Captain Lee Rosbach from ‘Below Deck’ Shocked By NBA Star’s Criticism

Captain Lee Rosbach was “dismayed” with a recent op-ed in the Hollywood Reporter that painted him in a less than positive light.

The article was penned by contributor and legendary NBA Hall of Fame star, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who Rosbach says he is a fan. So perhaps Abdul-Jabbar’s comments stung even more to the no-nonsense captain. Rosbach took to Instagram and Twitter to form a rebuttal.

Captain Lee Rosbach /Getty Images

The article calls out bad male behavior and the country’s reaction

The op-ed, “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Breaking Down Hollywood’s Addiction to the ‘Myth of Manliness,'” examines sexist and racist comments and behavior from a number of male stars.

Abdul-Jabbar pointed out both comedian Kevin Hart and chef Gordon Ramsay’s past bad behavior. He also discussed the backlash to Liam Neeson’s recent admission to a racist reaction he had when he learned a friend was raped by a black man.

Ultimately, Abdul-Jabbar calls out how easily racist or sexist comments or actions may be dismissed. While at the same time the public harshly condemns individuals who try to come to terms with them. “The touching ballad ‘Maybe It’s Time,’ sung by [Bradley] Cooper in A Star Is Born, does more than the movie to address the challenges males face in redefining manhood: “Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die. It takes a lot to change a man. Hell, it takes a lot to try.”

This is how Rosbach gets in the mix

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar|Getty Images

Surely Rosbach didn’t love that Abdul-Jabbar’s article began by calling the sea captain out for comments made on the Below Deck seasonfinale.

“On the recent season finale of Bravo’s reality show Below Deck, tough-as-barnacles Captain Lee told two male deck hands, ‘If you girls would like to get off your asses, I’d like to pull the anchor and get out of here,'” Abdul-Jabber wrote. “They all laughed and the deckhands jumped up and got to work. Captain Lee seems like a demanding but decent guy who looks like second runner-up for World’s Most Interesting Man. He intended no malice.”

Abdul-Jabbar adds that using the word “girls” in that context is often associated with “laziness or lack of ambition.” Abdul-Jabbar says sports coaches also use the same approach when yelling at boys teams when he was a child.

But this is what really stung

Abdul-Jabbar concluded his opening paragraph wondering not why Rosbach said it, but why didn’t Bravo edit the comments out?

He added, ” It was the gender-bias equivalent of wearing blackface without realizing that it’s offensive. That relentless undercurrent of male toxicity within our hugely influential showbiz culture is like an anchor dragging gender equality beneath the waves.”

Rosbach reacts (and so do fans)

Rosbach posted his rebuttal to Abdul-Jabbar’s piece on social media. “I’m a fan of @kareemabduljabbar33 but I was was dismayed to read in The Hollywood Reporter that he compared my comments on a recent episode of BD to wearing blackface in his op-ed.”

“I have always done my very best throughout my long career to stay ‘woke,’ and treated my female employees with the same standards and decency as the male ones,” he continued. “Always have, always will. With me it’s not about gender, it’s about your quality of work.”

Fan reactions were also swift and loyal. “I’m sick to death of the crybaby post regarding the ‘girls’ joke,” one fan tweeted. “Maybe you shouldn’t be watching Bravo if you can’t handle a simple comment such as this. And agreeing with someone who equates it to wearing blackface is beyond ignorant.” However, others on Twitter agreed with Abdul-Jabbar’s observation. “I’m glad I’m not the only one that called you out on that. Hopefully, you won’t use ‘girls’ as a put down anymore.”

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