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Bryant Gumbel dismisses Winter Olympics: 'A Marketing Plan' - Page 2

post #31 of 86
Although I think a pp was right and this isn't about race but rather a good golf weekend he's missing somewhere, I do think it's unfortunate that Mr. Gumbel isn't using his position of power, wealth, and authority to help get some more people of color into the Winter Games.

Personally, I think Bryant should be required to speak as the keynote at the NBS gathering this year as *punishment* for his statement. From what I understand it's a great organization, and they are actually trying to get people of color on the hill.

For those of you who haven't encountered the NBS and are interested, here is what they do, as described on their website:


Welcome to our website, where you will find information about the National Brotherhood of Skiers (NBS). The NBS is an absolutely awesome organization, one where you can participate and obtain camaraderie with thousands of African Americans, ski, snowboard and party with a PURPOSE. The NBS mission is to identify, develop, and support athletes of color who will win international and Olympic winter sports competitions representing the United States.

As you "point and click" your way through our website, we are delighted to share highlights about our youth, member clubs, events and much more. Although we have year round activities, our premiere activities occur during the winter; four regional winter events and one national Summit and a host of individual club trips. The NBS provides the opportunity for over 20,000 individuals to enjoy major resorts, various types of entertainment and experience first-hand alpine, snowboard and other competitions featuring nationally ranked athletes.

The Summit is the largest, continuously running ski convention in America. Organized and hosted by the National Brotherhood of Skiers (NBS) for each of the last 30 years, this event is unique to the winter sports industry. Unlike other ski weeks, in addition to winter sports access and competitions, this is event includes our annual meeting, a full program of night time parties, concerts, a formal dinner, non-ski activities, and youth camp. There is no other event like this. It is our primary, NATIONAL fund raiser which supports our mission through the Olympic Scholarship Fund and year round operations.

We deliver high quality events at reasonable cost that appeal to diverse audiences; winter sports enthusiasts, off mountain participants, singles, families, males and females, day and night participants, youth (beginning at age 5) and adults (Ages 25 - over 60). Our web site is designed to inform you about the mission and service of our member clubs, to convey our commitment as the leading urban winter sports organization. The NBS is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization committed to increasing participation in winter sports by providing the highest quality, lowest cost access to winter sports and entertainment for adults and youth throughout the United States, especially within and near cities. The NBS also draws participation from Europe.

The National Brotherhood of Skiers, Inc. (NBS) was founded in February 1973 in Aspen, Colorado and incorporated in 1975. The NBS began as thirteen black ski clubs from across the nation, which met annually to ski. Since that time the organization has grown to 84 clubs. The NBS has created youth ski development programs and encourages gifted young skiers toward national competition. Through our web site you will be able to communicate with our headquarters, see our sponsors, and link to regional activities and local club web sites. We are interested in providing the best possible service to you and welcome your feedback. Enjoy your visit to our site and come back often to receive late-breaking news, highlights, items of interest and reports of upcoming activities.

Andrea Yowman

National President

post #32 of 86
Originally Posted by Yuki

Has anyone pointed out to him that ESPN is showing freaking poker games?
Are you trying to say that poker players are not athletes?:
post #33 of 86
A lot of us here are quick of mind with very nimble fingers ... but ...

I'd better hold that thought!
post #34 of 86
Well, shoot, a majority of the country doesn't understand or care about pro football, but they just pretend to one day a year. I'm pretty sure the Super Bowl has a marketing plan attached to it somewhere.
post #35 of 86
Originally Posted by sjjohnston
Well, shoot, a majority of the country doesn't understand or care about pro football, but they just pretend to one day a year. I'm pretty sure the Super Bowl has a marketing plan attached to it somewhere.
Don't forget the Daytona 500
post #36 of 86
Originally Posted by Defcon
That may be the most ignorant, biased, borderline racist and just flat out stupid comment by anyone in the media, and that's saying something !!
I could not believe when he said that. I had it tivod and I did a double take and rewound it and listened again, yes he said it.
What a fool.
On another note, why is the Bill Johnson Segment not airing anymore in that episode? It says in the information that it would be Billy J but it was some segment on the white sox.
Anyone have any idea?
post #37 of 86
One more thing, I would let your comments be know to Real Sports. This guy is arrogant.
post #38 of 86
Originally Posted by loboskis
Are you trying to say that poker players are not athletes?:
Poker is only athletic when you don't pay up!:
post #39 of 86
"So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention,"

Does that mean that only blacks can be the world's greatest athletes?

Should I try not to laugh at the NBA when they say these are the world's greatest basketball players, despite the paucity of Indians on the New York Knicks?

What a racist bastard. They should call for his resignation. That's what they usually do when people make blatantly racist comments--oh wait a minute--he's black, so he's off the hook.

Could you imagine what would happen to Bob Costas if he said at the Olympics Men's 100m track: "These can't be the world's greatest athletes--they're all black!"

He is right, though, about no one giving a damn about most of the sports in the Winter Games, save figure skating, alpine skiing, hockey and half-pipe. But that's why we have the Olympics--so we can watch cool sports that we normally don't get to watch. No one particularly follows the track and field championships either. But no one would think of getting rid of that sport from the Olympics.

