clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Paul Shirley's thoughts on Haiti causing some trouble

Paul Shirley, who appeared in 18 games during his NBA career, has been let go by ESPN after posting his opinions on Haiti on another platform.

The long letter describes why he is declining to donate any money to the rebuilding efforts down there after the devastating earthquake.

Shirley prefaces his argument by saying that his views put him in a “minuscule minority.” His point, condensed of course, is that he doesn’t believe the money will be put to good use.

“I haven’t donated to the Haitian relief effort for the same reason that

I don’t give money to homeless men on the street,” he writes. “Based on past

experiences, I don’t think the guy with the sign that reads “Need

You’re Help” is going to do anything constructive with the dollar I

might give him. If I use history as my guide, I don’t think the people

of Haiti will do much with my money either.”“Shouldn’t much of the responsibility for the disaster lie with the victims of that disaster,” he continues.

“Before the reader reaches for his or her blood pressure medication,

he should allow me to explain. I don’t mean in any way that the

Haitians deserved their collective fate. And I understand that it is

difficult to plan for the aftermath of an earthquake. However, it is

not outside the realm of imagination to think that the citizens of a

country might be able to: A) avoid putting themselves into a situation

that might result in such catastrophic loss of life. And B) provide

for their own aid, in the event of such a catastrophe.”

OK, clearly not the position most people are publicly taking, but let’s not kid ourselves. There are many people who feel this way, but aren’t being vocal about it because it sounds terrible.

This isn’t what I’m thinking, but to assume others aren’t is naive.

ESPN apparently thinks these writings necessitate them cutting ties with Shirley.

They’ve released a statement saying as much.

He was a part-time freelance contributor. The views he expressed on

another’s site of course do not at all reflect our company’s views on

the Haiti relief efforts. He will no longer contribute to ESPN.

Admittedly, we don’t have all the facts about Shirley’s relationship with ESPN, but do you think what he wrote is just cause to dump him?