A week after a heated exchange on ESPN between ex-NBA players J.J. Redick and Kendrick Perkins, HBO sports commentator Bomani Jones weighed in on the incident. He argued that Redick was in the wrong for "talking over" Perkins due to Perkins being black, and that it was acceptable for Perkins to anticipate racism in this situation, "even if he got it wrong," according to a report from Fox News.
During a discussion about the NBA's MVP award, Perkins claimed that the MVP voting panel is "80% white" and insinuated that the voters are racially biased, favoring white players for the award. In response, Redick argued that the issue with ESPN's "First Take" is its tendency to "fabricate narratives that don't correspond with reality."
Two days later, ESPN host Molly Qerim issued a clarification on the network's behalf, stating that the MVP voting panel "is much more diverse than what was portrayed by Kendrick Perkins."
On Jones' HBO show "Game Theory," he supported Perkins for viewing the matter from a racial perspective and critiqued Redick for his manner of response.
"If you try to make the argument that something doesn’t involve race, might not be the best look to talk over a black man on live television, tell him his argument was flat-out wrong, and cut him off over and over again," Jones said, before expanding to talk about white people as a whole.
"Let’s be fair, man. White people aren’t always racially biased. But you can never be 100% sure," he concluded.
Jones went on, justifying Perkins' remarks even though he conceded that they were incorrect:
"You’re acting like Perk’s crazy for bringing it up. That’s what’s crazy. This is America, Jack. And I get that Perk and JJ are just talking about the NBA MVP. But chastising us for saying something might be racist in the land where racism was perfected, that’s how you get pats on the back from folks I know JJ Redick does not want on his side," the former ESPN employee explained.
"Even if he got it wrong about three different ways. You can understand why if LeBron James and Michael Jordan never won three MVPs in a row, it looks a little weird when Nikola Jokic, a white man with the physique of a baguette, wins three times in a row. And the last time someone won three times in a row it was a white guy with the physique of a wet Newport [cigarette]," Jones continued.
In his subsequent remarks, Jones alluded to Larry Bird, who is broadly regarded as one of the greatest players in history. Bird secured the MVP award for three consecutive years, from 1984 to 1986.
Here's the resolution pic.twitter.com/ZZb4Du1MhH
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) March 7, 2023
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