By now, I'm sure you've read or heard about Josh Howard's "The Star Spangled Banner's going on right now and I don't celebrate that shit. I'm black."
controversy. I haven't mentioned it thus far because a) it's pretty obvious stupid, even for this site, b) it edges into commentary on race relations, which I generally tend to shy away from, and c) this is America, and one of the founding principles of American life is each person's right to be as big of an idiot as he or she chooses to be. And without that principle, this site might not even exist. You know?
And besides, let's face it: This incident will follow the typical outrage-to-obscurity cycle that these situations always seem to adhere to. To wit:Phase 1:
Intense anger. Commentaries. Editorials. Blog posts about what it all means. Angry e-mails. Etc.Phase 2:
Loud grumbling.Phase 3:
Quiet grumbling.Phase 4:
Random serenades from boo birds
that decrease in intensity throughout the upcoming season.Phase 5:
General forgetfulness, epitomized by even astute NBA fans saying, "Remember when Josh said that thing about the National Anthem? What was that again?"Phase 6:
People like me bring the situation up in Worst Evers
-style articles and blog posts, or it gets rehashed after some other athlete says something inflammatory about the Anthem, or America, or the President, or whatever.
Sure, there are people who will always and forever hold that single thoughtless statement against Josh, but most people will eventually get over it, especially if he plays well. (Conversely, if he doesn't
play well, the remark will be used as Exhibit B in The Case of Where Josh Howard Went Wrong...with his pot smoking admission being Exhibit A.)
Now, the wise and rational thing for the Mavericks organization to do would be to have Josh apologize, issue a few statements, and wait patiently for Phase 5. But if we've learned anything about Mark Cuban, he is rarely wise or rational
. In fact, he's a bit of an idiot
. (Or maybe more than a bit
.) So, naturally, he responded to the strong anti-Josh Howard sentiment to be expected in Phase 1 of the outrage-to-obscurity cycle by posting some of the most vitriolic e-mails he had received about the situation on his blog
. Oh, and he included the peoples' e-mail addresses too.
This is, of course, akin to a pre-schooler trying to get out of trouble for eating paste by pointing at the kid across the classroom who's beating someone up for their lunch money. "You think what Josh said was stupid and hateful? Look at what these
people are saying!" But he took it a step further by posting e-mail addresses, pushing the people who had contacted him privately into the public spotlight in order to punish them. Great idea, Mark. Hey, why not post Josh's e-mail address while you're at it. Then people will be able to respond to him directly, just like anybody who reads your blog can now respond to the people who contacted you.
Mind you, the posting of those e-mails was preceded by the following statement: "Josh realizes his comments were wrong, he understands why people are upset. He knows he has made a mistake, has apologized and will work with us . Beyond that, its a private issue." A private
issue, huh? So why draw even more attention to it with this blog post? And does Mark really retain the right to declare something private when he's attempting to very publically humilate others?
Who knows. Maybe, just maybe, it's not a question of Josh Howard's personal stupidity. Maybe it's a question of the Mavericks' organizational stupidity.
Labels: Josh Howard, Mark Cuban, stupidity