Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ratner: "I think in some ways [The Nets] are more important than the Dodgers" because a multi-class population needs a team to rally around (!?!)

From Real Estate Weekly, 5/15/13, For Ratner, developing New York is a team sport:
“I think in some ways [The Nets] are more important than the Dodgers,” said Bruce Ratner, executive chairman of Forest City Ratner Companies, who brought the basketball team to Brooklyn from New Jersey last year.
“We have a large, low income population in Brooklyn and having a basketball team is something that people, low, middle and upper income can really rally around.
“Having young people have something to look up to and be proud of where they live is very important,” he said.
Oh, sure.

Let's look at the Twitter feed (right) of the biggest booster of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

He got all excited about the seventh game of the Nets' playoff series, right? He issued an exuberant statement, even:
“Our Brooklyn Nets’ exciting win last night in the Windy City really ‘blew’ me away—and now we are coming back to Barclays Center for the most important game in Brooklyn Nets history! In Saturday night’s game seven, with the loudest, most in-your-face fans in the country ‘blacking out’ Brooklyn, there is no doubt the Nets are going to give the “flu-ey” Bulls the medicine they need—an early exit from the playoffs and a one-way ticket back to Chicago for some rest and relaxation. Bring on the Heat and watch out Lebron James, because after this series the Brooklyn Nets have ice in their veins and are coming to ‘cool’ you down.”
And then when the Nets lost, was Markowitz crushed, defiant, or hopeful? He didn't say.

Second coming of Dodgers?

Actually, Scott Turner of Fans for Fair Play in 2005 demolished the myth that the Nets would be the second coming of the Dodgers.

Actually, the Dodgers were the symbol of an underdog borough, and the players actually lived in Brooklyn, taking public transit and living middle-class lives.

Is Ratner suggesting that the Dodgers were not something to rally around? And that young people need a team to be proud of where they live?

And that those young people should look up to professional athletes? Surely he knows that the players, however skilled, are not necessarily role models.

Looking back at the Dodgers

I tweeted Ratner's statements and got a response.


That letter was published 5/25/83 under the headline SIMPLIFIED VOIR DIRE:
To the Editor:
A close if overlooked relationship exists between Ira Glasser's apologia for the Brooklyn Dodgers (Op-Ed May 3) and the current dispute over permitting lawyers to continue to conduct the voir dire of juries in criminal cases.
Before 1957, New York lawyers chose juries inexpensively and expeditiously by asking just one question: What baseball team do you root for?
If the juror answered, ''Yankees,'' the defense exercised a peremptory challenge. If the juror said, ''Dodgers,'' the prosecution exercised the challenge. But Giants fans were eminently acceptable to both sides, under a tacit understanding that they were the only reasonable people in town.
BURT NEUBORNE, Legal Director, A.C.L.U., New York, May 17, 1983

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