NBA Chief David Stern Slams Bryant Gumbel For Calling Him a 'Plantation Overseer'

Outgoing NBA commissioner David Stern granted an interview to Lee Hawkins of the Wall Street Journal on June 7, and Hawkins asked him about Bryant Gumbel’s characterization of Stern as a “plantation overseer” during the most recent contract negotiations with the NBA players union in 2011. He actually said Stern "always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer treating NBA men as if they were his boys."

Stern slammed back, saying his works for the NBA "dwarf any contribution Bryant Gumbel has made" in bringing diversity in ownership and wealth for black players:

LEE HAWKINS: The vast majority of players in the league are African-American. It’s quite striking. The vast majority of owners are white, and despite everything you have done in that area [to bring in black owners], when labor negotiations get heated, there are these references to slavery.

DAVID STERN: Right

HAWKINS: I can remember Bryant Gumbel calling you a plantation overseer. How did that affect you, and how did you feel about that comparison?

STERN: Actually... I would say that the things that I have done, not for the purpose of, but have actually benefited African-Americans, dwarf any contribution that Bryant Gumbel has made on that subject. So I laughed, and many of my friends, mostly African-American, laughed with me.

I wonder what Gumbel says to his white HBO bosses when it's time for a new contract. This exchange comes after the two-minute mark.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis