I'm pretty sure after a full day of hearing out plenty of people on this issue that the majority of America doesn't think that Gatorade's new commercial for its Gatorade A.M. is racist. Analyze what you want, but the whole thing basically falls apart when you realize that Kareem is watering his OWN lawn instead of someone else's. Seriously though, I'm even surprised by the reaction this received, but I believe it has something to do with all the IMUS/Rutgers banter. Anyway, Jeff Urban, Gatorade's senior vice president of sports marketing, was good enough to get on the phone with me to talk through this and here is his response:
"We chose Kevin to the play the Milkman because he's cool and playful and we thought he could bring a lot to the spot. Along with Mia Hamm as the soccer mom, he really helped draw the laughs. Kareem is watering his own yard -- in a very nice neighborhood. In the past we've seen Dwayne Wade, Derek Jeter and Peyton Manning on bodies of little kids and Derek, Peyton and Yao Ming comically playing in "Playmates" with Little Jimmy. All this was was Gatorade carrying on our tradition of putting athletes in funny situations.