Monday, June 2, 2014

0 comments Jay Mariotti Has a Hot Sports Take About Mark Cuban; Still Desperately Craves Attention

Jay Mariotti is still struggling for relevance. In the past few years he's been disowned by ESPN, pissed on his co-workers at the "Sun-Times" while weaseling out the door, and pled guilty to charges of roughing up his girlfriend. But he's totally happy now. In fact, he's very eager to say just how happy he is, which if you ask me, means the lady doth protest too much. If you have to keep saying how happy you are, perhaps you are just trying to convince yourself.

So Jay wants relevance and he's spitting out the hot sports takes on his page at Sports Talk Florida like they are going out of style. He wants attention and he's going to keep saying bold shit to get that attention. Mark Cuban recently tried to be nuanced and discuss race, bigotry and walking across the street, but Jay Mariotti will have none of that. Rather than understand the nuance, he compares Cuban to Donald Sterling and Jay tries to be as controversial and contrarian as possible to get attention from anyone important. His ego feeds on attention and his ego has been hungry for a while now.

If you’re going to ban Donald Sterling from the NBA, don’t you now have to eject Mark Cuban, too?

No, no the NBA does not have to eject Mark Cuban. You see how Jay starts off with his hot sports take immediately to grab the reader and get attention.

"Mark Cuban is as bad as Donald Sterling. Mark Cuban should be banned from the NBA."

This reaction is so overdone and blown out of proportion it's obvious that Mariotti can't truly be serious about it. It's clearly a reaction created to get a reaction from readers and the public to Mariotti's reaction. He's doing the journalistic equivalent of yanking ponytails and running away.

In explosive comments that have me asking about his own emotional stability

I mean, this is just hilarious. "Explosive comments" and they have Mariotti "asking about his own (Cuban's) emotional stability." I feel like Robert Stack should be reading the audiobook of this column. It's all very dramatic sounding.

the irascible owner of the Dallas Mavericks opened his big mouth much too far this time and put his fellow league owners and commissioner Adam Silver in a shockingly difficult position.

Here is the issue with Jay's mocked-up, faux outrage. Donald Sterling has actually made and continued to make racist comments. His comments were of a racist nature. They were made recently and in the past. Mark Cuban did not make racist comments, but commented on his own racism or bigotry that he fights with on a daily basis. One person's comments are made to be hateful, another person's comments are made to provoke debate and an open discussion about built-in bigotry that people hold. One is non-productive, another is productive.

Speaking at a conference in Nashville, Cuban portrayed himself publicly as every bit the racist Sterling was on a private recording in March. He tried to claim he was offering a nuanced view on how far society has progressed

Which is how it came off to many who listened and read Cuban's comments. It's him explaining that he isn't perfect, but there is a difference in true racism in the vein of Donald Sterling's actions over the last 30 years and trying to avoid a certain person on the street who fits a stereotype a person may be fearful of. I don't think Cuban should get slapped on the back for admitting bigotry, but he also shouldn't be thrown out of the NBA because he dared to discuss race rather than stand on a high moral pedestal where he falsely states he would NEVER participate in any bigotry in any form.

but nuance is impossible to convey when Cuban admits to this racist tug: “I mean, we’re all prejudiced in one way or another. If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it’s late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street. And if on that side of the street, there’s a guy that has tattoos all over his face — white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere — I’m walking back to the other side of the street. And the list goes on of stereotypes that we all live up to and are fearful of.’’

It's not a very kind admission, but it certainly is nuanced. I am not sure Jay Mariotti knows what "nuanced" means, because Cuban's admission is very nearly the definition of nuance. Mariotti is about to grab hold of the "black kid in a hoodie" comment because that's going to get him the most attention and prove the point he wants to prove best, but he shouldn't be blinded by the example Cuban gave and ignore the meaning behind the example. Of course, not making a huge deal out of this comment won't get Mariotti pageviews and eyes to read his columns.

Cuban says his comments are a teaching moment, that we must understand the context in which he was speaking. Sorry, I can’t get past the “black kid in a hoodie’’ statement.

We know you can't, Jay. We know. It's something you need to grab on and hold with a death grip in order to prove your "Mark Cuban is as racist as Donald Sterling" point of view.

