I Only Like Green Faces: Sepp Blatter

Sepp blatter thinks there should be zero tolerance of racism on the soccer field. Off of it however, he’s fine with dropping racial epithets and slurs without facing any punishment.

Welcome to the wide world of sports racism, where business execs and commissioners, to quote Kanye West, “only like green faces”.

Here is the quote that the out-of-touch the Septuagenarian Swiss native has drawn flak for:

“During a match you may say something to someone who’s not looking exactly like you, but at end of match it’s forgotten.”

…Yeah like how well did that work out for Zidane?  Pretty sure it lead to a headbutt:

I mean that’s how you deal with racist assholes. I wish Big Z would show up at Blatter’s doorstep and give him a cranial crack. The guy represents the most diverse sport in the world (200 teams) and yet he thinks he can make amends by hugging a black guy.

The truth of the matter is that racism has no place anywhere in sports. Teams are built to be inclusive, to take the best aspects from a diverse set of individuals and translate it into brilliant displays of athletic prowess. We all bleed the same color, sweat the same color and sacrifice our personal beliefs for the greater good of the team. If you can’t show class on the field, you don’t deserve to be on it. You are role models. You too Sepp!

Then when you factor in his anti-gay statements in relation to the Qatar world cup, the corruption following the Russian and Qatari bids, the payoffs during last world cup, the lack of instant replay and his belittling of women’s world soccer, its obvious this guy has no business in FIFA or sport in general. Just like our favorite person, Mr. David Stern (click here for past post on Top 10 Reasons to Hate David Stern).

Why do you think the NBAPA Union Attorney, Jeffrey Kessler, said “owners are treating players like plantation workers”? Because racism is still alive, they just be concealing it (ok last Kanye line). The disconnect between fans/players and the front office has never been greater.

What what about the NCAA (click for previous post) and their pay to pimp mentality? They make 700 million a year in revenue, but where does that money go…

Into the hands of rich, old white men is the short answer, and these guys care only about one thing: cash money.

The irony of the Sepp Blatter incident is this: he believes players making racist comments should be immediately suspended. He’s actually been leading a campaign to remove racism from the game of football. Yet when he does it, he refuses to step down. I guess Sepp isn’t aware of the phrase “practice what you preach”. #OccupyBlatter


Top Ten Reasons to Hate David Stern

Well it’s pretty much official. Bye, bye regular NBA season. Most likely, bye, bye any kind of season at all. David Stern doesn’t want you to have professional basketball.

Sure, he’ll be fine (see Reason #6) he’s done this before (see Reason #3). Much like the GOPs prospect for 2011, he wants the NBA to fail, so next year he can swoop in, pick up the broken pieces, and charge more to put them back together (TARP-TARP-TARP). Screw the fans, screw the players and employees, Gordon Gecko aint got shit on David Stern.

And for that, we salute you (kind of). Here’s a toast to the douchebags…Top Ten Reasons to Hate David Stern:

Reason #10:

Because he went to an Ivy-League Law School (Columbia)…what a dick.

Reason #9:

Because he supported moving The Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma city. One of the largest markets to the smallest. A storied franchise crumbles for reasons fans cannot believe. He did have a buddy on the OKC board tho…

Reason #8:

Because of the “Envelope-gate” 1985 Draft. His “random” method of drawing 7 last place teams out of a tumbler was exposed when the first pick of the draft became lodged in a corner and the NY Knicks (the team with the largest market) “miraculously” got #1. Basketball is a business, people?

Reason #7:

Because he’s only receiving “one dollar” as a salary this year to help with the lockout. That’s one dollar more than he’s worth.

Reason #6:

Because Stern earned and estimated $23 million dollars last season (and that’s just on the books). Again see Reason #7.

Reason #5:

Because the Lakers have finally started to suck, and yet Kobe gets another year to rest up his knee while the Celtics start their own shuffleboard league. I guess this is a rebuilding year…

Reason #4:

Because Stern was directly responsible for the expansion of 7 teams (Hornets, Timberwolves, Raptors, Bobcats, Grizzlies, Magic and Heat), the first four of which are still “hemorrhaging” money and are a large reason why owners are demanding more money (to recoup their losses). This is simple greed, expanding into market when times were good, then putting the squeeze on employees when their portfolios dip. Sound like anything else happening with unions, say in the midwest…

Reason #3:

Because this is the fourth time an NBA lockout has happened under his watch. Yes, fourth: 95, 96, 98-99 and 2011-present.. In 16 years. That’s means that 25% of the time, under Stern’s watchful eye, there wasn’t an NBA season. Great business management. Usually when you don’t get your work in/create a product, you get the axe. He got a salary bump each time.

