NY Post Columnist Writes Racially Charged Jay-Z, Brooklyn Nets Column
UPDATE: After the long-time sports writer uses dashed epithets in an incendiary op-ed about his dismay over the team's new location, he defends his words.
New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick is coming under fire for writing a scathing editorial about Jay-Z and his Nets basketball team, which is moving to a new arena in Brooklyn next season.
Mushnick, no stranger to controversy, decries the team's relocation from New Jersey to its Atlantic Avenue home, the Barclays Center, and the control given to the rapper-businessman in remodeling the team's image.
"As long as the Nets are allowing Jay-Z to call their marketing shots — what a shock that he chose black and white as the new team colors to stress, as the Nets explained, their new 'urban' home — why not have him apply the full Jay-Z treatment?" Mushnick writes.
"Why the Brooklyn Nets when they can be the New York N------s?" he continues. "The cheerleaders could be the Brooklyn B----hes or Hoes. Team logo? A 9 mm with hollow-tip shell casings strewn beneath. Wanna be Jay-Z hip? Then go all the way!"
Later, in an email exchange with the Village Voice, Mushnick defended his column.
"I don't call black men ni---s; my kids never heard the word until folks such as Jay-Z came along," he wrote. "I'd suggest you talk to him about it. What I wrote today was on Jay Z's artistry, and only the wishful and foolish would so badly misinterpret and mischaracterize it as you plan to do."
Jay-Z owns a minority share in the Nets -- they're owned for the most part by Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov -- and helped the team announce in 2010 that they'd be moving to Brooklyn. The team announced that the re-located club would be named the Brooklyn Nets in September 2011.