Jun
03

Athletes’ and Entertainers’ Entitlement Issues

The following guest post is from Ashlei Deal, who formerly worked for the San Antonio Spurs.

I have been around the sports and entertainment business for quite some time. Growing up in Oklahoma and having spent a year interning for the San Antonio Spurs, this years Western Conference Finals has been close to my heart. When I heard how upset Lil Wayne was that he was denied access to Game 3 in Oklahoma City, I knew there had to be more to the story than him being unwanted.

Along with working in the sports world and being a huge rap fan, I was offended by Lil Wayne insinuating that he was not wanted there because he is black. I attended my first Lil Wayne concert in Tulsa,OK, where he sold out and was well respected. I was always impressed by his performance and had become a huge fan. However, showing up at a game that was sold out (OKC sold out every regular season and playoff game) and expecting to get front row tickets would be difficult, if not impossible, for President Obama to pull off the day of. While entertainers and athletes usually have more money than most, they are not entitled to certain things that aren’t just available. With a person showing up the day of the game, the arena is full, they are not going to kick someone else out of their courtside seats, just to accommodate a famous person.

Lil Wayne was offered tickets by James Harden and Kevin Durant for game four, but decided not to take them, because they were offered by “black players.” He had mentioned he would feel unwanted. Growing up in that state and being involved in several interracial relationships, I never felt any prejudice against me or my significant other. The bottom line is, there were not any tickets available, and you were not unwanted. Most people would have been ecstatic to be sitting by Lil Wayne at a Western Playoff Game. Oklahoma is a small state, with not many famous people making the trek to attend games. While big name teams are accustomed to setting seats aside in case any big names want to appear and get their way at the last minute, they are able to accommodate. Oklahoma doesn’t usually have that happen, as I am sure that Utah and Minnesota do not have that issue either.

Lil Wayne, while I used to be a big fan, I lost respect for you and how you handled the situation. If you would have planned ahead, you would not have had an issue, this has nothing to due with the arena or the state, but your feeling of entitlement.

  • Hailey Hince

    Good point. It is great to read the truth from a knowledgeable agent.

  • AHorwitch

    I think you make a great point in this article. Many celebrities (or faux celebrities) DO feel entitled. In Los Angeles, are these celebrities in the the rows of games actual fans or are they at Staples Center just so they can be seen. The fact that Lil Wayne was offered tickets by two of the starts of the best players in the league after the initial “snub” and declined those tickets shows that he may not actually be a fan. The team made the correct move, in my opinion. The game was sold out. Die-hard fans were probably left without tickets. Those are the people the team should GIVE tickets to, not greedy celebrities.

  • Bradley Krzyston

    Great point of view.  I agree with others that the team made the right move.  It was a tough move to make, though.  This is especially true if the team has been paying attention to Charles Barkley’s comments on TNT of his perceived lack of racial diversity in the state.  It’s unfortunate that the team has deal with this type of press during the great run they’ve been making this playoffs.  

    I’ve also encountered entitlement situations in my experience.  On one occasion, I set up an NFL player with a last minute ticket request.  After pulling together two tickets, a parking pass, and free food and drinks, he pulled a hat out of his pocket of the opposing team.  He put it on right in front of me and I’ll I could do was laugh.