Wealthy people like to buy expensive seats so that they can sit courtside at professional basketball games. And when I say ‘courtside’, I am not kidding. They are right on the side of the playing area right near the coaches and substitute players. Why they would want to do this is not clear to me since you can probably see better from a few rows back in the raised seats. You also run the real risk of a 250 lb player barreling right into you as they chase a ball that goes out of bounds and causing you serious injury. Apparently the tickets warn you of that possibility but perhaps the desire to be seen on TV is enough for people to take that risk.
But being that proximate to the action is not enough for some of these jerks who think that they can meddle in the game (like rapper Drake) and now we have Mark Stevens, a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors who abused Kyle Lowry, an opposing team player, who had crashed into the crowd.
Corbin Smith says that Stevens’ behavior is emblematic of what is wrong with the billionaire class.
Last night, while he was diving for a loose ball, Lowry found himself crashing into the front row, a common occurrence in the NBA—especially in the heat of a wild playoff row. While lifting himself up, an older, grey-haired man in a blue Warriors polo shirt took the opportunity to shove Lowry’s arm and curse at him:
One source claims Stevens told Lowry, several times, “Go fuck yourself.” https://t.co/ijLgQqgONA
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) June 6, 2019
Mark Stevens will be shamed into apologizing in the coming days, presumably. His PR team will train him for an interview, where he will try to say all the right things to make himself look good, to shore up his reputation with the public—his peers probably won’t give a shit—and try to maintain his ownership stake in the Warriors. Don’t believe him. That unhinged guy who felt entitled to shove someone because he’s a rich dick who can afford the buy-in that gets him courtside seats at a Finals game is the real dude, the manifestation of all the dudes who wield wealth like an Infinity Gauntlet to impose their will on the lives of working people. He has no respect for Kyle Lowry or for anyone outside his bubble.
The NBA has issued a statement that it has banned Stevens from all games while they review the incident. Meanwhile Axios, which broke the Stevens news, reported that he’s been banned from Oracle Arena for the remainder of the NBA Playoffs, and might be forced to sell his stake in the team. But even if that happens, he’ll still get a payout and make a tidy profit on his investment, seeing how much the team’s value has skyrocketed in the wake of this run of titles. It ends up not mattering, in the wash—money can get you a car, a new computer, a nice bottle of wine, but only wealth, true wealth, can buy you the ability to act like a giant shithead in front of millions of people and experience no real material consequences for your behavior.
Yep, that is exactly right. Rich people think that they have earned the right to be jerks.
Stevens has been banned from NBA games for one year and fined $500,000 but the feeling is that this is not enough. There are calls for him to be banned for life and to be forced to sell his stake in the team.
johnson catman says
Fuck that! The privileged, racist bigot should be charged with assault and have to sell his stake AND donate any profit he makes on the sale to a worthy cause like domestic violence prevention in addition to the fine and a lifetime ban to ANY NBA event.
Exactly why are those exposed seats there anyway? It looks incredibly unsafe for both the fans and the players. (And don’t say “because money”, in every other major league sport there’s some sort of physical barrier between the two.)
Make the crime fit the criminal?
Half a million for a very mild shove? Bizarre.
Sam N says
@4, you do realize he has filthy amount of wealth, right? That half million is a mere slap on the wrist for him. This is a problem with extraordinary inequality in wealth of our times. A $50 fine would hurt the bottom 10% in the USA worse. How would you discourage a wealthy prick like that from behaving similarly disgracefully in the future?
Yes, but I’m of the opinion that punishments should be in line with the offense… and this is not even a crime.
Sam N says
He is not being punished for a ‘crime’. He is being punished by the NBA for being a member of that association and acting in a disgraceful manner toward a player of an opposing team in a game against the team the offender has a stake in. Given the circumstances (interfering with a game, riling up a player to his own benefit), I feel the punishment is not harsh enough. I suspect it was triangulated to appear severe to placate those that would prefer Stevens be ejected from the association and forced to sell his stake in the Golden State Warriors. This is the NBA finals.