We’ve heard from Bryant Gumbel on the situation. Now NBPA Lawyer, Jeffrey Kessler has joined the fray. You can accuse Stern of a lot of things. You can call him a schemer, a ruthless negotiator, an evasive double-talker, a dictatorial commissioner, and anything else you can think of. You’d be right and wrong at the same time in most cases. But one thing he is not is a plantation owner. I cannot think of another sport that has more blacks in ownership, management, coaching, and all levels of its hierarchy. Not only do these individuals get payed for their work, they get payed VERY, VERY well. Does the NBA have strick codes of conduct? Yes. Does the NBA negotiate with reckless, heartless abandon? Yes. Does the NBA try to groom their athletes to be aesthetically pleasing to its core audience? Yes.
None of those things place Stern in the role of plantation master, or the players in the role of slaves. To suggest such a thing is insulting to both parties, and diminishes the very real history of slavery in this country, those who were victim to it, and those who fought to overcome it.