Saturday, April 17, 2021

Concerning Kevin Garnett, Open Letter to David Stern, Commissioner of the NBA.

January 2, 2013 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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( Dear Mr. Stern:

I write you this letter as the president of the United Voices for A Common Cause, Inc.  We are dedicated to protecting the civil rights and dignity for all people.  It concerns me that n-word usage by the Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett and other NBA players has taken place during the course of NBA games without any apparent serious consequences.  The fact that these players are African Americans should not matter.  If a black or white dog bites, it hurts a child regardless of its color or breed.  As with use of the n-word, each time the term is used by anyone, regardless of their color, it insults self-respecting African Americans and adversely affects the community.  To remedy this situation, we are asking that strict rules and fines be implemented and enforced each time an NBA player uses the n-word.

I am aware of the many contributions made by Kevin Garnett and other NBAKevin-David players to children’s programs around the country in general; however, their magnanimous contributions are nullified by their unconscionable willingness to invoke use of the abominable n-word.  NBA teams need to be reminded that children are fans of the sport as well and are easily influenced by the demeanor of these players whom many view as role models.

We are definitely concerned with the negative impact that n-word usage has on all children.  There is irony in television commercial campaigns that use black NBA players to discourage use of derogatory slurs towards the gay/lesbian community, yet deaf ears are turned towards use of the n-word.  Just a couple of years ago, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers was fined $100,000 for using the f-word; to eliminate any practice of double standards and promote respect for all people, Kevin Garnett and any other player who uses the pejorative n-word term should be fined as the term is an insult to a race of people.

When we see people throw the rocks of n-word usage into the crowds and those reckless rocks hit innocent children, we cannot stand by quietly and tolerate this.  When we see the bosses of n-word users do nothing, we wonder how people in such dignified positions could allow this type of indignity to flow from their organization.  No athlete or celebrity has the right to disrespect children or any given community in general.  Slander against children and contributing to the delinquency of minors are wrong.  Respondeat superior exists when bosses appear to consent to such conduct by saying nothing to seriously deal with the problem.

If we are unable to come to agreement on this matter, we intend to rally little children and parents to write letters and march in protest to clearly convey the message and seriousness of this crime against humanity.  Many parents and children are hurt, disrespected and insulted by n-word usage.  Perhaps individuals like Kevin Garnett may want to fight for the right to disrespect little children, but we hope that you do not agree.  We request that you respond to this letter by January 20, 2013 and offer a solution.  This letter will be shared publicly and so will your response.  We feel that you care and we look forward to your response.  We, same as others, love our community, love and respect all children.  Together we can be a part of a solution.


H. Lewis Smith

This talented brother is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. ( );  and author of “Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word“.

Also follow Mr. Smith on Twitter:  



8 Responses to “Concerning Kevin Garnett, Open Letter to David Stern, Commissioner of the NBA.”
  1. Bronxstar says:

    I don’t think anyone wants the NBA to be the end all where civility is concerned in reference to the n-word, but neither does the gay community in reference to gay slurs but here we are and that is exactly what has been done-The NBA has decided that gay slurs are now off limits to it’s players just like extra gold chains and flashy dressing when attending a game you aren’t playing in-Might this be in part, due to the admission of players that now declare they are gay? and if so…why isn’t the n-word off limits since there have obviously been black players for some time now…I think it’s only fair to be objective and not instead talk with “fork tongue” we all know if it’s good for the goose…it’s good for the gander and by not doing it…the NBA as always..has Never Been Accountable..and looks like it still isn’t..#itisadamnshame

  2. Your time could have been spent on other things, right I agree, the use of the N word was not created by A A nor will it ever be put to bed. The obligatory use of this between meaning simply states an identify, serious but not serious enough request to say as the same party, I agree or disagree, point (N) word, between A A is trust as well.
    So don’t blame me it has these values, which are not what the word from another race can indulge, it’s as inclusive as other derogatory ethnic words. But again some how it’s held over our heads to shame or make us bow not bewteen comrades. Many of us used the word before it was a prekurer to defend it use, by A A, you probably used it as well and it possibly got you motivated enough to work and removed you because of Economic or Scholar which includes classism. This word is bigger and smaller than any of us, and we have bigger and more urgent fignts. Love peace and soul

  3. nn says:

    Well said. The NBA doesn’t care though, sadly.

  4. RaTheGod

    Your point is well taken, without question there are some serious issues percolating throughout the Black community which needs to be resolved. However, to build a house you must first lay the foundation, there is no getting around that. To resolve the overriding issues in our community there MUST first be a foundation of RESPECT laid, there is no getting around that.

    Stop disrespecting one another and bury the n-word, then we can work on everything else. There is a reason why you don’t want to drop the n-word, a habit is hard to break and in the case of using the n-word a 400 year old slave habit stands in the way. And therein lies the problem, liberation and freedom from a word that still enslaves you to this very day. It all begins with SELF first, if you personally are a user of the n-word, you are part of the problem.

  5. RaTheGod says:

    Come on man. Cut the B.S. your time would’ve been better spent writing an open novel to the music industry for pushing stereotypes, a myriad of drugs, promiscuity, alcohol, materialism, gangster lifestyle, and stupidity(amongst other things) on the black youth. Seriously? NBA players saying the N word is what y’all are all up in arms about when these kids with kids are killing each other over twitter beef & “diss” songs??!!

  6. DaTruth says:


    You’re totally right this is an ogoing pathology in the black community, it’s bad enough when teenagers bahave this way but it’s even worst when it’s adults. I belivev this is one of the reasons why blacks in general will never be respected by other groups because we don’t even respect ourselves. Before we can progess this form of self hate must stop, just think no other race or ethnicity does this to itself but Black people.

  7. Lorenzo says:

    It’s really a shame that Black people collectively have dropped the ball when it comes to schooling, educating, and enlightening our people especially our children about issues that are significant and crucial to the well being and betterment of our people. As Terrance Amen says, it’s NOT the NBA’s job to enlighten or educate our people, however there’s something wrong with the fact that NBA players are fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for saying the word faggot, yet NOTHING is done when NBA players say the rude, disrespectful, vile etc. N word Ni**a/Ni**er.

  8. No matter how much money you have, it can’t buy you class. You either have it or you don’t. You were either taught morals and values or you weren’t. You either know your history or you don’t. You either want to learn about your history or you don’t. The NBA cares nothing about Black people except to continue to make money off of us. The bigger problem is we choose to use the word. If we stopped using it, no one else would use it.

    It’s not the NBA’s job to give us morals and values, except when it concerns them making more money. That’s why they put in place the dress code. We made the NBA look bad. That’s also why they put in the age limit, and one year college rule to stop players from going pro after high school. The colleges were losing money. We’re still working on the plantations Brothers and Sisters; we just don’t wear head scarfs and overalls. Now we wear blue and white collars. But we are getting paid, but compared to what?

    Black Unity means financial independence and happiness

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