Bryan E. Paas
While the NBA continues Collective Bargaining Agreement talks on Thursday, Bryant Gumbel voiced his own thoughts about NBA Commissioner David Stern on HBO’s Real Sports.
Gumbel had this to say Tuesday night about the NBA commissioner, “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.”
Why is race playing a factor in the CBA talks? The fact is that players are not going to play in the first 20 games with talks of the entire season being scrapped. Not only does Gumbel use race to infuriate the media and fans, but chooses to use a slavery metaphor to describe the NBA. If there is anything more insensitive then comparing the goings on in CBA talks among multimillionaires to slavery I don’t know what it is.
It is bad enough that the CBA talks are going as bad as they are, and now this. In a 32 hour span starting on Tuesday the CBA talks lasted 24 hours, including a 16 hour meeting with a federal mediator in New York that lasted until 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
With both sides trying desperately to make a deal and with no end in sight, why does the focus go to race? Gumbel in a 30 second sound bite has epitomized everything that is wrong in this country. While racism is still very much in existence, this is not the case in the NBA lockout. While the majority of the owners are white, in a league of which more than 80% percent of its players are black, there are black owners as well who are siding with Stern.
So if the lockout isn’t amusing enough for you, now race can be the topic of discussion when talking about the CBA meetings. Who knows, maybe this will go into the CBA and the league will never come to an agreement and then Bryant Gumbel can be responsible for single handily ruin professional basketball in America.
He made the comments to get people talking, he got his wish.