Here is the fuller version of Cuban’s remarks:

“In this day and age, this country has really come a long way putting any type of bigotry behind us, regardless of who it’s toward. We’ve come a long way, and with that progress comes a price. We’re a lot more vigilant and we’re a lot less tolerant of different views, and it’s not necessarily easy for everybody to adapt or evolve.
“I mean, we’re all prejudiced in one way or another. If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it’s late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street. And if on that side of the street, there’s a guy that has tattoos all over his face — white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere — I’m walking back to the other side of the street. And the list goes on of stereotypes that we all live up to and are fearful of. So in my businesses, I try not to be hypocritical. I know that I’m not perfect. I know that I live in a glass house, and it’s not appropriate for me to throw stones.”

I read quite a few articles bemoaning the lack of characters in sports these days. Managers, coaches and owners who shoot from the hip and do funny, odd things. This situation is a good example of why they don't shoot from the hip and aren't characters. Prepared, boring comments aren't taken out of context, but unprepared comments on a subject can involve an unfortunate reference the vultures in the media will cling on to in order to castigate that owner or manager. In this case, it's the Trayvon Martin reference that may or may not be a Trayvon Martin reference.

Cuban was simply saying he believes everyone is prejudiced in some way and then lumps himself in this category, while giving an example. He's simply saying he understands he's not perfect but there is a difference in avoiding a certain person on the streets and openly committing racist acts and making racist comments over a span of 30 years. Therein lies the nuance.

As someone who knows Cuban and lobbied aggressively for him in the media to become the Chicago Cubs owner years ago, I am stunned.

Jay Mariotti threw his public support behind Cuban to be the Cubs owner and this is how Cuban repays him? Cuban getting support from Mariotti probably served to hurt Cuban's chances of becoming the Cubs owner.

He says we’re misunderstanding him, but social experiement or otherwise, he blew it with the “hoodie’’ comment. It reeks of racism and blatant insensitivity.

Grab a hold of that phrase, Jay. Grab a hold, ignore the rest and don't let go.

At least Sterling rightfully can claim that the infamous V. Stiviano set him up when she taped him — without his consent, which is against the law in California — in a conversation in which she seemed to bait him with questions about African-Americans.

Here goes Jay ignoring important facts to fit his point. Who set Sterling up to be the most discriminatory landlord in United States history? Who set up Sterling when he was sued by Elgin Baylor for employment discrimination? It wasn't just one specific event with Sterling, it was a series of events.

“You don’t. There’s no law against stupid,’’ Cuban said. “I’m the one who says don’t force the stupid people to be quiet. I want to know who the morons are.’’

And dutifully Jay heeds Cuban's need to know who the morons are by writing this column.

All Cuban has done is add himself to the moron list. Nuance? This is a little boy trying to get away with something Sterling could not. You don’t talk about advances in fighting bigotry, then admit to your own racism.

What's the alternative? Talk about advances in fighting bigotry and then try to take moral high ground under the false pretense that you personally have zero traces of racism in your thoughts and actions? Lying to yourself and society while pretending to be honest is better than admitting your own faults as an example of how you are trying to fight through own bigotry?

Cuban is a hater, too, regardless of context, when he makes the “black kid in a hoodie’’ comment.

Yes, "regardless of context" Cuban is a hater. Ignore the context completely, how could it matter? Cuban used the phrase "black kid in a hoodie" in a sentence about racism, so context doesn't matter when hot sports takes and overreactions have already begun.

The night before Cuban’s comments, Silver was asked if Sterling is ruining what’s great about pro basketball.

“it’s not just the performances on the court that it’s a distraction from. And I think what made this moment bigger than basketball, certainly for everybody involved in the league, and that moment being that recording, was that it did come from within, that under David Stern and commissioners that came before him, barriers were broken with this league, and I think for those who say it’s a slippery slope, and my God, what happens to the next player or the next owner who does something wrong, I’d only say there’s something particular about race issues when it comes to sports, and maybe the NBA in particular.

...but at least within the boundaries of my authority, I feel an obligation to protect the people who are within this league, and so that’s my reaction.”

So how does he deal with Cuban?

