Monday, January 08, 2007

Racism in Sports

Here's one twist I hadn't considered - and I don't know if it's true, but it certainly sounds interesting. This article is a few weeks old - Allen Iversen, NBA uber-star, was about to be traded out of Philadelphia. But where to send him?

From the business side of the equation, trading for Allen Iverson has to be beneficial for his new team … both on and off the court. In a market where some of the cities that host NBA teams are not 'urban' cities, having Iverson as the face of your team will not be 'in the best interest' of the franchise. Which makes a deal for Iverson as much a business decision as it does one based on basketball.

So, teams in the particularly-racist midwest or deep south with predominantly white exurban ticket holders will not be good places for Iverson to go because he's, you know, too black.

I would have thought this was probably a very serious concern of organizations thinking of taking Iverson, but now we have 20/20 hindsight and Iverson's been Denver. I've never been to Denver, but I suspect it's almost as white as Utah, where Karl 'The Mailman' Malone faced racism for so many years, in spite of his superstar performances.

So, if Denver really is whitesville, what does this trade mean? That NBA teams don't, in fact, care how 'black' a player is? Or was there some other combination of factors that let ownership in Denver think that taking Iverson was a good move? Maybe a championship?

...fixed typo.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My favorite subject, B-Ball. Of course there's racism in the NBA, have you ever SEEN the Utah Jazz? There are some other pale teams out there as well...But where you see racism at it's most insidious is through the media coverage. "Black black" players receive much more scrutiny than whitebread guys.