EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

July 2, 2007

Pardon the interruption, but Wilbon is a jerk

Where is the outrage, Boston?



Where is the outrage from African-Americans who have made Boston their home?



Boston has been "dissed" by a sports celebrity named Michael Wilbon.



Wilbon, who is most known for co-hosting the popular ESPN program PTI (Pardon the Interruption), was on Dan Patrick's ESPN radio program the day after the NBA Draft.



Wilbon, a columnist with the Washington Post, was asked by Patrick why high-profile NBA free agents like Kevin Garnett didn't want to come to Boston.



Wilbon, apparently hurting for the pithy/comedic comments he is noted for on his "PTI" program, pulled an Al Campanis and lost his mind (at least I hope he did).



You remember Campanis. He was the Los Angeles Dodgers general manager who lost his job after implying blacks weren't qualified, mentally, to be executives in baseball.



Wilbon's version is equally of the Cro-Magnon version. He said that "racism" in Boston is the reason, at least he said so much when he wasn't fumbling his words.



It was the strangest interview I've ever heard about "race" in Boston.



Here are a few of his lowlights:



r "Dominicans in baseball don't count, even darker-skinned ones like David Ortiz, because they don't know about the history of the city." If I were Ortiz, I would demand an apology from Wilbon.



* "Why are you doing this?" referring to Doc Rivers for taking the head coaching job of the Celtics.



Why? How about $5 million a year, and a chance to coach one of professional sports' most storied franchises, you knucklehead. And why is an objective reporter wanting to play a role on where a guy he knows works?



* On several occasions, fans in the "Boston Garden," which was replaced by the new FleetCenter/TD Banknorth Garden in 1995, and apparently on the "street" called Wilbon the "N-word."



Is he serious? When did this happen? Did he report this to his editors? Did he call security in the Garden? Does anybody believe this?



Then Wilbon went on to talk about Pumpsie Green, Jackie Robinson and Bill Russell, stories that have been told so many times I get ill.



Weren't we over them? Didn't everyone with a drop of New England blood in his/her veins agree they were not proud times in our region?



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