving his game’s labor impasse.”
But it’s Gumbel describing Stern as a “modern plantation overseer” that is garnering buzz, controversy, and headlines. Believe it or not, this isn’t Gumbel’s first racially toned pipebomb regarding a league commissioner. While there will certainly be criticisms of Gumbel invoking slavery imagery as ludicrous when discussing multi-millionaire athletes, it signifies the deep mistrust and venom Stern himself has fostered with the way he has terribly handled the lockout. Unfortunately, the inflammatory nature of these comments will likely create a firestorm of controversy instead of a real discussion of the role race is playing in the NBA lockout.
Here’s the video below as well as a partial transcript from our pal John Karalis at Crossover Chronicles…
“Stern’s version of what’s 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 or the questioning of officials, his moves are intended to do little more than show how he’s the one keeping the hired hands in their place.”
Who knew Beach Justice could take the form of a cable sports show editorial?