Tuesday, February 1, 2011

MLK III Not Leading Group Interested in Purchasing Mets

According to the New York Daily News, Martin Luther King III isn't leading a group of investors interested in purchasing controlling interested in the Mets, after all.
"For this to be released to the press is way premature," King told told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution of reports over the weekend that he would throw his hat in the ring.
King said his longtime friend Larry Meli called him Saturday to ask if he would be interested in joining a group to buy the Mets, and King said it was "something I would need to explore."
By the time the story got picked up by several media outlets, King's role had been embellished, he said.
King said he may indeed join a group of investors interested in the Mets, but he made it clear that he is not leading the effort and Monday, King's potential partners were already downplaying his involvement in a group that hopes to buy 50% or more of the franchise.
Meli told the Daily News that King might be the face of the group, but he won't be the wallet."
So let me get this straight.  King won't be leading the ownership group, but he'll be the face of it?  From the sounds of it, it appears they're using King's name and ethnicity in hopes of improving their chance of purchasing the franchise.  From a tactical standpoint, it's a pretty smart move.  Outside of Angels owner Arte Moreno, there aren't any other minority owners within the game of baseball.  Plus, King's father was one of the most influential and important individuals of the past fifty years.  If anything screams diversity, it's Rev. King and his legacy. 

From a personal or human standpoint, this kind of exploitation is more than a little despicable.  In fact, it's a little disturbing.  As Craig Calcaterra pointed out yesterday, MLK III's life and career has been rife with controversy.
"As for King himself: his career has been a tad spotty.  He lost reelection as a Fulton County commissioner in the early 90s after revealing that he owed the federal government more than $200,000 in back taxes.  He was suspended as the head of the Southern Christian Leadership conference after the board cited him for inactivity and insubordination to the board’s interests (though he came back and improved in the role). Some have charged that King has sought to commercialize his father’s legacy by doing things like licensing (for profit) the “I have a dream” speech and suing media outlets who use it without the family’s authorization."
While King and his father might share the same name, it's pretty clear they don't share the same brand of ethics and ideals.  It's a shame that this group is trying to shamelessly score points off of Rev. King's legacy.

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