Monday, April 28, 2014

Bryant Gumbel compares Jim Crane to Donald Sterling

Yep, this is exactly how I was hoping we'd get to spend an off-day: with teams trying to out-racist each other.

So Bryant Gumbel said on NBC's Meet The Press last night that Jim Crane has the "same kind of tortured history" as dumbass Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The quote:

I don’t want us to sit here, singling out the NBA, because they are not necessarily the exception to the rule. I mean baseball, for example, has an owner down in Houston who has kind of the same tortured history as Donald Sterling, in that his company was sued for discrimination and wound up paying a settlement, and has said sometimes attributed to him that are inopportune.

Gumbel is referring to an Equal Opportunity Employment Commission report from the late 1990s that fined Eagle Global Logistics (Crane's former company) for...

*Failing or refusing to promote African-Americans.
*Demoting females from managerial positions
*Maintaining a hostile work environment against African-Americans, Hispanics and females with respect to terms, conditions and privileges of employment.
*Failing to adequately investigate incidents of sexual and gender harassment.

The case was settled out of court for $9m.

Maury Brown wrote a piece before the sale of the team to Jim Crane that also referenced a 2000 Houston Chronicle article which had this nugget...

Eagle President Jim Crane told his subordinates not to hire blacks because "once you hire blacks, you can never fire them." On other occasions, Crane explained the reason he wanted to keep blacks out of the company was that his top managers are bigoted and they would mistreat the minorities, "giving them no choice but to sue Eagle."

The Astros responded with a strongly-worded rebuttal, of course.

I'm not interested in getting into a racist-off with Donald Sterling. Obviously the Crane thing isn't a good thing. For the sake of being a good person, as well as for the public perception of the franchise - which I don't know if you've noticed, but it's not so great - I wish it had never happened.

Let's let Jerome Solomon sign this off and we can spend the rest of the day whittling a to-scale sculpture of Collin McHugh: