I was flipping channels last night and came across Bob Johnson being interviewed on BET. He came across very, very poorly. I am not a democrat, nor an African American, I am only concerned with Bob as owner of my hometown basketball team, but he has made himself into much more. He is the first black billionaire if I'm not mistaken, he's got to have a huge voice in the black community because of that alone. He's given a lot of money to the Democrats so I'm sure he has their ear when he wants it. He said, and I found this to be the most offensive, when he was being pressed about his blatant dislike for Barack Obama, "I shook the man's hand, I had a fundraiser, gave him some money, $200,000, I'd like you to show me another African-American that's done the same..." and he sort of trailed off.
My issue is not with his politics, who he supports or votes for, what he thinks about any of that. He's the owner of the one team I am most involved in. Bob is definitely more involved with everything and anything but the Charlotte Bobcats. I know there aren't many owners like Mark Cuban, well, there is no other owner like Mark Cuban. I want a guy that will at least show up once or twice a year. He's been hitting the campaign trail and talking to every CNN, MSNBC, Fox News that would hear him, and he's said some seriously rude stuff.
I knew coming in we'd have an owner that was not a Charlotte guy. The ML Carr group, that included Larry Bird, was the same as ol' Bob. They just wanted to own an NBA team and Stern was only opening up shop in our fine city. I get that. Bob is not a basketball guy. He's an African-American community leader and basketball is huge in the black community, he wanted in and he seems to just want to be the first black everything. First all-black TV station, first black billionaire, first black majority owner of an NBA team(or any major sports league team, for that matter).
I'd never heard of the guy before he became our owner. I've been reading up on him a little and the more I see the more I don't like. He likes to make demands on the African-American community. Bob is not the best speaker, as anyone who has seen him address the crowd at TWC Arena can attest to. He sort of flies off at the mouth, most recently in the direction of Obama, making fun of his reported drug use, then apologizing, then saying he'll never be the candidate, then when he did become the candidate calling for the Black Caucus to pressure him to have Hillary Clinton as VP candidate, then when asked about it last night defending himself by saying who else has raised as much money as I have in the black community for Barack?
This is not about his politics, or race. The good-ol-boys around here have made enough of race, true Bob has preferred black employees but how is that offensive? The ticket takers and ushers at BOA Stadium are probably a higher percentage black than white, and the Richardsons are white, who cares about race in this day and time except for very ignorant people?
He's not here. He doesn't seem to have time for this team. He thought it was like a drink machine. You set it up, pay the guy to put the sodas in and collect the quarters. He is on the boards of so many corporations and the new political stuff bothers me. Don't get me wrong, I respect him, I think it's great for him to be involved in the black community as well as the politics that effect us all. I just want an owner that cares about basketball, what we're putting on the court, what kind of character they have off the court, and most importantly that's here. I haven't even touched on his ridiculous comments at the end of last season.
Do yourself a favor before you add comment, look up his stuff on You Tube. He is very ballsy, very demanding. If he gave 5% of the passion to basketball that he does to his political views we'd be one of the most important teams in the league, simply because of him. Bob wields such power in the economic, social and political community, why can't he give our Bobcats the time of day?