On Wednesday night in Washington with the game tied at 111, Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. drilled a three on the right wing, with 0.4 left on the clock to seal a 114-111 victory over the Wizards. On-air following the game Wizards broadcaster Glenn Consor said Porter Jr. “pulled the trigger”, just like his dad.
“You’ve got to give credit. Kevin Porter Jr., like his dad, pulled that trigger right at the right time.”
Porter Jr.’s dad was killed by gun violence, and Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar LeBron James took to Twitter to react.
“Oh he thought this was cool huh!!?? Nah we ain’t going for this! Sorry but this ain’t going to fly! How insensitive can you be to say something like this. Beat it man! I pray for you but there’s no place in our beautiful game for you!”
Oh he thought this was cool huh!!?? Nah we ain’t going for this! Sorry but this ain’t going to fly! How insensitive can you be to say something like this. Beat it man! I pray for you but there’s no place in our beautiful game for you! https://t.co/UgVOBUOsPK
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 6, 2022
Let’s unpack a few things here.
Pull the trigger is a reference used in sports and life all the time, it just so happens to also be literally what happens when you fire a gun. The fact that Porter Jr.’s father was shot five times and killed in 2004 is terribly sad and any mention of guns around or in reference to the younger Porter is awful.
But there might have been a mixup here.
Wizards broadcaster Glenn Consor is in his late 60s and could have thought Porter Jr.’s dad was former Washington Bullets (1979-1983) player Kevin Porter, who is very much alive, but not related to the Rockets’ guard. That would seem plausible.
Consor has yet to make any statement regarding the incident.
Regardless, LeBron’s response and rush to judgment is something worth discussing. In this rapid news cycle and social media era, we’ve seen this before. A clip goes viral, someone high profile sees it and comments and it spreads like wildfire.
This is how people are judged in today’s society. Devoid of context and nuance.
We didn’t know what Consor meant when he said “pulled the trigger.”
If he was in fact referring to the deceased Kevin Porter, how did he pull the trigger at the right time? He was shot five times and died. What kind of leap in logic are we making about Consor his intentions and beliefs?
As a Wizards broadcaster he’s keenly aware of the franchise’s name change from “Bullets” to “Wizards.” He’s also aware of the franchise’s infamous incident with Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton and guns being brought into the locker room.
If Consor was legitimately referring to the former NBA player, he’s still not absolved. As a broadcaster on the air, it is his responsibility to be prepared for games. Given that Porter Jr. was returning after a one-game suspension, he should have been on his radar.
Do a little research and find out some facts and tidbits about him. You didn’t have to look far to find that information about his father. As a broadcaster Consor should have been better prepared.
As for LeBron, he sees himself as a steward of the game and the league. Rightfully so. But with that huge platform, he too needs to make sure he’s aware of an entire situation before involving himself.
By the end of the week this will likely be forgotten and overtaken by the new story of the moment. Hopefully we get some context and resolution one way or another. No matter how it ends, it’s unlikely to change the way people see, consume and react to news, especially on Twitter.
Just before publication of this piece Consor tweeted out an apology and clarified that he in fact thought Porter Jr. was the son of former NBA player Kevin Porter.
I want to sincerely apologize to Kevin Porter Jr and clarify last night’s call. pic.twitter.com/UweFhFnkbt
— Glenn Consor (@glennconsor) January 6, 2022