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Dan Gilbert disagrees with Rev. Jesse Jackson's comment's about him

Jul 12, 2010, 5:11 PM EDT

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Earlier this week, the Reverend Jesse Jackson issued a statement that said Dan Gilbert’s open letter personified a “slave master mentality,” and that Gilbert viewed James as a “runaway slave.” In case you missed it earlier today, here is video of Jackson defending his views on Gilbert
On Monday, Gilbert released an extremely brief statement in response to Jackson’s comments:
“I strongly disagree with (Jackson’s) recent comments and we are not going to engage in any related discussion on it. Going forward, we’re very excited about the Cavaliers and the positive future of our region.”

Gilbert would clearly like the racial component of the controversy over his letter to go away, but he may have opened Pandora’s box on this one. 

  1. YOGI - Jul 12, 2010 at 7:25 PM

    EVERYONE on here talking about Jesse Jackson is racist, maybe you’re the ones that are RACIST. POW! I’m just sayin….. Acting like Jessie isn’t supposed to say anything, you all some right wing, backwards ass people. This is supposed to be AMERICA, not a communist country.
    Just like Gilbert saying his comments, was freedom of speech right? So, if Jesse wants to speak, he has the right. So stop being a HATER and take a look in the mirror before you open ya mouth!

  2. kevin D. - Jul 12, 2010 at 7:28 PM

    I didn’t really see anything racist with Gilbert’s comments. Unprofessional and emotional, absolutely. I think Lebron was also unprofessional. Give your employer a couple week’s notice. I really think that this whole thing with Lebron, Wade and Bosh was collusion. Think about it. They made some of their East Coast rivals (NY, NJ, Chicago) deplete their rosters. Then they left Cleveland with no time to make decisions to replace Lebron. That’s at least 4 teams that could have spent their time working on other deals.
    Most of Gilbert’s players are black. He’d have a hard time doing his job if he didn’t have their support.
    The last thing Jesse Jackson wants on this Earth is for blacks to be equal to whites. He wouldn’t have a job otherwise. He injects race at the drop of a hat. He has other intentions. I think that Jesse Jackson is a disgrace to Martin Luther King Jr. Yeah, I’m white but I’m still entitled to my opinion. I voted for Obama because I thought he was the best of the two candidates for president. It’s 2010. Are we really still concerned about race? Like I said if we all held hands in harmony, Jackson’s head would explode.

  3. ME - Jul 12, 2010 at 7:33 PM

    I agree completely! My grandfather used to call Mr. Jackson one of the biggest puppets in politics. He does not speak for African-Americans. He only stood up for Michael Jackson in his death. remember his comments about Obama. Both he and Sharpton need to sit down somewhere.
    Everything is not about race!

  4. Scott - Jul 12, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    While your writing leaves a lot to be desired, your point is well taken. It’s absolutely the fans and our ridiculous need to put professional athletes on pedestals that creates issues like this. Instead of getting upset with Lebron, Kobe, or Brett, stop buying their overpriced jerseys or paying the unbelievable ticket prices to the games. The view from the couch in my living room is much better anyway.

  5. Royedw - Jul 12, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    Why is it that “The Reverend” Jesse Jackson and his co-hort Al Sharpton can only come out in the press with statements attacking [B]white[/B] folks on an issue when [B]black[/B]folks are involved?? Can someone in the media please STOP paying attention to these self serving people who say they are campaigning for equality when the reality is they are rabble rousing and serving their own purpose to gain contributions to their “alleged” causes?
    Has anyone forgotten that Jackson & Sharpton were GUILTY of attacking the Duke lacrosse team on behalf of a black woman who was exposed as lying and filing false allegations. Where were Jackson & Sharpton to issue an apology in front of the media,.. and where was the media in seeking to get them on camera to get there response??
    We will never attain true equality as long as this racism continues from the mouths of these two, and as long as the liberal minded media continue to hide under the umbrella of political correctness!!

  6. Royedw - Jul 12, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    Nice link “Honestly”,.. people should take a look at it. Jason Whitlock is an excellent columnist and isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade,.. (don’t go there people…) :)

  7. JoeSixPack - Jul 12, 2010 at 8:05 PM

    Hmmm – you know, Jesse may have a point…
    This was a sign and trade deal after all – meaning that LeBron himself was SOLD for other people!
    Indeed he was SOLD for the “rights” to future basketball players!!!!!
    Players who right now are probably UNDER the age of 18!!!!!!!!!!!
    Yay, I think we can all agree without hyperbole that Dan Gilbert is engaged in the HUMAN TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN!!!!!
    ……JESSE JACKSON IS RIGHT!!!!!!!!