Obviously, the death penalty is on the table at this point. Either legal injection, but only if that is the least humane course of action, or the electric chair. I'm sure it would have been much more preferable for Cuban to have kept his thoughts to himself, because it's fine to be slightly bigoted, but just keep it to yourself and don't attempt to further a discussion on a race-related topic. Staying in denial about a person's own bigoted views is obviously the most important thing to do. God knows the United States doesn't need an open conversation about race relations.

How can you give him a warning and continue to prosecute Sterling without being called a stinking hypocrite?

Because Mark Cuban wasn't making his comments out of hatred, but as an example of how far society goes in terms of discussing race and facing our own bigoted views.

What is worse sin, telling a 31-year-old gold-digger to avoid Magic Johnson and other African-Americans at games — or saying, “If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it’s late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street.’’

If Jay wasn't being so willfully ignorant about the full story behind Donald Sterling's lifetime ban from the NBA then...well, he wouldn't be Jay Mariotti if he was acknowledging the whole story and not intentionally forgetting the whole part where Donald Sterling had a history of racism prior to his comments that ended with his lifetime ban from the NBA. Sterling has the largest housing discrimination settlement in United Stated history collected by the Justice Department on his resume, as well as a thorough history of making racist comments. It's not just one thing that led to his lifetime ban, despite Jay's ignorant attempts to pretend it is.

Again, when someone is that candid about his views and fears, how can we believe Cuban when he tries to come off as a fully tolerant, equal-opportunity employer who will help people overcome their bigotry?

Because the alternative is for Cuban to come off as fully tolerant and this not be exactly true. It's typical Jay Mariotti that he prefers a person lie about his/her bigoted views rather than admit the truth. This really brings some insight into Jay's character. He thinks more of people who lie and deceive themselves as opposed to those people who are honest about their intentions and thoughts. It makes me wonder if Jay has been honest about past indiscretions in his life.

Cuban said. “Because it does my company no good, it does my customers no good, it does society no good if my response to somebody and their racism and bigotry is to say, ‘It’s not right for you to be here. Go take your attitude somewhere else.’’’

I hear that. But I’m hearing “black kid in a hoodie’’ much louder, probably because it strikes too closely to the Trayvon Martin shooting in 2012.

This is the fifth time Jay has brought up the "black kid in a hoodie" phrase. He's desperate for this to mean something in order to prove his larger point.

Silver values Cuban’s high-tech expertise, social-media involvement and standing as a fan-friendly owner. But there can be no double standards here. A racist owner is a racist owner, and just as Silver is punishing Sterling for the right reasons, he should punish Cuban for exacerbating the problem.

Trying to talk about race relations by admitting one's own bigoted tendencies = "exacerbating the problem."

Cuban should apologize at once, own up to his error and hope the NBA has mercy on him.

Yes, Cuban should apologize for openly admitting the way he stereotypes people and learn to keep his bigoted and stereotypes to himself. The world is a much better place if nobody admits their faults and pretends they don't exist.

My guess is, because Cuban is a valued member of the owners’ club and Sterling was not, he’ll slide.

Silver may also let it slide because Cuban's comments were not even close to being on par with the comments that Donald Sterling made nor on par with Sterling's actions over a 30 year period. So there's that too.

Shame on Silver, the owners and all of Cuban’s Mickey Mouse teammates at Disney/ESPN for not calling out the hypocrisy.

I'm not sure this column is going to get Mariotti the attention he so desires, but I can't fault him for trying really hard to be as trolling as possible to get the attention. Mariotti even throws in a couple of shots at Disney/ESPN, because he's still bitter he doesn't work for them and they refuse to hire him. Disney/ESPN are evil when they don't employ Jay Mariotti, but don't doubt for a second he wouldn't go back to work for them if given the chance.

Despite Jay's latching onto the phrase "black kid in a hoodie" there is a difference in what Donald Sterling said (and did over a 30 year period) and what Mark Cuban said. I don't find it surprising that Jay thinks it's better for society for a person to keep his bigoted thoughts to himself. I just wish Jay would keep all of his thoughts to himself.

If you’re going to ban Donald Sterling from the NBA, don’t you now have to eject Mark Cuban, too?