ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt – Lamar Odom is More than a Reality TV Star

Lamar Odom is currently hospitalized. He was found unconscious and unresponsive in a Brothel earlier this week. But the way Odom is described in the media as a reality television star and married to one of the Kardashians, is not going over too well with a host at ESPN.

Scott Van Pelt from ESPN’s Sports Center took offense to the way Odom is being portrayed. He made his feelings known in this statement;

I have to remind myself there are people who think of Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith as ‘those guys who were on Dancing With the Stars.’ Not everybody views things through the prism of sports the way I do, and I presume you do as well, given that you’re watching this show. I mean, those are two of the best who ever played football, but if you frame things from the People Magazine perspective, it’s a different world.

To that end, I saw a tweet from rapper Bun B that got to me. It was about Lamar Odom, who fights for his life in a Vegas hospital. His plight was described across entertainment-based shows this way, and I quote, ‘Kardashian reality star in a coma.’ Now I can’t quote Bun B directly, but my feelings mirrored his — Kardashian reality star? No, no, no, no. Lamar Odom, unlike those for whom fame is oxygen, whose fame comes in the absence of accomplishment, his fame was earned: as Sixth Man of the Year, as a multiple NBA champion, as the result of his significant role with the Los Angeles Lakers teams and being a beloved NBA teammate and peer. Everyone across the league, it seems, loves the man. To read the tweets from the stars still in the league was to feel genuine anguish for a brother who has had an unspeakably difficult road, and who has struggled mightily to find his footing, post-NBA. “Passed out in a brothel” makes for a hell of a headline, and I’m sure quite a juicy episode of TV, but stripped to the foundation, it’s just incredibly sad. All of it. A man who’s dealt with so much loss, unable to find his way, who’s unfortunate reality becomes a plot line in alleged reality.

I understand not everyone watches sports, but ‘Kardashian reality star?’ His name is Lamar Odom, and we knew it, long before he got married on a TV show that we don’t watch.


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