The Celtic organization is one to be respected with its rich history; timeless roster of highly-esteemed athletes; and hard-fought NBA championships accumulated over the years. Legendary athletes such as Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Bob Cousy, and others were not only great athletes but exemplary human beings worthy of anyone’s respect.
Recently, this highly-regarded reputation was put into question and potentially jeopardized. After a Celtic practice on Monday, October 4, 2010, Paul Pierce, Glen Davis, Nate Robinson, Kevin Garnett and Shaquille O'Neal created the following video in the Celtic locker room and posted it on YouTube
To be candid, there is absolutely nothing funny or acceptable about this video; it promotes a cultural disrespect, reveals a dire disparity of professionalism, and hints to an acceptance of intellectual inferiority within the Celtic organization. It is completely outrageous to see supposedly professional, grown men conducting themselves in such a fashion and the Celtic organization allowing them to do so by failing to restrain such acts.
This video reflects poorly on the NBA League as a whole. These players are admired and respected by children all around the country. The NBA’s “Read to Achieve” and “Stay in School” public relations’ agenda is being tainted by such buffoonery conduct. Even though many people in high-ranking positions don’t request to be influential public figures or desire having people admire them, the truth of the matter is, they are. And as such, these individuals must be cognizant of their acts even behind closed doors. At all times these individuals’ actions and behaviors will be scrutinized whether they like it or not, and held to a higher expectation of civility and political correctness. It comes with the territory.
Many say that this video was simply players “goofing off and having fun” after practice, “boys being boys”, and that no offense should be taken because the athletes were only singing/rapping along with the lyrics of the song. The liberal use of the n-word is despicable, degrading, and unacceptable no matter who says it, when it’s said, and how it’s said. Even if these representatives of the Boston Celtics were just “having fun”, they made an absolutely poor choice in filming the mocking portrayal of ignorance and distributing via YouTube. Moreover, if they wanted to “show their true colors” as shameful as they are, the players should have kept their indecency within the reigns and privacy of the locker room.
Such conduct isn’t typical of Black African Americans and only serves as a slap in the face to the black community. These types of acts bring preventable backlash and scrutiny upon the NBA and Celtic organizations by dignified, culturally-prideful, respectable Blacks and African Americans: By allowing this type of behavior (visible lack of respect) and failing to stop the distribution of this video, it’s as though the organization condones or promotes such obnoxious acts and disrespect for the Black or African-American race. Even if the act is being carried out by black men—an even sadder and deeper fact to grasp, it occurred on Celtic/NBA grounds using Celtic/NBA resources, which, again, supports the notion that the professional league may actually agree with or find no fault in the acts.
Whether these young men like the idea or not, they have a responsibility to themselves, their community and to all the youth who view them as role models. Professional athletes and anyone else in high-level, influential roles are responsible to carry themselves in a manner exemplifying maturity, vigilance and a loyalty to decent behavior at all times. There isn’t anything honorable, respectable or acceptable about their behaviors or this video.