Reason #2:

Because he’s a dirty liar. Stephen A Smith looks ready to punch him (now that would make for one hell of an interview):

Reason #1:

Because we love this sport and David Stern does not. America needs basketball in this recession, not talks of how to divide billions of dollars up between people who already have way more than their fair share.

Since when is a sport a business, anyway? I mean jebus, you give me 100 million and say invest this prudently, and you think I’m going to put my long-term investment into a business where the durability of a 7-foot man’s knee is the difference between profit and losses? Hell no. Click here to read a very interesting article about the “Psychic Benefits” of owning a sports team on Grantland.

Maybe these owners and Stern are just bad at what they do. Maybe it’s time for some young blood and a new approach to the business side of the NBA. In countries around the world, the game is becoming more and more popular (1.4 billion people in China are down). If anything, this should be an expansion year, with 8-12 regular season games being played worldwide to expand the product and viewer base.

I’d like to say this is about the 99% vs. the 1%, but it isn’t. I’m sure you can bet that most NBA players prefer a flat tax or 9-9-9, but that might just be because of Herman Cain’s hilarious video:

Still, they deserve a (more than) fair break, and that’s what this is about. They put their bodies and livelihoods on the court, while the NBA execs sit in luxury boxes and mull their bottom line. To the owners it’s just a game. To players it’s everything. I guess my point is: don’t hate the player(s), hate the game.

Herro Prease: NBA Superstars Invade China

So David Stern, there’s this country everyone in the NBA is talking about. You may have heard of it. It’s called China–a land of concrete jungles with approximately 1.4 billion people (that sounds like a lucrative market no?), and millions upon millions of die-hard basketball fanatics. That’s where all the NBA superstars are now, and if this little lockout power-play of yours works, that’s where they’ll play ball in 2011-2012.

Don’t believe me? Well say “herro” to China’s two favorite things: Pandas and NBA superstars. Now, they’ve got both:



KD (aka the Durantula):

(Those are the NBA’s top three scorers, btw. Getting a little anxious now Sterny?)

China loves these guys (along with the pandas) and from what these superstars have been tweeting, they love China back. Bron tweeted this: “Wow what an amazing crowd in Xian!! Love the passion these people have,” after he visited youngster basketball camps.

Other NBA stars have crossed the Pacific, only to find a culture and people that love basketball, and more importantly, love them. On merch alone, these NBA stars could recoup their loses, grow their branding and expanding into a relatively untapped market (for whatever reason). With Yao’s retirement (click for past post) the NBA needs to re-energize the Chinese ballin’ community.

Figures, the one year I’m not in China the NBA moves to the mainland. F you Stern! Just another thing we outsourced to China because American big business practices are flawed (class warfare anyone?). Finally those multi-billion-dollar sports arenas (built for the Olympics) will serve some purpose. Gonna have to add CCTV to our cable package…

Zai Jian, Yao! (Yao Ming’s NBA Retirement)

Father time is undefeated and gravity always wins. Just ask Yao Ming’s legs, knees, feet and ankles. After two injury-plagued seasons in which the Chinese All-star Center played only 5 games, and underwent multiple leg and foot surgeries, Yao Ming is finally calling it quits, and is reportedly retiring from the NBA.

While his status as a Hall-Of-Famer remains up in the air (we aren’t talking about the other recently retired 7 footer with more nicknames than P-Diddy ), his legacy on the sport will be a lasting one. This, in part, is due to his role as the only Chinese superstar basketball player to have great success in the NBA.

Chinese people absolutely LOVE the gawky giant and see him as a national treasure, bringing pride to a nation averaging 5 foot 4. CCTV9 (China’s sports Channel) always shows Houston Rockets games, even the past two years when Yao Ming was sidelined. For the past two years, Yao Ming has received a record number of All-Star votes from mainland China, when unable to play. When I asked Chinese fans why they’d vote for someone who can’t play, almost every response was “because he’s the best”. Talk about towing a party line.

Basketball in China is still budding, but the NBA is watched with fervor and excitement. Well, that was until Yao announced his NBA retirement.

