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Now THAT'S Leadership

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If greasy hair, All-Star game ties, family conflicts of interest, and just all around ickiness don't top your "Commissioner Wish List," why not try David Stern, Commissioner of the NBA? Now there's a Commish I can get excited about. Stern is underrated because he's so good; just as with an umpire, if you are too aware of the Commissioner's existence, it's probably not a good thing. Stern has quietly brought salary caps, consequences for unacceptable behavior, and other necessities to the NBA, while being so unobtrusive that many NBA fans probably couldn't name him and most NBA fans certainly couldn't tell you what the heck he looks like.

And in the last 48 hours, Stern, already an exemplary Commissioner, truly outdid himself. This week, Tim Hardaway made a series of comments that, paraphrased, began with, "I hate gay people because they're gay and that's awful," and ended with, "I wish I hadn't said that because it has turned out to be inconvenient for me that I said it." You know, Tim, perhaps you should try something other than speaking out loud, because that really isn't working for you. Or for anyone, really.

So here was Stern's response, after immediately informing Hardaway that he was no longer welcome as one of the retired players due to appear at today's NBA's All-Star Weekend Kickoff:

  • "We removed him from representing us because we didn't think that his comments were consistent with having anything to do with us. He's on a flight (back home) now." Any questions?

  • "You tell me why there are Constitutional amendments, why there are federal issues, issues about gay marriage, and property rights. This is a country that needs to talk about this issue." Any argument?

Stern, who as far as I know is heterosexual, took a clear and immediate stance, and backed his words with actions, to speak up against prejudice for the sake of speaking up against prejudice. We need more Commissioners like this. No, it's more general than that: We need more positive leaders like this. No, it's more general than that: We need more people like this.

Well done, Mr. Stern. And be careful, Mr. Hardaway, because karma's a bitch.

UPDATE/MEA CULPA REPORT

It was correctly pointed out that in this thread, I made an inappropriately vulgar joke. So I have deleted the comment, filed a CGV complaint against myself, fast-tracked the process by pleading guilty, and logged a "strike" against myself. Two more and I'm outta here. Dang--karma really IS a bitch!