Prior to the New York Knicks-Charlotte Hornets game on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, New York City mayor Eric Adams spoke to the crowd. In trying to weave together honoring King’s legacy with basketball, Adams, well, made a fool of himself, which is not exactly a new development for him.
“When the Civil Rights battle was on the line,” Adams began, “Dr. King wanted the ball in his hands.”
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 17, 2022
Of course, there’s simply no need to link Civil Rights advocacy and basketball. People are capable of understanding the gravity of Dr. King’s work without that comparison, and doing so comes off as minimizing and demeaning. Adams has a history of saying foolish things during his time as a politician, so this isn’t exactly surprising.
It’s nonetheless an absurd quote. The fact Adams felt he needed to parallel sports with King’s work is odd, at best, and should’ve been left in the drafts. It’s hard not to get a chuckle or two out of it as well, mostly stemming from the fact Adams thought such a weird metaphor would resonate well and the crowd offering him the most New York of responses, as someone yells for him to “shut the f**k up.’
Whoever came up with that line, whether it be him or someone else, probably needs to go back to the drawing board. Anyhow, thanks for the laugh, Mayor Adams, if only you offered more as a leader than you do as an unintentional comedian.