With the NBA lockout an almost certainty, and Yao fading off into the distance, many are worried about the impact Yao’s retirement will have on Chinese NBA viewership and the popularity of the sport in general. China’s online web community (called netizens) overwhelmingly feel that the NBA has lost its appeal without a Chinese superstar repping the mainland (I will admit, he was a monster in the early 2000s).

While this nationalistic sentiment borders on the absurd and somewhat racist, many feel that China needs another superstar basketball player that young Chinese boys can look up to as a role model. Yi Jianlian is unfortunately not that player, so China get going on another government issued superstar. I bet you could have a Chinese “Rondo” in a couple of years. Hell just get someone so Charles Barkley will lose another bet and have to kiss the ass of a donkey again:

Oh Chuck, you so crazy. When are you going to get your own show with Shaq by the way? Shaq vs. Barkley: Country Kitchen Buffett Eat-Off anyone?

In the meantime, thanks for bringing basketball to the mainland, Yao Ming. Your presence on the court (and sidelines) will be sorely missed. 再见, 姚明!

Taking their Talents…to Europe?

Many players will follow Iverson's lead and play abroad if the lockout continues.

Basketball is an international sport and the third most popular sport globally (behind soccer and Cricket which is due to about 1 billion Indian fans). From Beijing to Boston, the game is played by billions of enthusiasts, with smack-talk and shot calling occurring in dozens of different languages, and on a variety of flat-top surfaces.

Amidst the urbanization that is changing the face of cities and towns globally, basketball has emerged as the sport of the 21st century–playable so long as you have a ball, a hoop and some concrete beneath your feet. While soccer was once considered the “purest of sports”, it has now conceded that moniker to a sport that can be played everywhere, by anyone.

And for that, the rest of the world has grown enamored with a game once played by upper-class, white males on hardwood floors in Springfield, MA. The game of gentlemen has now become a game of the people. Power to the people!

Well that was until the money-grubbing, big-business Stern Era that forced a lockout upon the NBA during one of its most popular (and watched) years. By forcing a lockout, the NBA business d-bags feel they can rein back in money from players’ salaries, and use that money to recoup losses by their own bad business prospects (after all, how fucking hard is it to make money off the NBA!!?! Sorry MJ). The logic is simply: force players to take what they can get, by compromising their financial security. I call it “courtside Reaganomics” and former player, Rasheed Wallace, unabashedly calls it a form of “slavery”.

But Stern and his army of cronies forgot one thing previously alluded to: that basketball is international. Europe loves basketball, and pays damn well for NBA-caliber players, even those that aren’t that good. Just look at Allen Iverson or Stephen Marbury. They got/get paid bank to clown on lesser players in packed international stadiums, and they know that everyone in the audience is rocking their jersey and shoe swag.

Superstar players like Deron Williams are realizing this fact, and the opportunistic Euro league owners are looking to sign one-year contracts with any players willing to take their talents across the pond. Besiktas coach Ergin Ataman of Turkey is even pursing players like Kobe Bryant! I think I’d hate him a lot less wearing red, yellow and white…

So much for leverage, Stern. If players keep calling the NBA’s bluff, I’d suggest getting satellite TV cause TNT, ABC and ESPN are just as mired in this lockout as the NBA execs. So what we’re left with is our players, going overseas to play because America doesn’t know how to run a basketball league. Just, another example of big business outsourcing American “goods” overseas.

David Stern Labels Players as ‘Unnecessary’ for Upcoming NBA Season

Unfazed and Confused: Stern tries to order a pizza at press conference

After declining a 100 million dollar concession made by the NBA players union to get NBA lockout talks back on track, David Stern emphasized his belief that NBA players, coaches and training staff really have nothing to do with the game of basketball: “The NBA owners and committee members find superstar athletes and decorated coaches as unnecessary and expensive assets for the 2011-12 season and beyond.”

This statement sent ripples throughout the sports community, as it now appears that Stern has finally and completely lost it. Making matters even worse, upon leaving the failed negotiation talks, Stern mistook Derek Fischer, guard for the LA Lakers and head players Union representative, for a valet attendant and asked an astonished Fischer to “keep her scratch free”.

Now, as we enter the second day of the lockout, it remains to be seen how Stern will run his fragmented basketball empire. Without players and coaches, only one option remains: suits will have to suit up.