As for the Olympics being just a fancy marketing plan, at the foundation of it, all that "professoinal" sports basically boils down to is a fancy marketing plan. I'm surprised that Gumbel hasn't realized that by now.

post #40 of 86
I hate to beat a dead horse but here it goes. There is a huge grass roots movement to punish HBO and Mr Gumbel. Here is his full rant:

“Because [the Winter Olympics] are so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try too. Like try not to be incredulous when someone tries to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of Blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention. Try not to point out that something’s not really a sport if a pseudo-athlete waits in what’s called a “kiss and cry area” while some panel of subjective judges decides who won. And try to blot out all logic when announcers and sports writers pretend to care about the luge, the skeleton, the biathlon, and all those other events they don’t understand and totally ignore for all but three weeks every four years. Face it, these Olympics are little more than a marketing plan to fill space and sell time during the dreary days of February. So, if only to hasten the arrival of the day they’re done, and we can move on to March Madness, for God’s sake, let the Games begin.”

Let HBO know how you feel.
post #41 of 86
You have to give him extra credit for useing the word 'paucity' in a sentence .
post #42 of 86
I have been at Whistler when the Brotherhood skis there. It is awesome!!
post #43 of 86
Well, Gumbell as a fan of American style sports like Baseball and Golf is probably not use to seeing so many lean, muscular powerfully built men and women athletes so He doesn't recognize their pursuits as sports--If only Hermann Meier Would develop some of the paucity for paunch around his midriff Mr. Gumbell might see his similarity to some of his favorite 'athletes'.

Oh, as for the GOP convention ccrack--I'm glad to see that the the Republicans have reached out and built so large a constituency of Asians---or is there only one way to be multi-cultural???

post #44 of 86
Men's Superstars® results
1973 - Bob Seagren, Pole Vault
1974 - Kyle Rote, Jr., Soccer
1975 - O.J. Simpson, Football
1976 - Kyle Rote, Jr., Soccer
1977 - Kyle Rote, Jr., Soccer
1978 - Wayne Grimditch, Water Skiing
1979 - Greg Pruitt, Football
1980 - Charles White, Football
1981 - Renaldo Nehimiah, Hurdles
1982 - Renaldo Nehimiah, Hurdles
1983 - Renaldo Nehimiah, Hurdles
1984 - Tom Petranoff, Javelin
1985 - Mark Gastineau, Football
1986 - Renaldo Nehimiah, Football
1987 - Herschel Walker, Football
1988 - Herschel Walker, Football
1989 - Willie Gault, Football
1990 - Willie Gault, Football
1991 - Kelly Gruber, Baseball
1992 - Mike Powell, Long Jump
1993 - Dave Johnson, Decathlon
1994 - Dave Johnson, Decathlon
1998 - Jason Sehron, Football
1999 - Jason Sehorn, Football
2000 - Jason Sehorn, Football
2001 - Hermann Maier, Alpine Skiing
2002 - Bode Miller, Alpine Skiing
2003 - Jeremy Bloom, Freestyle Skiing
2004 - Johnnie Mosely
2005-2006 mattWoss
post #45 of 86
mr. gumbel might want to choose his words and thoughts more carefully in the future.
i belive that ancient greece had an extreme 'paucity' of non-slave african people.
were we to follow mr. gumbel's 'logic', wellllllllllllll.....................
post #46 of 86
Has anyone pointed out to him that ESPN is showing freaking poker games?
I score this one from Yuki a 10 in both style and content.
post #47 of 86
Originally Posted by yuki
Has anyone pointed out to him that ESPN is showing freaking poker games?
Originally Posted by nolo
I score this one from Yuki a 10 in both style and content.
I'm all in:
post #48 of 86
Originally Posted by skideeppow
Men's Superstars® results
Funny, I don't see any synchronized swimmers on the list, despite it being a Summer Olympics sport.

Oh, wait, there's a paucity of males in synchronized swimming. It's almost like a NOW convention or something.
post #49 of 86
The National Brotherhood of Skiers was up at Banff yesterday. There were an awful lot of pretty skilled skiers there if you ask me, and judging by the ski club crests on a number of folk's jackets good representation from across the U.S.

Interesting to note that the pusher in our (Canadian) lead olympic two-man bobsled team just got his citizenship (Jamaican immigrant) in time for the olympics. I suspect that the current ethnic imbalance in winter sports probably reflects differential opportunity more than anything else.
post #50 of 86
Gumbel's wordsa are attrocious.
He needsto be held to account.
pleasecontact HBO and ask other snow sports enthusiasts to as well.
post #51 of 86
Originally Posted by vlad
gonna make a new olmpic event for gumbel: the oreo speedwagon......
Do you write comedy
post #52 of 86
Of course, they never invite pro squash players to the Superstars, since they would steal the show.
post #53 of 86
Regarding "brothers" not skiing,"I go back to the late 60s when I was the only "brother" on the mountain, at places like K-mart, Sugarbush, MRG, Stowe, Pico, Glen Ellen, etc, etc. Was I a little self-conscious, the only black face skiing with a group of white friends from the Hartford area ? Yeah, more than a little, actually.

