Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dear 'Whites Only' Basketball League

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Have no fear, Shawn Bradley. Your league is here...

via The Augusta Chronicle:
A new professional basketball league boasting rosters made up exclusively of white Americans has its eyes set on Augusta, but the team isn't receiving a warm welcome. The All-American Basketball Alliance announced in a news release Sunday evening that it intends to start its inaugural season in June and hopes Augusta will be one of 12 cities with a team. "Only players that are natural born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league," the statement said.

Don "Moose" Lewis, the commissioner of the AABA, said the reasoning behind the league's roster restrictions is not racism. Lewis said he wants to emphasize fundamental basketball instead of "street-ball" played by "people of color." He pointed out recent incidents in the NBA, including Gilbert Arenas' indefinite suspension after bringing guns into the Washington Wizards locker room, as examples of fans' dissatisfaction with the way current professional sports are run.

White Men Can't Jump is one of my favorite movies. Along with the regular aspects of sports movies, the Snipes & Harrelson masterpiece stirs up the everlasting dialogue of the changing (or already changed) racial dynamic in basketball. It's no secret that over the past 30 years, the NBA has been dominated by African-American players. There's no real reason for that other than the players in the NBA being better. It's not racial makeup or an inherent racial advantage. That said, AABA (All-American Basketball Alliance), what is the deal with starting a racially-exclusive basketball league?? Or better yet, since when has being black been the impetus for one's affinity for 'street-ball' (as you call it)? While it does stand to say that the NBA has had a few legal issues coming from black players, you're trying to highlight a different issue instead of just being honest.

You're saying that you want to emphasize the fundamental aspect of the game. Since when has the NBA not been fundamental?? It's not as if these players are coming from Rucker Park or the Cage and doing Hot Sauce crossovers while a man in an afro is screaming 'OOOOOHHHH BAYBEEEE!!'. It's not as if there are egregious travels and random stops in play. You're making a drastic generalization between the streetball that everyone watches in the summer, and the NBA, where the BEST players in the world play, regardless of race or nationality. Saying that you want to eradicate the NBA-esque play that isn't fundamental is an oxymoron. That's like going to Taco Bell and asking for, a low-calorie meal: IMPOSSIBLE. So to the AABA and your leader Don Lewis I'd say take a look at yourselves and figure out why it is you have such a hatred for the 'black' way of playing basketball. Maybe that's the reason you've been getting dunked on...

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