  8. Jerome - Jul 12, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    Jesse speaks up for a multi-million dollar athlete who is a “minority.” Where was Jesse’s sense of righteousness when a gang of minorities viciously beat up a white guy in Akron, Ohio. Not a peep. Seems to be a double standard here.

  9. Kevin P. Patton - Jul 12, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    I do not fault Bron-Bron for leaving Cleveland. Heck, I left too. He played out his contract, became a free agent and signed with who he chose to sign with.
    Welcome to America.
    The only part of this whole sordid affair that burns my a$$ was how Bron-Bron went about it. Not one ounce of class whatsoever.
    Give me a break. An entire hour on ESPN to utter five words? (I am signing with __________)
    The Miami Heat’s absolutely ridiculous introduction of Wade, Bosch, and James was absolutely sickening. Besides, where is the need to introduce a player who was already there?
    The nba has become more about the show than the sport. Someone please wake me when the “Tres Amigas” retire. Maybe I will even watch a game again. But, probably NOT.

  10. Iowa H-BR - Jul 12, 2010 at 8:49 PM

    You hi the nail right on the head.

  11. Horace - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    K. P. Patton’s provides an insightful perspective, a 3 from half-court. Rev. Jackson’s was off-target, brick shot that almost broke the basket. Yet, it wasn’t an airball.
    Yes, this has nothing (at least nothing obvious) to do with race; however, Dan Gilbert has to realize that this is the very nature of business – as Rev. Jackson said, “This is an owner-employee relationship — between business partners — and LeBron honored his contract.”
    It’s just that in this case the power dynamics aren’t what we usually see. Generally, owners and team management cut, shop, and trade players as they see fit (slight similarity to the slave trading block in imagery though not actuality – w/ the NFL Combine being the worse). Players are just commOdities in this arrangement. However, when we’re discussing the best handful of players, the power shifts. In exploring their options through free-agency, they hold teams at ransom.
    In Lebron’s case, if he never panned out, Mr. Gilbert wouldn’t have had any issue cutting or trading him, à la Kwame Brown (failed former #1 pick by Washington), who was mocked and ridiculed at each stop in his NBA career – a permanent stain on Michael Jordan mixed record as a basketball executive.
    I, personally, didn’t agree with LeBron’s decision from the standpoint of his legacy and certainly not the way he went about doing so in his one hour televised “LeBacle”. Yet, although, it would have made a great story if LeBron stayed in Cleveland, he had every right to choose whichever team he found to his liking.
    Now, Dan Gilbert had just as much right to express his frustrations at feeling betrayed; however the way he chose to go about doing so was completely and utterly distasteful, at the very least. He stepped over the line in many places, but particularly in stating, “Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.” What was the point of that statement?
    If his goal was to turn all of Northeast Ohio against Lebron, he was a bit late, since the very narcissism he commented on, LeBron’s “Decision” effectively did so by itself. Giving Mr. Gilbert the benefit of the doubt, Perhaps he was simply stating that Lebron took what he saw as the coward’s way out in choosing to team up with another top tier player in D-Wade and a “Robin” in Bosh.
    If anything, as a person of high position in all of this, Mr. Gilbert’s statement could be seen as possibly an incitement of violence on a night that “LeBron fires” were set all over Cleveland and surrounding areas and police were sent to secure THE homes of LeBron and family. It is from this perspective that Rev. Jackson likened Mr. Gilbert’s statements to that of former slave holders who lost out on runaway slave – which was wrong, but taken from this light, not completely off target.

  12. sue brett - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    I seldom agree with everything Jesse Jackson says, however, he’s right on point with this one. Dan Gilbert’s comment was definitely a reminder of the slave owner. You can’t leave me, I own you! Gilbert’s comments were so tacky, degrading and unprofessional. He should be fined by the NBA. Some role model. A multi-millionnaire and he was unable to wish LBJ well. Mayor Frank Jackson had class. He made the appropriate public comment. Only a person of color can understand the “Plantation” sentiments held not only by Jesse Jackson, but many Blacks I have talked to about Gilbert’s comments. Gilbert sounded like a thug who had been out-smarted by a young man. Owners are upset because free agency allows players to make moves that are best for them financial, career-wise and for just plain fun to move to another location. The people of Cleveland have to relaize LBJ never asked to come to Cleveland, he was DRAFTED!! I DON’T THINK THERE’S A PLAYER IN THE NBA THAT WOULD OUT RIGHT CHOOSE CLEVELAND!!! The behavior exhibited by the fans is so immature and ridiculous. Friends of mine from other states are laughing and teasing me. How is LBJ a traitor? There’s nothing that says a player has to play for their home city/state. If he decided to leave at the last minute or months ago, the final outcome would have been the same. If he had taken my advise, he would have never signed a second contract. I would have left after the first one. Gilbert is pompous. How can he guarantee a championship. Selling LBJ’s shirts for a low price only enabled his fans t finally purchase one. If he thinks LBJ doesn’t have any fans left, he’s terribly mistaken. It’s obvious from Gilbert’s comments he and LBJ didn’t have a good relationship.

