Quicken Loans has strong ties to the basketball world. The largest online retail mortgage lender in the U.S. has its name emblazoned on the side of the arena in which the NBA’s biggest star, LeBron James, plays. In a related story, Quicken Loans’ founder, Dan Gilbert, owns the Cleveland Cavaliers. And last year, Quicken Loans partnered with Yahoo Sports to launch Warren Buffett’s Billion Dollar NCAA March Madness Bracket Challenge (no one won).
Thursday, Deadspin.com’s Kevin Draper published a report that said Gilbert had a post by Yahoo! Sports NBA writer Kelly Dwyer removed from Yahoo!'s Sports site after Dwyer dropped a reference about Quicken Loans being a “predatory lender.”
For those who don’t know, “predatory lending” is described by financial-dictionary.com as “the practice in which a loan is made to a borrower in the hope of expectation that the borrower will default. A lender may have an incentive to commit predatory lending if he/she receives a commission for each loan made (regardless of creditworthiness) or if the lender easily can bundle and sell the mortgage to a third party, passing on the risk while still profiting. Predatory lending is illegal in many jurisdictions, though the exact definition may vary from place to place.”
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It’s easy to see why Gilbert would be pissed off about that kind of post. And considering Dwyer @KDonhoops has over 31,000 Twitter followers, it’s unlikely that Gilbert was happy about having a popular hoops writer indirectly accuse him of malpractice.
But for Gilbert to actually contact Yahoo! higher-ups to remove a lowly basketball writer’s post (the story with the reference was about Cavs fans allowing LeBron to return to Cleveland for Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ jersey retirement last spring), and for that corporate giant to actually follow through and do it, is entirely laughable – not to mention alarming.
Draper said he recently contacted Dwyer about the story and Dwyer did not confirm or deny the report, instead settling on making a joke about it being Phil Collins’ birthday. Obviously, Dwyer doesn’t want to talk about it, as I assume he enjoys being employed. Nonetheless, here’s what Dwyer tweeted about after the Deadspin story broke:
So, we know Dwyer likes music.
Meanwhile, Gilbert’s Twitter account has been silent since Jan. 30. Yahoo’s main Twitter account did not acknowledge the story as of Thursday night and nor did its main Sports account. Fellow Yahoo! NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski did not acknowledge the story on Twitter as of Thursday night either.