The Untold Truth Of Bryant Gumbel

Throughout Bryant Gumbel’s long and respected career, he has never shied away from controversy regardless of the consequences. Former commissioners of the NBA and NFL, David Stern and Paul Tagliabue, respectively, are two people firmly established in the sports industry who were especially angered by Gumbel’s comments.

On his show, “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” he not only called Stern egocentric but also said (via Awful Announcing), “[He] has always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer, treating NBA men as if they were his boys.” In response, the commissioner told Nunyo Demasio in a podcast interview, “My reaction was that Bryant Gumbel is an idiot and that I considered it a badge of honor. He was repeating something that the players’ representatives had said in the middle of a lockout. He was just regurgitating something.” Stern also added, “I have no respect for him, so that didn’t upset me at all.”

Gumbel also sparked controversy when he not only insinuated that the NFL owners were too greedy but also called the Players Association executive director, Gene Upshaw, a leashed pet. Afterward, outgoing commissioner, Tagliabue, told reporters (via USA Today) that Gumbel’s comments “are about as uninformed as anything I’ve read or heard in a long, long time, and quite inexcusable because they are subjects about which you can and should be better informed.” Even though he was not fired from the NFL Network at the time for his comments, Gumbel resigned just a couple years later in 2008.

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