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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/495488-No-thank-you-Mr-Hunter
Rated: 13+ · Book · Personal · #1148896
If I don't write about it, I might implode.
#495488 added December 19, 2015 at 11:44am
Restrictions: None
No thank you, Mr. Hunter.
After the violence Las Vegas experienced when the city hosted the NBA's 2007 All-Star Game, Billy Hunter, the executive director of the NBA Players Union, apparently grew concerned about whether or not New Orleans could handle hosting the 2008 All-Star Game. Hunter even threatened that he would go to court and sue to keep New Orleans from hosting the 2008 event. And so there New Orleans went again--into a spotlight of negativity.

Given the power of his position, I wished Mr. Hunter would have used his voice to help urge the federal government to better assist the city with some of its rebuilding efforts, particularly where law enforcement is concerned. Since he seemed so concerned about crime, perhaps Mr. Hunter could have visited New Orleans before he made his comments and then added his voice to the many voices already wondering why the federal government hasn't done more to help rebuild court rooms and police stations. Just last night, one of New Orleans' local news shows aired a story about how the building that once served as the New Orleans Police Department's Headquarters still sits gutted and unrepaired 18 months after the storm and levee breaches. But, Mr. Hunter doesn't get paid to be concerned about New Orleans and its residents. If the city wasn't slated to host the 2008 event, then Mr. Hunter probably wouldn't give a damn about New Orleans. I'm pretty sure he doesn't anyway, and hey, that's his right. We can't make anyone care about us if they don't want to. All we ask for is a little compassion and understanding. All we ask for is that people realize that the levee breaches wiped out about a decade of economic growth that won't be rebuilt within a year, and that red tape still plays a role in slowing the recovery process. Red tape like the federal government expecting New Orleans to match federal funds by 10% despite the devastation and economic losses. However, after 9/11, New York was exempted from such red tape. Yet, New Orleans has to fight to be exempt from it. We're not looking for a hand out, but simply a hand in helping us recover as much as possible.

How I wish Mr. Hunter could have used his voice in a more positive way. When he finally did visit New Orleans, he became convinced that the city could handle hosting the '08 event. But when approached by the media, he pretty much said that New Orleans should be thankful for his negative comments because the comments thrust the city back into the news, perhaps reminding people that the city hasn't fully recovered yet. So, he essentially said that even negative publicity is better than no publicity.

In my eyes, Mr. Hunter is just another "critic" who took the opportunity to kick New Orleans in the one weakened knee that the city currently stands on, and I say no thank you to Mr. Hunter and his negative publicity. No, New Orleans isn't crime-free--it wasn't before the storm and levee breaches--but why not at least give the city a shot at hosting the event, a shot at reaping some of the financial gains that come along with hosting the all-star games, before trying to shut the city out completely.

The article, "Union Doubts Big Easy Ready for NBA All-Star Game," can be read at http://tinyurl.com/2rra6g. After reading the article, I also became dismayed by Shaquille O'Neal's comments. Another problem that New Orleans faces is having some people still believing that the city is flooded. This is a problem mostly created by some of the media that keeps using old footage of the city rather than newer footage.

The article, "N. O. Slam has NBA Union Head on Defensive," can be read at http://tinyurl.com/2v8nl3.

Update: One article is gone.

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