Bryant Gumbel Compares NBA Commissioner David Stern to a ‘Plantation Overseer’
Thursday, October 20, 2011
By Amir Shaw
Bryant Gumbel blasted NBA Commissioner David Stern for his actions during the NBA lockout. On the latest episode of HBO’s “Real Sports,” Gumbel went after Stern while issuing his closing commentary.
“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 MO, 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.”
Gumbel was likely referring to the heated exchange between Stern and Dwyane Wade. According to reports, Wade stood up for himself during a recent meeting where Stern attempted to belittle the players while pointing his finger at them. Wade scolded Stern for talking to the players as if they were his kids.
Stern claims that several small-market NBA teams are losing money. As a result, the billionaire owners want the millionaire players to grant them a bailout for making bad decisions.
While comparing Stern to a plantation overseer is a stretch, Gumbel did bring attention to the racial disparity of white owners and black players in the NBA. Currently, Michael Jordan is the only black owner of an NBA team in a league whose players are 80 percent black.
In 2006, Gumbel made headlines for saying, “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.”
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