Last night the NBA players union decertified after months of not really making any major progress in negotiating with owners. This gambit, while pretty serious, is just the latest step in what has become another horrifying example of how the 1% work while the 99% chew on their tails.
Look I’m not saying that NBA players are suffering, but anyone with half a brain out there has to realize that, at their core, the labor issues faced by the NBA now and the NFL players this summer are very similar to average worker situations in states like Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
ESPN plays mouthpiece to whatever the NBA owners and commissioner David Stern want. But, shockingly, it is the usually firebomb throwing, race baiting Jason Whitlock over at Fox Sports that actually has a fair look at what the players are doing. He’s showing why this situation deserves a lot more respect and objective analysis than the media is giving. For example: why is nobody looking like Michael Jordan?
Michael Jordan is famous for winning a lot of championships, making a lot of money and being so a-political to the degree that he never stood up for anything of significance.
When asked almost 20 years ago whether or not he would get involved in the North Carolina Senate race to endorse Charlotte Mayor and African American Democrat Harvey Gantt over incumbent racist Jesse Helms Jordan famously said “Republicans buy sneakers too.” And that was that. Not: “you know what, I just realized we don’t have any Black Senators right now and that would be a good look since Ganntt is way qualified and here’s a chance to kick the biggest bigot since Bull Connor off Capitol Hill.”
As the most famous player in basketball history turned less-than-impressive owner of (first) the Washington Wizards and now the Charlotte Bobcats, it’s amazing how little attention has been given to his massive flip-flop on labor issues.
It’s one thing for the press to bow to their corporate masters at ESPN and slam the union as a bunch of foolish emotional players – but it’s something else to ignore the incredibly juicy story of one of the game’s greatest players now getting slammed by the likes of Ron Artest and Stephon Marbury for selling out and being one of the most hardline owners in these negotiations.
Jordan the player was one of the strongest advocates of player rights when he was in the league, and his agent David Falk was a key part of the 1998 negotiations. At one point “his air-ness” famously told the former owner of the Washington Wizards Abe Polin: “If you can’t make a profit, you should sell your team.” Now that same Jordan has told several players to their faces: “I’m not wearing Jordans anymore.” Ouch. So: you still wanna be like Mike?
This article originally appeared at Politic365.com.