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Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 at 9:15 am  |  8 responses

Carmelo Anthony: NBA Players ‘Not Allowed’ to Be Outspoken During Lockout


‘Melo makes an unfortunate comparison to Muhammad Ali when discussing NBA players and their right to speak openly during the lockout. From NBA.com: “[Carmelo] Anthony said Sunday that there is no problem with communication between the union and players. He just doesn’t see a regular role for the star players. ‘We done tried it,’ Anthony said. ‘You saw me at a lot of meetings. You see CP. You saw ‘Bron at a couple of meetings. But right now, the same thing just keeps going back and forth, so we don’t know how powerful we are at this moment. We’ll just see what happens. We support Billy 100 percent; we support D-Fish 100 percent. My main thing is that we’ve just got to stick together. As players, we’re sticking together. And in the meantime, keep doing stuff like this. Keep having basketball games, keep playing, keep giving the fans what they want. It’s not everything they want, because they want a season. But, hey, it’s something.’ It was shortly after that that my man Michael Tillery (who, by the way, disagrees with me that the stars couldn’t put their own run together), from the terrific website The Starting Five, asked Anthony why the star players don’t speak out like the NFL’s players did during the NFL lockout. ‘We’re not allowed,’ Anthony said. ‘I mean, everybody has their own opinion. You hear people talk here and there. But nobody comes out and says what they really want to say. That’s just the society we live in.’ He laughed a little. And, then: ‘Athletes today are scared to make Muhammad Ali-type statements.’ Say what? Forget for a second that Ali got in trouble (with some) for his vocal opposition to the Vietnam War, for refusing induction into the Army and for not only becoming a Muslim, but a Muslim who supported the controversial teaching of Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad until Muhammad’s death in 1975. Kind of big things. And by comparison, Anthony was asked about speaking up on a labor dispute involving millionaire athletes and billionaire owners. Kind of little things, in the grand scheme. What on earth could be controversial about a star player expressing his opinion, whatever it is, on a lockout that directly involved him, his livelihood and his family’s future? Does anyone really think Nike or Converse or McDonald’s or any of the dozens of corporate partners that love them some James and ‘Melo are going to end their associations with the very guys that make them millions? I had to follow up. Why would Anthony believe that he or other prominent athletes couldn’t speak their minds? ‘I don’t know, man,’ he said. ‘I really can’t answer that question. I don’t know. But they can’t really say what they want to say.’”

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  • A Hood

    ‘Athletes today are scared to make Muhammad Ali-type statements’

    This is a quote from Nas and the Distant Relatives album and it is exactly right. Athletes today are to worried about their endorsements and life after basketball to speak up about what is really happening.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    He isn’t comparing the lockout to all the BS Ali had to endure in the 60s, all he is saying is that athletes aren’t cut from the same cloth as Ali (wasn’t afraid to speak his mind regardless of it being highly controversial) To a certain extent he’s right, everyone knows what the NBA players really want to say; it’s all the Owner’s fault and they are the greedy ones, but they can’t because the media would skewer them.
    The only player to say something along those lines is a retired one (Shaq).

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER

    READ BETWEEN THE LINES, WHAT HE’S SAYING IS, THEY RECOGNIZE STERN’S ABILITY TO WACK-A-MOLE THEM WHENEVER HE CHOOSES. THEY KNOW THEY HAVE TO TREAD LIGHTLY.

  • AD

    these athletes are trained not 2 say anything thats why… their supposed to be “like mike” which means smile, do commercials ad act like whereliving in heaven….. If the athletes like lebron spoke about what really goes in in Nike then imagin how much damage will be done to that company……. Time may be different but there still hard

  • shane

    yeah, stern would destroy anyone that says anything out there after the league gets going again. stern is a good businessman, but you’d have to be a moron to see that his power over the game goes further than it should. certain players get better treatment, bigger markets get better treatment, and only a handful of teams get a ring. do you think he would let orlando trade dwight howard to portland or memphis for a bunch of their younger athleetes? or do you think he would force orlando to trade howard to the lakers for some bynum-esque scrub so he can keep doing what he’s doing.

  • http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7021031/the-nets-nba-economics Allenp

    Nah, he’s talking about fans and the media.
    He’s acknowledging the truth about America. You toe the line, or you pay the price.
    There is a price to be paid for speaking your mind, particularly when your thoughts deviate from the mainstream opinion.
    Now, saying “allowed” is wrong. They can do what they want, but none of them want to jeopardize that money.

  • Red Star

    I think there might be some truth to what he’s saying!

  • JerseyJayhawks

    Melo can say whatever he wants. He’s the truth! And why would he jeopardize all of that money? Im not specifically saying that Allenp is one, but people are hyprocrits man. IF ANYONE of us had Melo Money, we’d be falling in line the same way the rest of the the elites are. I don’t care how much they have, its not like your gonna risk millions of dollars of income in order to bash something that you’re only going to have to appologize for later. That would be risking more money than you can win back. Kind of like betting baseball…its just not worth it! Smile for the cameras Melo. The Garden will be poppin’ again before you know it!!! KNICKS(since FOREVER!)…all you bang wagon fans start packing for Brooklyn!!

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