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In Sports

NBA dress code controversy barely worth commentary (but here it is)


I am not happy to admit this, but I have recently worn the same pair of shorts to work for three consecutive days.

Yes, "work."

Oh, I changed the underwear and t-shirts. But the shorts are just my favorites. Fit nice and loose, good pockets. I'm sure you have a pair like this yourself.

And since I work in radio, in the mostly pre-dawn, pre-business day hours, nobody cares. The warm Washington summer days are coming quickly to an end (yes, I know it's already cold for you guys in Milwaukee), and I figure I'm gonna wear these suckers out until the leaves fall and my knees start quivering.

Life is pretty good that way. Not as good, however, if somebody were to offer me a raise of $12 million per year. You can dress me up in a clown suit at that price.

Pity the poor NBA player. His boss has come down with a new "office policy." Dress up. Or pay up. I'm sure you have heard about it already, unless you are officially dead as a sports fan. In over 14 years in sports radio, I can never remember an issue of such non-consequence to the game itself having ever garnered as much airtime, column inches, or anger all around as this.

And the millionaires seemed to be the angriest of anybody. You should have heard them protest this past week. It was about as bad as a 14 year old girl whose mom just vetoed the belly-button exposing pair of hot-pants as "school clothes."

Talk about strange bedfellows, too! Allen Iverson and Tim Duncan, finally found a cause they could rally around. Iverson from the nation of tattooed street-hip, and Duncan from the breezy world of island-casual, equally abhorred the thought of putting on some "Sunday best."

Meanwhile, Spike Lee and Charles Barkley also agreed. Agreed that David Stern's "Men's Warehouse Manifesto" was a GOOD THING! What were the Vegas odds on that?

Spike Lee told The Washington Post in an interview:

"I think David Stern was right on this issue. What are all those kids wearing the night they're drafted and they shake (the commissioner's) hand? Suits. In corporate America, you have dress codes. Let's be honest: Image is everything. And they're trying to change the image of the league. Between the fight in Detroit last year and other perceptions, they've realized they have a public relations issue. They've set out to change it."

Charles Barkley told the Los Angeles Times ...

"Young black kids dress like NBA players. Unfortunately, they don't get paid like NBA players. So when they go out in the real world, what they wear is held against them. If a well-dressed white kid and a black kid wearing a 'do-rag and throwback jersey came to me in a job interview, I'd hire the white kid. That's reality."

Now, I'd call those opinions pretty well thought out, and on point. Made by two black men, not afraid to mince words.

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Talkbacks

OMCreader | Dec. 2, 2005 at 5:18 p.m. (report)

racer x said: exactly! the people dont matter to a business, its all about the money. if the nba can kepp / attract more sponsors, we all know they're happy.

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OMCreader | Nov. 4, 2005 at 12:10 p.m. (report)

Abe said: TO WTF... If you had news media following you on your travel routes and showing pictures of you arriving at work, you better believe that your employer would be mandating what appearance you present at those times. To the athletes... you poor, overpaid souls. Must be rough getting paid millions to do what the rest of us spend our FREETIME doing for fun.

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OMCreader | Nov. 2, 2005 at 1:11 p.m. (report)

Denise said: If the players have to dress up for practice, big deal. I mean they get to dress however they want in the off season. Kids need to be able to look up to them. Our kids need more positive role models.. They get paid so much they should be happy to do that. By the way GO BUCKS< Last nite Rocked!!

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OMCreader | Nov. 2, 2005 at 12:19 p.m. (report)

JJ said: I think that the players should be able to dress however they want. They are the ones that play the game and bring in the money. Also most of the players come from inner cities envoiroments where that is how it is known to dress. I don't think that it is fair that someone wants to change a players apperence that is part of who they are. Fans love them even though they dress in baggie clothes and have their hair braided. It doesn't matter to us as long as they can play the game of basketball not the game of dress up. One more thing if kids are going to interviews dressed all "ghetto" that is on there parents and just common sense by the individual.

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OMCreader | Oct. 29, 2005 at 1:35 a.m. (report)

Middle class white guy said: Chester - Do news men follow you around all day with cameras when you're not at work? When people talk about you do they preface your name with your title like "ABC Corporation accountant..."? The players union agreed to this in the collective bargaining agreement. They want to increase the percentage of their cut, but they don't want to make any sacrifices to get it. All their anger is misdirected. If they're unhappy with the dress code, they should direct their anger at their union representative, Billy Hunter. All the contempt for David Stern is misguided. He represents the NBA, not the players. When they sit down at the bargaining table, he's the enemy.

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