Saturday, February 11, 2006
Kenyon Martin: Garbage To The Core
He had just answered questions the previous day - denying having anything to do with having a few of his friends confronting a fan at the
He had just led his team to an impressive win over a tired and sloppy Dallas Mavericks team which entered the game with a 13 game win streak.
But Kenyon Martin was still miserable.
As the media contingent entered the Nuggets locker room following the game and moved over to Martin's cubicle, Kenyon asked me and everyone else to "back the fuck up while I get dressed".
Okay. No problem, Kenyon.
Martin finished getting dressed and the herd of media peoples again moved toward his locker.
I asked Martin just to make sure if it was okay to approach now?
The not too gregarious Martin responded with more profanity by saying, "I told ya'll to back the fuck up."
So we moved a few steps back again.
Hoping to lighten the mood a bit I said to Martin that I expected him to be in a little better mood coming off a 34 point game and a victory.
Martin with his back turned to me muttered something that I couldn't understand, so I asked him what he said?
He asked me if I thought he stuttered.
No, I replied, I just couldn't hear what you said.
Martin then responded by telling me to go fuck myself.
Go fuck myself? Where did that come from? What did I say to illicit such a vulgar response?
Thinking quickly on my feet and realizing that I was being verbally abused by an absolute creep, as well as by a person who has told other media personnel the same exact thing - and gotten away with it - Kenyon Martin was the last person who was going to treat me with no respect as he has done with plenty of others.
"Fuck you, Kenyon", was my response back to this jackass.
"No fuck you", Martin shot back.
The next thing I know is that Nuggets locker room personnel, including their director of media Eric Sebastian, are surrounding me and asking me to leave.
Their player who just verbally tried to beat on me? Nothing. Protect the investment - no matter what… which of course is how it is when you are paying someone (even someone as despicable as Kenyon Martin) 14 million dollars a year.
Then came the kicker from Sebastian who obviously took the same media relations course that Pierre Lacroix did.
"And you're credentials are going to be revoked", said Sebastian.
This was the final straw as far as I was concerned.
First I get a player telling me to go fuck myself for no reason at all, then I get shown the door when I stand up for myself and indicate an unwillingness to be bullied by this repulsive excuse for a human being, THEN on top of that you're gonna take my credentials away?
Can you say Deja vu?
Haven't I been here before?
The last time this happened I simply stood still and allowed Pierre Lacroix to verbally humiliate me while asking if I could only get a word in to rebut his ridiculous accusations.
This time I wasn't going to simply stand still still, smile, and swallow this garbage from the piece of garbage that was throwing it at me in front of about 25 other members of the media.
To make Sebastian clear of how I felt, I took my credential off on the spot and threw it to the ground and told him to have at it.
Lacroix was the last pro sports executive who was going to hang a credential in front of me and take it away like the neighborhood bully does when he takes his ball and goes home.
If the cost of retaining my self respect - and the respect of anyone else comes with me losing my credential to cover the Nuggets live and in person, then so be it. If the situation remains as it is as of this writing I have no regrets as to the way I defended myself.
Ironically enough, just hours before this Kenyon Martin episode I was detailing my thoughts on what a jackass Kenyon Martin is on my television program Raw Sports on
I have no question that had it been any other member of the attending media in that room tonight, they would have taken Kenyon Martin's words with a smile and cowered in fear whilst the big bad Kenyon took their respect and stomped it onto the carpet inside the Nuggets locker room.
The problem with media personnel being abused and humiliated at times by players and coaches is in the fact that 99.9% of all media will take this crap and wait for it to happen again and again.
I too have taken grief and unjustified language from other athletes at times covering both professional and collegiate sports.
99.9% of the time I have walked away and simply avoided answering back.
Not with this scumbag though. No way.
I can watch the Nuggets on TV as well as I can watch them in person.
Kenyon Martin can kick around other members of the
But it won't be me.
The thing is, most other members of the media that are in the locker room getting quotes can't risk losing their media credential. The beat writers, the guys recording quotes, etc. pretty much lose their jobs if they have their media credentials revoked. Do you actually think one of these guys would stand up to a hot-head like Martin if it meant they'd lose their jobs? Is that really worth it?
You on the other hand are a talk-show host on some station NO ONE had ever heard of until Friday night. Losing your media pass and getting in the news did more good for you than you than being a member of the media at Nuggets games. You can still easily do your job and have opinions on the Nuggets without going to the games by watching the games on TV, hearing the post-game quotes on radio or TV and/or reading the newspapers. You're not privy to anything the fans aren't other than maybe asking your questions that the coaches/players hate to hear.
The relationship between the media and athletes is kind of like a regular employee and his/her boss. You put up with their crap, do your job and move on. K-Mart definitely went too far and no employee should have to put up with that kind of verbal abuse.