Basketball and Subtle Forms of Racism in America
Over the many years I’ve watched basketball, a lot has changed that makes me feel good about the future of America. However, there are still subtle forms of racism that persist in the game. No, it isn’t mean spirited or vindictive like the traditional forms of racism back in the 50’s and 60’s, but I still find it frustrating. Here are some typical examples that you will find on this and almost every major basketball draft site.
1. White players are often described as lacking athleticism, but the implication is that they somehow make up for that with the infamous “HIGH BASKETBALL IQ” description. There are other expressions such as heady, smart, clever, etc. However, black players are rarely described as High IQ, they are generally described as being very athletic.
2. White players are almost always compared ONLY to other white guys, even when the comparison is borderline ridiculous. Since about 80% of the players in the league are black, why eliminate all 80% of them when you're looking for comparisons for white guys? Please note, the key word is "ONLY".
You will see this in just about every thread on the website. One of the most blatant was last year's Tyler Hansbrough [a big time scorer] comparison to Mark Madsen, who averaged about 1 ppg in his NBA career.
And when it comes to black players, just like their white counterparts, they’re compared ONLY to other black guys. Once again, the key word is "ONLY" and this has to stop.
3. Guys are always starting endless threads about mediocre white players whom they hope will make it in the NBA. That includes players such as BJ Mullens, AJ Oglive, Connor Aitchley [Texas], Luke Babbit, Goran Suton and Jon Scheyer. Reference point number two above, in those threads the players will almost always be compared almost exclusively with other white guys in the NBA, even if the comparison has little or no merit.
What are your thoughts and are there any other common threads I missed?
you dont dig deep enough into the why. if someone is thought of of being very athletic then of course there iq is talked about much because they use there athletic ability more then they use there iq. and if someone has a high iq and low athletic ability then they will use that more. a player will use what there strength is if thats what works for them. it makes no sense for a player like wall to slow down his game and start to play different then what his strengths are. the same thing with josh smith and amare stoudimire. a player like time dunkin or larry bird aren't gonna go out and try to out athletic someone if thats not there strengths. if a player is black/white and unathletic then its obvious that there basketball iq will be higher (at first) then another player who uses there athletic ability to do what they do on the court. the reason white and black players are put into a catagory is by the players that are white/black in the nba.look at all the white and black players who are athleti and un athletic. people call it like they see it. you dont see people saying tim duncan,udonis hasleem, stephen curry,are very athletic just like you dont see people saying j.j reddick, jason kapono,kyle kover are athletic. yes racism still exist but every thing doesnt fall into that. people see players play and determine if they are athletic or have a high basketball IQ. i watched and played against luke recker and i though-athletic....ive watched and played against csey jacobson and thought the same thing. i played against troy murphey and didnt think that. same with arcie miller. played against james white and though athletic. played against bernard robinson and didnt think athletic. youre a extremist. you take everything further then they have to be. you create a problem where there is no problem. not saying you do it on purpose but thats what you do. if no one on here knew what racisim was and they just picked players off what they see and didnt think about race and just thought about ability you and jwhite would come on and bring race to the fourm thus creating a problem that didnt need to be created
fact is black people are generally more athletic than white people. So for a player to make it in the NBA he either has to have athleticism or a lot of bball iq. Unfortunately for us white people it is usually if you do not have a high bbal iq you will not make it in the NBA. Hence it seems like they call these players smart because they are white, but truth is they call them smart because that truly is the reason they made the team.
damn bkballer you just opened it up with youre first sentence. he is now about to really get into it
bkballer, thanks for illustrating some subtle forms of racism when you wrote, "black people are generally more athletic than white people" and "it seems like they call these players smart because they are white, but truth is they call them smart because that truly is the reason they made the team."
If you can say black people as a group are more athletic than white people, someone else can use the same logic and claim that white people are smarter than black people. Hopefully you can see the danger in using that form of logic.
Now if you say in America, great athletes tend to go into basketball and football, I would agree. And for a variety of reasons, many of them are black.
But the worlds' greatest Olympic high jumpers, guys who leap to incredible heights close to 8 feet off the ground, are almost all white. That's also true for the world's greatest athletes in the sports of speed skating, gymnastics, ice hockey, swimming, and downhill skiers, etc. Sometimes our perception of who is a great athlete is distorted by what we see on TV every day. In America we watch basketball and football almost all year, so many people don't realize there are many great athletes from other countries who go into different sports because basketball and football aren't part of their national culture. Even though they're great athletes, we rarely see them on American TV.
As for the smart and basketball IQ comment, my point was this. Even though there are lots of very smart black players, you rarely see them described as having a high basketball IQ. But with white players, it's almost a given. I was debating with a guy about AJ Oglive from Vanderbilt who is another one of those over hyped marginal white guys. Do you know what the guy said? He replied by saying, but he has a "HIGH basketball IQ".
Why does he allegedly have a high basketball IQ? He said that because he's white, not necessarily because it's true. That is, in my opinion, a racist perception which is very common in the world of basketball.
God. Damn. It. All I'm going to say is, if white people are subject to "subtle discrimination", its the softest form of racism I've ever seen. You don't really want to get into why why blacks are seen as more athletic. Unless you really want to get into slave trade and breeding. You wanna go there?
That stereotype of white=smart, black=strong has been around since the 1600's. Slavery only reinforced the stereotype, as well as the stereotype the blacks are naturally stupid (nevermind that reading was punishable by death). These stereotypes have continued to today, primarily because anyone who's 50 or older has lived through segregation. Race has been a 'determinig factor' for centuries, and it isnt going to die out until people who see race as difference all die off.
and those are all sports alot of black people just dont try to get into. plus being a good athlete is more then just jumping. its liek me saying that about sprinting since thats also part of being athletic
It's obvious that different people have their own definition of what is a great athlete. As far as I'm concerned, if you dominate a sport such as basketball, high jumping, swimming, cycling, gymnastics, skiing, etc. you're a great athlete.
I don't know how high Michael Phelps can jump but he's one of the world's greatest athletes. Lance Armstrong is one of the world's greatest athletes ever. High jumpers who leap 7 feet 9 inches off the ground in the Olympics are unbelievable athletes.
The point again is that Americans generally judge great athletes in the context of only basketball and football because that's what they watch on TV every day. I understand why that happens, but I think they have to widen their perspective before they make such generalizations about who is a great athlete.