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Paul Shirley's thoughts on Haiti causing some trouble

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paul-shirley.jpgPaul Shirley, who appeared in 18 games during his NBA career, has been let go by ESPN after posting his opinions on Haiti on another platform.

The long letter describes why he is declining to donate any money to the rebuilding efforts down there after the devastating earthquake.

Shirley prefaces his argument by saying that his views put him in a "minuscule minority." His point, condensed of course, is that he doesn't believe the money will be put to good use.
"I haven't donated to the Haitian relief effort for the same reason that I don't give money to homeless men on the street," he writes. "Based on past experiences, I don't think the guy with the sign that reads "Need You're Help" is going to do anything constructive with the dollar I might give him. If I use history as my guide, I don't think the people of Haiti will do much with my money either."

"Shouldn't much of the responsibility for the disaster lie with the victims of that disaster," he continues.

"Before the reader reaches for his or her blood pressure medication, he should allow me to explain. I don't mean in any way that the Haitians deserved their collective fate. And I understand that it is difficult to plan for the aftermath of an earthquake. However, it is not outside the realm of imagination to think that the citizens of a country might be able to: A) avoid putting themselves into a situation that might result in such catastrophic loss of life.  And B) provide for their own aid, in the event of such a catastrophe."

OK, clearly not the position most people are publicly taking, but let's not kid ourselves. There are many people who feel this way, but aren't being vocal about it because it sounds terrible.

This isn't what I'm thinking, but to assume others aren't is naive.

ESPN apparently thinks these writings necessitate them cutting ties with Shirley.

They've released a statement saying as much.

He was a part-time freelance contributor. The views he expressed on another's site of course do not at all reflect our company's views on the Haiti relief efforts. He will no longer contribute to ESPN.

Admittedly, we don't have all the facts about Shirley's relationship with ESPN, but do you think what he wrote is just cause to dump him?

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25 Comments

Wow! what an arrogant spirited men that perhaps forgot where he came from. Why would he taint others with his thoughts of selfishness and ignorance. It sounds as though he needs to take a stroll down Haiti's homeland, maybe his heart will beat and feel sorry for human beings. Homeless people are homeless for all types of reasons. When my 22 year old son said to me, "Mom I gave a homeless person my french fries I had for lunch (he worked downtown DC). That was when I knew I raised a son after my own heart.

I am a single mother with four sons all in college, and because we struggled, thank God they did not turn out arrogant and selfish all they talk about is how they like to give back one day. Some thoughts are made to be personal and ponder in ones own heart, he made a big mistake revealing his harmful and hurtful attitude.

Well sir you are going to loose a whole lot on this one, your true colors came shining thru.

Thought crime. How American.

I don't agree with him, but I also don't agree that he should be fired for stating an opinion.

I totally agree with paul! I think at one point or another we need to worry about our own infrastructure and not everyone in the entire world! I don't see people rushing to help millions of homeless people on our own streets that are dieing by the days! In addition i don't thing Haitians deserve this but they could of prevented it if they used there brains! I am actually full Haitian and was born there! I have seen this first hand of what goes on there! Everyone there worries about themselves even the government there! SORRY IF PEOPLE DISAGREE WITH ME BUT YOU MUST SEE IT FIRST HAND TO MAKE A RATIONAL DECISION!

I think this was bad of ESPN

If they ave a written policy that contributirs shoukd not make comments on public affairs then they were right.
If not then ESPN is at fault.
I understand what the man was saying.

iT IS A COUNTRY THAT IS IN THE GARBAGE CAN BECAUSE OF IT'S HISTORY AND ITS LEADERS. bECAUSE OF ITS LEADERS AND INFRASTRUCTURE THE LONGTERM AID IS WASTED.

Wow just like a woman to get the issues screwded up, We cant take care of our own people, LADY GET THE PICTURE, Your son gave his fries to a homeless man, Where is our relief, our jobs, our deficit is way out of control, but we cant take care of our own, and part of the truth is they will rebuild and become the same country before the tragedy. And if they dont it took tragedy to bring there country around. Read outside the lines and the words or keep your blinders on.....

By Soughtful:

"Haiti is the only nation in the Western Hemisphere whose slaves were able to successfully defeat their former slavemasters to win independence. For that, this island nation has paid a dear price. Economically blockaded and boycotted by every developed European nation (including the U.S.) for centuries. Thus, the poverty in Haiti.

For the naysayers who will undoubtedly argue that this history cannot be blamed for Haiti's present day poverty, I say this: Imagine if China alone (much less all other developed nations) decided to blockade and boycott the U.S. over the last 50 to 100 years, I can almost guarantee you that most of you wouldn't have jobs now. This nation is more heavily dependent on Chinese capital that anyone is willing to admit. Poverty in the U.S. would clearly skyrocket in the form of joblessness, inflation, etc. Mr. Shirley's mindset is in the tradition of those boycotting nations who hated Haiti for its defiance. Some secretly celebrate the demise of the Haitian people.."

To Paul Shirley, you are just an overrated, arrogant jerk who chooses to rest upon the "laurel of privilege" instead of yelding to the true nature of most human being: "Love your fellow man." You can take your money "to hell" with you. Your are just another "Ugly American" who is full of himself....Jerk! I know yur parent s are sooooooooooo proud of you right now.

The notion that one's views have to be shared by one's employer is pretty ludicrous. His statement is neither provocative nor malicious.

