Feigin’s Milwaukee Comments Fall Short
“Very bluntly, Milwaukee is the most segregated, racist place I’ve ever experienced in my life. It just is a place that is antiquated. It is in desperate need of repair and has happened for a long, long time. One of our messages and one of our goals is to lead by example.”
Milwaukee Bucks believe they will play in a part in bringing the city together yet their recent comments are more likely to tear it apart. Peter Feigin, the Bucks President, made the comments above to the Madison Rotary Club. Feigin took a proverbial dump on the City of Milwaukee and in some ways, the State of Wisconsin. The same state and city that gave Milwaukee’s professional basketball team millions and millions of dollars to build a state-of-the-art arena. These are not the comments a Bucks President should be making in public. Sports franchises are not the thought leaders on local social issues.
When Milwaukee Brewers built their new stadium, they had their own turbulence with a terrible crane incident where people lost their lives. But after Miller Park was built, Brewers received rave reviews with high praises from people all over the country. Once the team was sold, the baseball team really flew off. Brewers drew over 2.3 million fans for the last eleven years which are numbers done by some of the most popular franchises like the New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants. Bucks should be trying their hardest to follow the Brewers playbook as their stories are fairly similar. The goal should be to have numbers like Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and others, and I’m sure that’s the plan yet these comments aren’t bringing people to the arena.
Milwaukeeans are a sensitive bunch. They always are seen as a little brother to the city of Chicago, and a blue collar town that always wanted to look bigger than they actually are in the grand scheme of things. The most important thing about Milwaukee is they are loyal as all hell. They love their city even though there are real flaws here. Many will take great offense to what Feigin said about the city. Hyperbolic statements aren’t what the Bucks front office should be about these days, rather work on trying to unite the city. Bucks have done a great job rebuilding their brand to the city yet there are still so many who see the Bucks in a negative light. This isn’t going to help things when it comes to the new audience this team is trying to attract in the coming years. This is a hiccup, but they can move past it.
Bucks aren’t going to solve race issues in Milwaukee. It’s going to take a collective effort from a variety sources. Same goes for segregation. It’s on a variety of sources to start building back this city. The Cream City isn’t perfect, but what big city is? Milwaukee needs to find common ground on myriad of things. Milwaukee’s professional basketball team are doing great things for the community, and that’s a positive. Feigin should have focused on those things when talking to the rotary club versus focusing on the negatives.
Let’s hope this isn’t a trend of things to come, just a one time thing. We all say things that we don’t technically mean.