A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Stephen A. Smith somehow does not know what a scab is

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Wow. Y’know, it’s fashionable to talk about how so-called experts are actually idiots, but I tend to have a great deal of respect for most of them. Basketball journalists, while they tend to have problems really understand math, they make up for that with a lot of first hand experience and access.

Stephen A. Smith just revealed himself to be shockingly ignorant. In a column talking about Deron Williams signing with a foreign team, he says this:

Exactly. A union — any union — is supposed to personify that (unity). They’re supposed to exude togetherness as opposed to coming across as a filthy-rich scab looking to do nothing else aside from bloating his bank account.

For anyone who doesn’t know, a scab is someone who crosses picket lines to accept an offer from the management the union protests against. A union’s strength is based on preventing management from successfully running their company, so if management can get people to help them run the company during the work stoppage this is very damaging to the union.

Deron Williams is doing nothing like this. He’s going to go play for a competitor to the NBA. This technically weakens the NBA, and the money Williams earns certainly isn’t going to make him any more likely to cave to NBA demands.

For Smith to get confused on something so basic about labor-management dynamics boggles the mind. Smith has always been a bombastic commentator whose success has been more about style than substance, but this is something I would expect a decent high school student to know. For an ESPN multi-media star to have this confusion is incredibly embarassing.

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Written by Matt Johnson

July 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm

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