Published January 08, 2015
Paul Shirley has probably become public enemy No. 1 in Haiti and elsewhere.
The former NBA player posted a long column online in response to the earthquake disaster in Haiti in which he criticized Haitian citizens and said he won't donate to relief efforts.
"I haven't donated to the Haitian relief effort for the same reason that I don't give money to homeless men on the street," he wrote. "Based on past experiences, I don't think the guy with the sign that reads 'Need You're Help' is going to do anything constructive with the dollar I might give him. If I use history as my guide, I don't think the people of Haiti will do much with my money either."
And he didn't stop there, even writing a letter to the people of Haiti.
"Dear Haitians," he wrote, "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?"
He also asked what's being done to prevent this tragedy from happening again, using New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina as an example.
"We did the same after Hurricane Katrina," he said. "We were quick to vilify humans who were too slow to respond to the needs of victims, forgetting that the victims had built and maintained a major city below sea level in a known target zone for hurricanes. Our response: Make the same mistake again. Rebuild a doomed city, putting aside logic as we did."
Shirley has been dropped as a freelance writer for ESPN for his comments on Haiti.