ESPN fired former NBA player Paul Shirley as a part-time blogger after he wrote on another website that he wouldn't give "a cent" for earthquake relief because the people of Haiti would just waste it. Shirley said Haiti put itself "into a position where so many people would be killed by an earthquake," and proposed that "the rest of the world" tell Haitians to stop building "shack-towns" and "maybe use a condom once in a while." Was ESPN right to fire him?
No. Shirley has the right to say what he thinks: ESPN was wrong to fire Paul Shirley, says the celebrity blog Momsword. Shirley should apologize to the Haitian people for being insensitive, but there are plenty of people who share his opinion that donating money to rebuild a flimsy, overcrowded city on a fault line is a bad idea. "What happened to free speech?"
"Paul Shirley fired expressed his opinion about Haiti gets fired"
Paul Shirley is no free-speech martyr: Shirley blames Haitians for living in Haiti, says Tyler Duffy in The Big Lead, when "enlightened Westerners" dragged their ancestors there in chains. He blames Haitians for their poverty, when it began because slaveholding nations destroyed Haiti economically in the 1800s out of fear that its black slave rebellion would spread. Shirley's no free-speech martyr -- he's just an ignorant jerk.
"Paul Shirley’s modest proposal for Haiti gets him fired from ESPN"
Don't scream at Shirley. Laugh at him: It's funny to read Paul Shirley's anti-Haiti screed, says Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic, which he clearly thinks is "profound and contrarian" instead of just plain stupid. Bearing witness to his self-delusion is like watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta, who fancy themselves monied elite when really they're neither. So don't be mad at Shirley -- mock him.
"Look everybody I'm a silly microphone crumb..."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The dangers of our passionless American life
- 4 strategies for organizing your money, based on your personality
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The amazing resurrection of Mitt Romney
- The essential techniques that every home cook should know
- The real reason conservatives should be outraged that police killed a white youth
- Even critics of the euro didn't see this coming
Subscribe to the Week