Bryant Gumbel is in the news again for racially charged remarks, this time after he commented on NBA head David Stern and the way Gumbel sees Stern’s treatment of players.
Gumbel made the remarks at the end of a Tuesday editorial on Real Sports, during which he said that the current dispute would be resolved “in spite of” Stern- who he said has treated players unfairly in the past in relation to dress code as well as regarding the questioning of officials. But the most controversial of Gumbel’s commentary- seen in its entirety in the clip below- compared Stern’s treatment of players to that of a plantation overseer and contrasted it with slavery. Gumbel said:
“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.”
Historically, overseers are seen as one of the worst, most brutal aspects of the slave trade, and the men were responsible for keeping masses of slaves in check by harsh and often violent means. Gumble qualified that “some will of course cringe at that characterization” but added that “Stern’s disdain for the players is as palpable and pathetic as his motives are transparent.”
Do you think Gumbel’s comments were offensive or unreasonable?