I was going back and forth in deciding whether to offer an opinion on Bryant Gumbel calling NBA Commissioner David Stern a “plantation overseer” on HBO’s “Real Sports”. By the way, Gumbel took things a step further in referring to players as “boys” and “hired hands”.
In case you haven’t seen it, see for yourself:
Let me start by saying that I have all the respect in the world for Gumbel. He was a trailblazer in the sports broadcaster business, who was ridiculed by White AND Black America over his demeanor and outspokenness (whites) and his polished speech (blacks, which is beyond sad). From seeing him as a kid running through NFL game highlights on NBC Sports to “Real Sports” 30 years later, I had come to admire the hell out of Gumbel.
That said, I have a problem with anyone comparing anything to slavery – not just a problem, a BIG problem. Slavery represents an what is arguably the ugliest era in American history (with the Jim Crow era being the other) where people of both races still have a hard time talking about in mixed company.
Slaves worked for free. They were given crappy accommodations, and were treated worse than second-class citizens.
The last time I checked, NBA players (and other black athletes in professional sports) get paid a handsome sum to play a kid’s game. They also stay in five-star hotels while playing road games, and get to travel on charter flights to those destinations. Oh, and those players also live in the phattest cribs I’ve seen in my life.
Since I am on a bit of a roll, I’ll take things a step further by saying slaves were not given the best food to eat. From what I’ve read, they were given pork and bread to eat. People would argue that it led to blacks having chronic health problems such as diabetes and hypertension.
NBA players eat fairly well. After all, they can afford to eat at five-star restaurants. Hell, most of them have personal chefs.
So forgive me for not buying into the slavery comparison bull(spit).
Here’s the deal: unless it was from a slave himself, no one EVER should compare anything in this world to slavery.
It’s the ultimate insult to those slaves who lived during that time while suffering through a lot of indignities along the way. It’s almost as bad as some of us black folks screaming racism over bad things that come about because of our own doing.
Yeah, I said it.
If you were not a black person from the Civil Rights era who suffered beatings and/or marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and/or led Sit-Ins and/or risked your life fighting for our right to vote, then I don’t want to hear it.
In fact, blacks who do so irresponsibly should STFU, and I would respectfully ask Bryant Gumbel to do the same.