From CBS Sports:
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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.
These are not Gumbel’s first controversial remarks concering racial issues.
In 2006, SportsBusinessNews.com 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, NewsBusters.org 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.”
Read the full story here.