Why did I keep doing it? Everyone on this site knows the answer to that one: this is the best sport in the world that you can do with your clothes on, that's why--and I wasn't going to allow anyone or anything to dissuade me from doing it. Those of you of a certain age will remember the severity of the social stresses in the late 60s. Certainly not all of them had a racial origin, but it was not always easy to be the only black face on the hill. Hey, don't get me wrong: noone EVER bothered me in the least--it's just that you never, ever, get used to being so conspicuous in a group.

A smart guy once told me: There are certain elements of the white society who will try to put you in a box and then label the box--don't you cooperate in that by jumping voluntarily into that same box.

I guess Bryant Gumbel never tried anything new that wasn't already officially "black." In that case he's in that very same box my friend spoke about. The difference is that he jumped in willingly, closed the lid on himself and turned the lights out. Nobody did it to him--he did it to himself.

When Jabbar was asked once, during a winter Olympics whether he had ever skiied, he said, with a superior tone: "the only winter sport I know is basketball." Maybe that arrogant negative attitude is partly behind his being frozen out of coaching jobs in the NBA.

I still get noticed, these 30-odd years later, though much, much less, and hopefully as much for being a halfway decent (but striving toward LII) skier.

post #54 of 86
What a douche.

Lol. Yeah, because SOOOO many people follow gymnastics, decathalon, shotput, javelin, pole vaulting, ball room dancing, syncronized swimming etc...in between olympics too!

I want to put him on some DH boards and shove him down the olympic DH run and see if it is a sport or not.
post #55 of 86
Gumbel's words are attrocious.
He needs to be held to account.
Yes, let's lynch him! (So much for free speech.)

Anyway, it goes to show that being rich doesn't mean you're smart.

Anyway, the fact that there are a few "brothers" who ski doesn't mean that skiing isn't awfully white (and I am not talking about snow).
post #56 of 86

As a white guy in suburban America, I've had little opportunity to feel as you must feel on a regular basis, by being the minority of the group, but it does feel odd, even when you are readily accepted.

A little over a year ago, I was riding a century on my road bike, and ended up hooking up with a group of about 15 African Ameircans from 2 different cycling clubs who were making a beautiful pace line. I caught up to them and invited myself into the pace line and they were very willing to let me play. I did feel odd, but after going through a number of rotations and pulls, and pulling them up the last hill, when we came down the hill, most of them gave me a pat on the shoulder as I went back. It's a nice feeling to be accepted in a group of people that have some obvious other connection that you are not part of. Hopefully, your experiences skiing have left you feeling part of the skiing group (the majority), and not "the minority" because of your ski color. In my observation, it's always seemed that the skiing community is very color blind (how many sticks are on your feet is another story). I hope you are able to observe the same.
post #57 of 86
JohnH, I appreciate your post very much. Yeah, your experience with the cyclists is pure humanity at its best: comradeship directly from the heart that makes no unnessary detours in the brain, where all kinds of lethal diseases can lurk, including bigotry. Shared appreciation of a passion is the best leveler, equalizer, and communicator, across all kinds of cultural and ethnic barriers. And I will say again, not one skier at any ski area at any time ever gave me any sh**. A guy named Gus Sunne, who owned a ski shop on Asylum Street in Hartford, more years ago than I want to think about, advised me in his Norwegian accent, as I was purchasing ski equipment as a newbie: "Skiers are friendly people; so when you are invited, just accept." As I think back on it, he may have sensed my wariness as a young black kid out of college going into a sport that was mostly white and was telling me that, hey, people who like to go up a mountain in the middle of winter and enjoy a great outdoor sport are pretty damn good people, all in all, and to try to give people the benefit of the doubt as much as possible. I have always done that and have frankly never been disappointed.

As an interesting sidelight, in the beginning, I got more stares at the Killingtons and Stowes than I did at the smaller places which tended to be more frequented by the Vermont locals.

I guarantee that the guys you cycled with had the very same approach: "Hey, this guy's white, but he's a great guy, and by the way, he sure can ride"

Maybe I'm dumb, but it is amazing that a guy who is as terminally middle-class and apparently educated as Bryant Gumbel can still be a bigot. The enduring lesson that I see in his remarks is that hate is a choice, repeat, hate is a a choice--he has no excuse of upbringing, deprivation, poverty, etc, etc. (which by the way I take seriously as well--they just don't apply in his case.)

So, yeah, John, I hit the lift with whoever is single and talk skiing all the way up. 90 % of the time, it's just some skiers yakking and the other 10%, as far as I'm concerned, the guy is just a quiet person and that's OK, too. Life is too short to look for trouble; there's enough out there that'll find you.

post #58 of 86
The bottom line is Bryant doesn't know what he is talking about and he is just showing his ass again.
post #59 of 86
How about we take an Epic poll: which Gumbel brother do you want over your house to watch a game and have a few frosties with?

post #60 of 86
Originally Posted by JoeB
How about we take an Epic poll: which Gumbel brother do you want over your house to watch a game and have a few frosties with?

A. The other Gumbel

B. Anyone but Bryant

C. I'd rather ski than watch a game
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