NBA: Fair or Foul?

Two recent studies paint contrasting pictures of race relations in the National Basketball Association. Last week, the New York Times released data from a study conducted over the course of 13 NBA seasons, which found that white referees called more aaafouls against Black players than against white players (read article here). This study came out in the same week that Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson got tossed out of their playoff game against the Dallas Mavericks for clapping (no, not cussing, fouling or fighting, but clapping). This study affirms allegations of racism from several critics of the NBA, who point to the NBA’s age limit, dress code and other policies, as unfair and biased against Black players. This week, MSNBC reported a study which reached a very different conclusion:

“When it comes to handling race in sports, nobody does it better than the NBA”

This study, released by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida, has found that the NBA has the highest percentages of VPs and office personnel of color in professional men’s sports history (read article here). The NBA also has the only Black CEOs and presidents, and with 12 Black head coaches, leads pro sports in diversity. How do these statistics weigh against the previous study in regards to claims of progressive vs. prejudiced NBA policy? How can Black owners and coaches lobby for equal treatment of Black players (or should they)?

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Published on May 9, 2007 at 11:46 pm. 13 Comments.
Filed under racism,sports.