Dear ESPN, Please Fire Paul Shirley

Paul Shirley, one-time NBA player, has penned perhaps the most offensive thing ever written. ESPN should immediately take him off their payroll.
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Paul Shirley, one time decent basketball player and full time major league douchebag, has penned perhaps the most offensive thing ever written.

And that's including Mein Kampf and Leviticus.

In the wake of one of the worst humanitarian crisis in modern history, the loathsome Shirley thought it would be a good idea to lecture Haitians on being poor, living in an earthquake zone, and having too many children. Equating Haitians to 'homeless people on the street', Shirley says he won't donate to Haiti because 'I don't think the people of Haiti will do much with my money either'.

Instead of sympathy, Shirley would like Haitians to read the following letter from him posted on

Dear Haitians -

First of all, kudos on developing the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Your commitment to human rights, infrastructure, and birth control should be applauded.

As we prepare to assist you in this difficult time, a polite request: If it's possible, could you not re-build your island home in the image of its predecessor? Could you not resort to the creation of flimsy shanty- and shack-towns? And could some of you maybe use a condom once in a while?


The Rest of the World

By the rest of the world, Shirley must be talking only about other monstrous pricks like him born without human empathy or intelligence.

Shirley's diatribe is much like a Sarah Palin speech -- full of words and ideas but without any semblance of logic or rationale. It's kind of like a nasty school boy explaining why it's OK to torture animals and smaller children (because they are weak and deserve it).

Shirley believes that Haitians should be blamed for their predicament because, well, they chose to live in Haiti:

If forced to do so through logic-colored glasses, no one would look at Haiti and think, "You know what? It was a great idea to put 10 million people on half of an island. The place is routinely battered by hurricanes (in 2008, $900 million was lost/spent on recovery from them), it holds the aforementioned title of poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, and it happens to sit on a tectonic fault line."

You could probably ascribe this logic to celebrities who have chosen to live in mudslide prone Malibu, but not to an island of former slaves who have been subjected to hundreds of years of imperial violence, robbery and exploitation. Haiti is not poor because it wants to be. It is poor because the West made it so. We've also been committed to installing vicious dictators to ensure favorable trading policy with the island in recent times, so the argument that they should 'stop blaming the past' is equally ridiculous. Yes, they could do more to stamp out greed, corruption and human rights abuses. But then so should we, so it's kind of meaningless.

Did Shirley say anything similar about 9/11? Did the dead have it coming because they chose to work in buildings that were prone to attack from errant passenger jets? Did they deserve to burn to death because they lived in America, the country responsible for preemptively invading two Muslim nations and exploiting others for oil?

The notion is simply ridiculous -- innocent people don't deserve to die because their country does bad things. But then Shirley is a ridiculous person.

Going through Shirley's attempt at a thoughtful article (on his twitter page, he wrote: "Remember - only trying to make ppl think") is like listening to Michelle Malkin extol the virtues of racial profiling -- painful and slightly embarrassing.

But it's worth it in order to 1. Debunk his vicious lies, and 2. Stop the man from ever being paid to write again.

Shirley writes a weekly column for on popular music, and is presumably paid for his services. As a decent and reputable company, ESPN should immediately take Shirley off their payroll and never let him publish under their brand again. You can contact ESPN here.

Ultimately, his rant is an insight into the twisted mind of a sociopath, and someone, preferably a family member, really should check in on him before he does himself or another person some damage.

And in the mean time, any company paying him to write should stop.

Update: ESPN has just fired Paul Shirley.

Update: ESPN has just fired Paul Shirley. Amen.

Ben Cohen is the Editor of and founder of

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