In this video clip, Jalen Rose, the former NBA star and current ESPN basketball analyst, calls out noted sports “hater” Skip Bayless about Skip’s over-the-line critiques of professional athletes and Skip’s fraudulent claims of high school basketball stardom. I wanted to write about this when it happened in April, but I was recovering from my bout of Bells Palsy. However, the lessons learned from this episode to good to not briefly explore.
I agree with Jalen that Skip’s tone and manner of commentating is often too personal and classless. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with commentators having and voicing strong opinions, but I do believe that most situations call for more tact and sophistication than often exhibited by Skip and other TV talking heads.
More importantly, this video highlights the level of incivility, disrespect, and inappropriate rhetoric that has become rampant in our society. Unfortunately, our society rewards the most outrageous, loudest, and vulgar behavior and language with high ratings, going viral, or “likes” by “followers” and “friends.” For instance, the highest rating shows on TV constantly are profanity-laced reality shows, and the highest rated radio show host survived after calling an innocent female law student a “slut.” In fact, as some have written, Skip Bayless probably will find other ways to embarrass himself as long as such antics increase his ratings.
Additionally, the video clearly proves that you must be very careful with what you post, tweet, or email. Once something is put on-line, it is there forever and has the potential to come back to hurt you. This is especially true concerning false or misleading information about yourself that now can be almost instantly verified even if it is from 40 years ago, as Skip Bayless embarrassingly learned.
Bottom line, we need to remember what my grandmother always taught me: 1) do unto others as you would like to be treated; and 2) always tell the truth.
Damario Solomon-Simmons, M.Ed., J.D., a former NCAA D-1 student-athlete, is the managing partner of SolomonSimmonSharrock & Associates law firm and an adjunct professor of African & African-American Studies at the University of Oklahoma. His life’s mission is to inform, inspire, and empower and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or @solospeakstruth.