It is a very valid question to ask if just throwing money at a disaster like this is the proper course of action.

This is an example of political correctness run amok, once again.

Good for him. I agree 100%

Arrogant Beverly?!?!?!? Good for your son, At least your son took the $1 cost and gave it to an American Homeless person rather than send the money over where 90% of the people will never see it. If we could not get the donation money or disaster relief, correct in the USA with the hurricanes what makes you think that the 149th poorest country in the UN will get it right.

A quote I found “ America, we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed without eating, elderly going without needed meds, and mentally ill without treatment, our war vets are forgotten, - yet we have a benefit for the people of Haiti on 12 TV stations!!”

It is very unfortunate that this happened; I do not wish that on anyone. Nevertheless, before we decide to help others let us fix us first.

Good for him. I agree 100%

Arrogant Beverly?!?!?!? Good for your son, At least your son took the $1 cost and gave it to an American Homeless person rather than send the money over where 90% of the people will never see it. If we could not get the donation money or disaster relief correct in the USA with the hurricanes what makes you think that the 149th poorest country in the UN will get it right.

A quote I found “ America, we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed without eating, elderly going without needed meds, and mentally ill without treatment, our war vets are forgotten, - yet we have a benefit for the people of Haiti on 12 TV stations!!”

It is very unfortunate that this happened; I do not wish that on anyone. Nevertheless, before we decide to help others let us fix us first.

As long as an employee is performing his/her job, that employee should be able to hold and express in a decent manner his or her views on a political topic such as this. How money given to aid groups in Haiti will be accounted for is a topic that many publications have addressed. This in not a moral issue and this employee should not have been dismissed for expressing his political opinion away from work.

"todd" You're an idiot! Learn to spell; Learn to write; Learn English; You're in America! I don't care if you're from the South; Your ignorance shows, especially when you ATTEMPT to be literate and critical.

Does no one, good hearted or not, see the truth to the mans statements?? Haiti has been a country and in dire straits for just how long??

They have had a succession of despotic rulers that only enriched themselves, yet the people have knowingly lived in squallor for a centuries.

I agree, just where will the money go?? Where will the Aid go? Where are the governors and rulers of Haiti? Why when we have massive troubles of our own are we now the lead in giving. Giving to those that have no intention of returning the largesse only leads to more giving.

How condescendingly arrogant of you mr. Ed-one. Because you consider todd southern, suddenly you are a better person?? His views are valid, and possibly correct, while your bleeding heart is is just spouting a liberal line we have tired of.

No where in your post do you suggest he is wrong, only that he cannot spell, a weak rebuttal at it's worst. Arrogant stupidity at it's best.

Maybe not too far off the mark. We'll see what happens, but what we now know from Katrina, there are a lot of lazy, "what are you going to do for me" people out there.

I don't think paul shirley realizes that this generation cannot be held accountable nor can they be blame for sins of generations gone by. Haiti is where it is because history is repeating itself- true enough. But if they had been taught better or shown a different way, then yes, things could be different from them. For example, his parents were probably bigots and that's where he gets his attitude from.

you also can't blame an earthquake on any person on earth. that should go without saying but it's clear that some of the posters don't get that...

This show you how idiotic most people are. Up until 1987, Haiti was the rischest Black Country in the world. If you idiots have done your research before saying idiotic things you would save your credential! The WTO is responsible for lowering tariffs to 1% allowing US farmers to export agribusiness to Haiti killing the agribusiness in Haiti -- (Haiti was once one of the top 5 exporter of sugar and other things) and further, the IMF is responsible cause to obtain aid Haiti was forced to open its border for international trades with the US. Haiti was always selfsufficient up until that point. Do your research before saying idiotic things! The question everyone should ask is how come there are no powerful black country in the world. Also, Haiti send troops to Columbia to help them fight for peace and democracy and money to its carribean allies and DR. Again do your freaking research idiots!!! Haiti wil rise again and stronger and will once again take the lead as the 'only' black rich nation!

Amen Brother! About time someone dared say things others aew scared to say

Wow! Freedom of speech!!!! Fired??? Morally I do not agree with what he had to say. Although I do value freedom of speech without repercussion.

Paul makes some good points about how to build a successful and sustainable society, but I do wish, for his own sake, that he'd toned it down just a little and added some more compassionate sentiments.

For those who madly attacked his article: One problem we have in America is that far too many of us are far too quick to attack the direct communicator and throw out their usually-good ideas just because their points aren't PC enough or laden with love and empathy. The truth is at neither extreme.

Political Correctness is not the ultimate proof one is civilized, but it has been elevated to that place in this country - to our own detriment. For example, if we'd taken heed of the words of those who spoke too plainly, we'd have killed Bin Laden when we had the chance and 9/11 wouldn't have happened. Maybe some of us should be less PC with our friends and family members who could gain from hearing the truth delivered in a caring way, rather than being too afraid of "offending" them.

to Ed-one,
Your name represents it all, next time you have one thought, let it go...You are the only dumbass who was checking spelling on this, You are a real loser, But I tell you what when I get back from the sandbox, I will have you over for a beer, and beat you with your sandals. The only one who didnt comment on the subject at hand. You dont get the picture......Because of people like Ed is partial to the situation we are in.

Thanks pua, for getting my back and I agree

Thanks pua, for getting my back and I agree

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