Will American sports talk shows ever give Toronto the respect it deserves?
On Monday, Fox Sports' Chris Broussard made some alarming remarks about the city of Toronto and Canada when discussing the possibility of NBA superstar Kevin Durant being traded to the Raptors on First Things First.
"Great city, but it's not America. And you feel it when you're there, I'm telling you. Especially as an African American. It's a different situation than African Americans are used to being in," Broussard said.
LMAOOOO this is what we're up against pic.twitter.com/o5Eu21Qbsu
— woi 🦖 (@carmeIodrama) July 4, 2022
Canadian basketball fans, as well as members of the NBA media sphere, took to Twitter to express their confusion and frustration with Broussard's comments.
Chris Broussard is a clown and this is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard on a sports talk show ... and boy is that saying something. https://t.co/8qeBTL9R80
— “Chris Walder” (@WalderSports) July 4, 2022
There’s so much wrong with this
2) Chris Broussard has never been to Toronto, apparently
3) this man said PRE Masai Ujiri (which is a decade) https://t.co/nIWrpn3tqJ
— Esfandiar Baraheni (@JustEsBaraheni) July 4, 2022
This guy…., give me a break. Irresponsible. Unprofessional. Total joke. https://t.co/zcaUHOUEQp
— chuck swirsky (@ctsbulls) July 4, 2022
Toronto … literally named the most diverse city in the world. https://t.co/oVHy8TQay1
— KJ (@kelwright) July 4, 2022
Some chose to channel their bewilderment through humour, making jokes and sharing memes about Broussard's odd choice of words.
Canada according to Chris Broussard : pic.twitter.com/wyNY1VgvpL
— i. adan (@Imman_Adan) July 4, 2022
Chris Broussard’s take on the KD rumours is basically Keenan Thompson in the SNL sketch with Drake where he doesn’t believe there are black people in Canada.
— Sam (@YAnunoby) July 4, 2022
— Matt Harris (@mattysmoof) July 4, 2022
Amid the backlash, Broussard took to Twitter to explain what he meant with his rant.
I never said Blacks are “treated worse in Toronto” than in America. Never! That’s ridiculous. I said living there is different and “not the same as living in America for Blacks.” Very diverse city. But just 8% Black. I love visiting Toronto. Visiting.
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 5, 2022
His tweet did not do much to convince his detractors, however, with many pointing out that Phoenix, the odds-on favourite to acquire Durant, has a smaller Black demographic than Toronto.
Percent of population that’s Black:
Toronto - 8.5%
Phoenix - 7.1%
San Francisco - 5.1%
I guess we can cross a few rumoured destinations off KD’s list. https://t.co/NB75YHT344
— Donnovan Bennett (@donnovanbennett) July 5, 2022
Durant has the sports world eagerly awaiting news on his future after making a trade request to the Brooklyn Nets, dropping a bombshell as the NBA free agency window opened last week.
While the two-time champion reportedly prefers to be traded to either the Phoenix Suns or the Miami Heat, the Raptors have emerged as a serious contender to acquire Durant's services. Over the weekend, Toronto's odds of landing KD went from +3000 on Friday to the second-best odds at +250 on Sunday, per DraftKings.
Broussard's comments may be troubling, but it seems Durant already has a favourable impression of Toronto, praising the city, the team and its players on multiple occasions in the past.
Kevin Durant has been praising the Raptors franchise for years 😎 pic.twitter.com/xtBveSiDgk
— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) July 4, 2022
Fans online have been engaged in debate on whether or not to trade for the 2014 MVP, and over which players should be included in a possible deal.
Toronto is no stranger to taking a swing at a big star on the trade market, popularly acquiring the disgruntled Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for DeMar Derozan in 2018. The move famously paved the way for the Raptors' first-ever championship in 2019, before Leonard left in free agency in the following offseason.
It's hard to count out Masai Ujiri and Co. in the Durant sweepstakes, especially if it means another run at the title. Still, the number of assets that would have to be given up in this deal will likely supersede anything we've ever seen in the NBA.
But while we wait for the historic trade to go down, we'll offer Durant and his crew a bit of advice.
Please don't listen to Chris Broussard.
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