Michael Ray Richardson has led a troubled life. Drugs ruined his professional basketball career, and now it looks like his mouth has ruined his professional coaching career. His mouth's target: Jewish people. Richardson started his (latest) faux pas by stating that he has "big-time Jew lawyers." Then, when informed (i.e., lead on) that his comment could be considered offensive because it stereotypes jews as shrewd and crafty, his mouth really went off:

"Are you kidding me? They are. They've got the best security system in the world. Have you ever been to an airport in Tel Aviv? They're real crafty. Listen, they are hated all over the world, so they've got to be crafty. They know that in this country the Jews are running it if you really think about it. I mean, which is not a bad thing, you know what I mean? They got a lot of power in this world, you know what I mean? Which I think is great. I don't think there's nothing wrong with it. If you look in most professional sports, they're run by Jewish people. If you look at a lot of most successful corporations and stuff, more businesses, they're run by Jewish. It's not a knock, but they are some crafty people."

My sensitivity training, as well as the microchip implanted in my brain by government operatives, tells me that there's no such thing as a "positive stereotype," whether it involves shewdness, craftiness, or mustacheness. But honestly? Richardson's comments aren't that bad. Certainly his words weren't filled with hate, as was Tim Hardaway's rant about gay people. Were the remarks narrow-minded and short-sighted? Absolutely. But were they really worth losing a job over?

It's a shame that Richardson didn't just conclude his little speech with a timely "I keed, I keeeed!!" Because it's totally okay to stereotype Jews long as you're funny about it. Just ask Borat, who once went "Jew hunting" in Texas.


And let's not forget Borat's classic lullabye, "Throw The Jew Down A Well":


I guess what I'm saying is I can't help but wonder: who did Michael Ray Richardson hurt? His comments probably won't make Jewish people feel any more hated or persecuted than they did yesterday. And I doubt that his comments are going to make the world at large think that Jews are any shrewder or craftier than they already did. I mean, there are stupid comments that hurt people and then there are stupid comments that make you roll your eyes and kind of laugh. I think Richardson's comments fall into the latter category.

Quote-tastic Extra: Richardson's mouth can be more than just offensive; it can be downright funny. My favorite Michael Ray quote is widely known as the "ship be sinking" quote. He said it near the end of this career to describe the Knicks' general state of being. It went like this:

Reporter: What do you think is happening to the team?

Richardson: The ship be sinking.

Reporter: How far can it sink?

Richardson: Sky's the limit.

And that, my friends, is comedy gold.

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