Kendrick Perkins’ Race-Bait Could Cost Nikola Jokic The MVP: Bobby Burack

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Lost in Kendrick Perkins’ demeaning commentary of white players is the literal consequence: what impact will his remarks have on voters?

The answer could be quite substantial.

The narrative, that white voters propel undeserving white players to MVP status, is bogus.

Only five white players have won the MVP during the last 33 seasons. White voters don’t make up near the 80 percent of the voting pool Perkins purports.

Moreover, the five white MVPs deserved the award during the seasons in which they won. As Nikola Jokic does this year.

The narrative is without merit. But a narrative it now is. And narratives supersede facts.

Thereby it’s conceivable Perkins’ commentary could influence voters, particularly white voters. Or at least force them to think twice before casting their vote for the player most deserving.

White sportswriters are hardly the most fearless of men. Most just want to fit in, feel accepted and go where the wind blows.

They fear nothing more than someone calling them racist, be it via a baseless claim. As most claims of racism are.

White NBA writers are no different than Mike Florio. They ooze white guilt as they cover majority black locker rooms for corporations that prioritize diversity over success. No joke. ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro called diversity Priority Number 1 inside ESPN.

And there’s no better way to avoid the daunted racist label — an oft career death sentence in media — than proving you are not a racist. In fact, sometimes it’s required (read about what it means to be an “anti-racist.”)

Voting for a black player over Jokic is perhaps the best means to prove you are not an R-word. After all, each MVP is public.

Look at me, I voted for Embiid. I’m not a racist, cowardly white voters could say to themselves when they vote against Jokic.

What Perkins did is no different than what the media does to ESPN. Recently, the New York Times printed a hit piece on how ESPN treats black women, littered with dubious facts. The idea was to manipulate how the network programs in the aftermath of the Maria Taylor debacle.

The piece was effective. Racial propaganda often is.

It’s safer to vote for the wrong player than risk being the subject of Perkins‘ next rant. Voters work for outlets like USA Today, CBS Sports, ESPN and Bleacher Report — all of which are frightened of the mob on Twitter.

White voters will be particularly careful this year. They know Perkins’ lie about the’ races of voters will result in various long-term white writers losing their votes in the name of diversity.


It would seem as if Perkins is an architect of a master plan. The racial frenzy he ignited could result in the outcome he prefers: a black player winning the MVP award.

But we don’t believe that to be the case. It’s unlikely Perkins executed such a strategy. Or any strategy.

Put simply, he’s not all that bright. He’s amongst the smallest on television, as we’ve proven.

More likely, he just wanted to say something interesting on television and used his distaste of white players impeding on an overwhelmingly black league as a talking point.

He had no idea his anti-white comments would manifest into discussions on cable news and bits on TNT.

The Perkins Saga will sway votes. The question is whether Jokic’s skin color will be enough to deter him from his third straight MVP.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics..

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.

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