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: Oct 19, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 8:16 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

The Imuses and Jimmy the greeks,the Fuzzys, the al campanas the John rockers the marge shotts, and hank williams of the world were persecuted for speaking their minds.Im tired of it ,as I am tired of the farrakans ,shaqs, various athletes and artists able to say whatever they want.As long as the high ups allow this, it will just keep going on. So the only recourse I have is to tune Bryant Gumbel out. And maybe  HBO.

Since: Dec 5, 2010
Posted on: October 19, 2011 8:14 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Uh, the native americans are immigrants too piece of crap...they cross the land bridge and immigrated to North and South America...I love it when you get skewered on a technicality

Since: Feb 13, 2009
Posted on: October 19, 2011 8:12 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 5, 2010
Posted on: October 19, 2011 8:10 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

I will counter your xenophobia with multi-culturalism and the spirits of those sould who actually lived their lives as slaves.  It whitey gets in trouble for this crap, then Chicken George Gumballs should be booted off of T.V.  But, hey...liberal t.v. cannot get enough white guilt of slavery and race pimps like Gumballs bring it up...just like Jesse Jackson, Jeremiah Wright and Rev. Al Sharpton...all reverends race pimps.

Since: Oct 19, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 8:09 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Cool that's a delta bravo!

Since: Dec 5, 2010
Posted on: October 19, 2011 8:06 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Well, I guess I am a racist because I don't watch slaves play basketball...or am I an abolutionist...Abolish the league and W.E.B. Gumball will not have anything to complain about...racist piece of crap...where is your love for whitey Gumballs?

Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 8:06 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

He definitely is characterizing the players as slaves. He refers to Stern as a plantation owner, making the argument that Stern acts like a plantation owner over the players/slaves. It's very cognizable (look it up) what he's doing

Since: Apr 18, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 8:01 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

those are really well paid slaves

when people make modern day comparisons to slavery or the holocaust, they are showing a pretty weak understanding of history.   in fact, its more demeaning to those who lived through those historical periods than anything else

if LeBron is living like a slave, sign me up for his plantation 

Since: May 18, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 7:45 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Now hold on one darn second here!!!  Bryant Gumbel is black?

Since: Apr 25, 2009
Posted on: October 19, 2011 7:43 pm

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Hey, diots:  Gumbel's not characterizing the players as slaves, he's saying STERN is.  So try to understand the article before offering your xenophobic (look it up, sports fans) comments.

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