Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest?
If you have gotten past the headline of this post, let me say that I am not going to rant much in this post, because I am more interested in what the general consensus is of this issue. Let’s go through a series of events:
1. Lebron James goes to Miami in over the top TV broadcast
2. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert writes letter like he was a jilted middle school girl
3. Jesse Jackson responds by saying Gilbert acted like a slave owner, with Lebron as a runaway slave.
Now, I think we are past the point of discussing the spectacle of Lebron’s announcement. It drew HUGE TV ratings, which was good for ESPN, but it likely lost Lebron a ton of fans. And the Gilbert letter was laughable in its ridiculousness. Admittedly, Gilbert is likely to lose millions of dollars in revenue without Lebron on his team, but to handle it like my 3-year-old nephew was comical.
But then Jesse Jackson stepped in and turned what had been a story that was dying down and had taken a funny turn with the Gilbert letter, into a serious topic. Completely unnecessary in my opinion. My first thoughts were this was typical Jesse Jackson, just trying to get his name in the press (which he succeeded in doing) and making some racial that wasn’t. Here is my only question for Jackson: If every other event happened, but the player was Steve Nash instead of Lebron James, would Jackson have made his comments? Unlikely.
But, when I went on Twitter, I saw our good buddy Bomani Jones, and now KSR Hall of Famer, tweeting that people were not facing the truth of Jackson’s comments, and the word slavery is what freaked people out. I was surprised there was ANYBODY, even an African-American, that could find a way to defend Jackson in this issue. But then, Bomani covered it on his radio show Monday morning, and I have to say it made me think a little harder about the issue. Bomani has this way of getting past the fact that people are angry, and getting deeper into WHY they are angry, and then debunking that anger.
I still think the comparison between the two is absurd, as I don’t remember the slaves ever being paid millions and millions of dollars by their owners. But nonetheless, this idea that the owner actually OWNS the person is an interesting dilemma. How far does that ownership go? Lebron served out his contract with Gilbert and chose to go elsewhere. But, it the process that damaged a owner who treated him well for 7 years.
So, I have two major questions for you KSR readers:
1) DO JESSE JACKSON’S COMMENTS HAVE ANY MERIT (Listen to Bomani podcast before answering)
2) DO THE OWNERS HAVE TOO MUCH POWER OVER THEIR PLAYERS?