Michael Rappaport’s Privilege Bled All Over Kevin Durant’s Brand

    I already know the following words that you read will be trashed by most white men.

    It’s cool. I’m with the smoke because teachable moments are always the hardest to digest, therefore, I won’t take it personally.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnt0kpDXiGA

    Michael Rappaport, better known to the culture as “Remy” from the movie Higher Learning, steered his brand of unwanted sports and social commentary directly into the orbit of Kevin Durant.

    Mr. Poke-the-Bear decided to express his opinion on a Kevin Durant interview back in December 2020, criticizing him for the way he answered questions to the NBA on TNT crew.

    Rappaport’s spiny Twitter fingers sent off a flurry that included indictments like KD being “deeply in his feelings” and “super-sensitive about everything”.

    Since Rappaport is a guest in the culture, unwanted at that, he failed to understand how those two statements in a seemingly non-threatening tweet could stoke the ire of an NBA superstar.

    Well, Remy, that’s because you’re not Black. You are however a culture vulture.

    https://twitter.com/steelobrim/status/1378109920667705346?s=21

    In our culture, when you say someone is “in their feelings,” it is considered a trigger statement.

    Want an example of this, then add the word, respectfully, at the end of a statement to a Black person KD’s age and you will have a problem you can forever reference for good measure.

    Now close out your baseless opinion by calling someone who is berated by the world daily for every single thing they did or didn’t do by labeling them “super-sensitive to everything” and you have the makings of the perfect storm of confrontation.

    Rappaport hoped that it would boost his social media platform of enraged bloviation and instead, a real one slid into his DM’s.

    However, a back and forth private conversation between two people is not usually for public dissemination. But the fact that Rappaport felt the need to make it available and shape a narrative is where his privilege rears its ugly head.

    Rapport berates Durant in the exposed DM’s and then catches feelings as a normal, albeit toxic, display of masculine aggression in sports debating heats up.

    The fact that Rappaport began to be in his feelings once KD exhibited energy that spelled the S-T-R-E-E-T-S to Rappaport’s fragility, then KD became a threatening and menacing presence for him, through the internet matrix.

    Regardless of whether KD really wanted to throw hands with Rappaport or spit on him, the fact is that Rappaport got what he was looking for but didn’t realize the unintended results.

    https://twitter.com/maxptah/status/1379522067356389382?s=21

    KD caught a $50k fine, and Rappaport looks like an even more giant douche than he was before it started. The shining example of what it looks like when armchair quarterbacks get real players jammed.

    Rappaport started an issue and then attempted to solve it like the troll he is except this time, by saying KD is homophobic and other brand-destroying labels; Rappaport attempts to criminalize KD in the court of public opinion.

    It is easy for Michael Rappaport to get KD fined and tarnish his brand because he plays on the trope of Blackness as utterly intimidating and threatening when confronted by white agitation.

    Rapport attempts to clean up his part in the mess by saying that KD crossed an invisible line but makes no mention of his habitual line crossing for likes and views.

    In interviews after the fact, Rappaport has explained his actions as that of a media persona and character, falling back on an agitation for entertainment’s sake position.

    However, when two men disagree, it should be handled privately. When one decides to abruptly tuck the tail because it feels too real and allows the court of public opinion to steer its finale, we have indeed entered the Truman Show that presently sports entertainment.

    The conversation between KD and Michael Rapport happens in every barbershop, mechanic shop and DM’s of sports enthusiasts worldwide.

    The difference is that it isn’t used as a bait and switch smear campaign. Michael Rappaport showed how easy it is to coordinate that outcome and also how dangerous a presumed veil of invincibility is when it comes to being white and opinionated.

     

     

    Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.