  13. Silk32 - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:11 AM

    INTERPRETATION: Dan Gilbert’s response to Jesse Jackson in laymen’s terms ———> http://clicky.me/sZ6

  14. jake - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:30 AM

    Yo Jesse,
    Dude was frustrated as well of all the fans of Cleveland, walk the streets and I’m sure you will find a black fan or two who will feel the same way don’t ya think? As far as a slave goes? Lemme tell ya Jesse, for 20 0r 30 million a year, I’ll be his slave…hell I’ll be his bitch ! LOLOLOLO Jesse and the Al’s of the world will continue with thier paranoid delusions we know this. TV time is addictive, story content really doesn’t matter, just be outlandish and you’ll get time. People see through you Jesse. You set blacks back everytime you speak.

  15. kevin - Jul 13, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    As a black man let me say one thing: Jesse Jackson and Al sharpton DO NOT speak for me and, quite frankly, I am appalled at Jackson’s insinuations regarding Gilbert. Black people have fought (and still fight) to be treated fairly and equally and when a loose cannon like Jackson fires away it’s decent, quiet black people who end up getting shot.
    Mr. Jackson and Mr. Sharpton, I believe that you think your hearts are in the right place and perhaps they are; it’s your mouths that are causing problems. Black people have enough issues for you to concentrate on. Please stick to those issues and stop being self-serving camera hounds in the name of racial equality. I’m tired of looking bad because of your inability to shut up.

  16. njf - Jul 15, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    After reading Dan’s letter the thing that strikes me as off is his use of the words betrayal and disloyalty. Come on man, loyalty in sports has been dead for a very long time. That holds true for players and owners. Players are in it for the money and maybe where they can win a championship. Owners are in it for the exact same thing. Did he betray the Cavs, maybe. Would they have betrayed him had he not worked out, probably. Welcome to the wonderful world of sports.
    I certainly don’t see anything in his letter indicating that he felt like LBJ was his property and he was his master. He is not professional is some of his statements and should have waited to reply to the decision LBJ made but that doesn’t make his comments racially motivated. If anything they are probably financially motivated. I can’t say with 100% certainty but the Cavs probably don’t go as far in the playoffs in they years to come or even make them at all. That’s a big hit financially.
    One thing that hasn’t been talked about is whether or not the Cavs where under the impression that Lebron was coming back. Did LBJ give the Cavs reason to think he would re-sign? I haven’t read anywhere that he did but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Maybe the reason Dan was so upset was because he thought Lebron was going to come back. Idk.
    If you try to put race into the equation here you are not only in my opinion wrong but missing out on the big picture. The issue here is how out of control the money situation has become in professional sports, for owners and players alike. If you don’t think Dan Gilbert’s response was partially motivated by money then in my opinion I again think you are wrong.
    One last side comment. Sue Brett, slavery has been illegal for about 150 years now. How can anyone, (white, black, yellow or whatever color you happen to be), understand the “plantation” sentiment or in reality how can they feel it. Unless you lived through it how could you truly know?

  17. njf - Jul 15, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    After reading Dan’s letter the thing that strikes me as off is his use of the words betrayal and disloyalty. Come on man, loyalty in sports has been dead for a very long time. That holds true for players and owners. Players are in it for the money and maybe where they can win a championship. Owners are in it for the exact same thing. Did he betray the Cavs, maybe. Would they have betrayed him had he not worked out, probably. Welcome to the wonderful world of sports.
    I certainly don’t see anything in his letter indicating that he felt like LBJ was his property and he was his master. He is not professional is some of his statements and should have waited to reply to the decision LBJ made but that doesn’t make his comments racially motivated. If anything they are probably financially motivated. I can’t say with 100% certainty but the Cavs probably don’t go as far in the playoffs in the years to come or even make them at all. That’s a big hit financially.
    One thing that hasn’t been talked about is whether or not the Cavs where under the impression that Lebron was coming back. Did LBJ give the Cavs reason to think he would re-sign? I haven’t read anywhere that he did but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Maybe the reason Dan was so upset was because he thought Lebron was going to come back. Idk.
    If you try to put race into the equation here you are not only in my opinion wrong but missing out on the big picture. The issue here is how out of control the money situation has become in professional sports, for owners and players alike. If you don’t think Dan Gilbert’s response was partially motivated by money then in my opinion I again think you are wrong.
    One last side comment. Sue Brett, slavery has been illegal for about 150 years now. How can anyone, (white, black, yellow or whatever color you happen to be), understand the “plantation” sentiment or in reality how can they feel it. Unless you lived through it how could you truly know?

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