Author Topic: Basketball culture: a good example of dealing with racism?  (Read 347 times)

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Basketball culture: a good example of dealing with racism?
« on: July 28, 2020, 07:53:10 PM »

Offline RodyTur10

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First of all if mods find this topic too controversial to talk about, no problem if you close it.

What this topic is about is the interesting way in which race is treated in specifically the sports of basketball.

In this very heated subject around the world, there's no room for a decent discussion and people are being labeled for their opinions and even judged based on their skin colour. That's something I do not want to talk about here or start a discussion about it (so please don't mention black lives matter or white supremacists, or any other group).

This topic is more positive because I want to put forward in the way opinions of analysts of basketball players can be conceived as racist, but that this accepted in basketball culture. There's no judgment by these analysts or fans, but they do participate in generalizations of allocating a specific attribute to a race.

What I am talking about is that "black" players are often perceived as being very athletic and "white" players are not, indicated by the expression "white men can't jump". On the other hand, "white" players are often perceived as being very smart and "black" players are not, indicated by the expression "he's an athlete, not a basketball player".

Not only is it remarkable that it's common and basically accepted to say such things, but also that there's a probably a lot of truthness in it. Just look around in the NBA. The most athletic guy on the Celtics is Jaylen Brown or Robert Williams, while the smartest player is Hayward. The discussion of who is the best center is between Embiid (game based on height/size and athletism) and Jokic (games based on ball handling and BBIQ). The stars of tomorrow: Zion (superathlete) and Doncic (supersmart). I can name many more examples, so there definitely seems to be a correlation between race/genes and a specific skill.

And I like that in basketball culture it's allowed that it's not weird or judgmental to talk about players in that way. It's honest and I think it's a great example of how to deal with supposed racism. I really don't know about any other sports, where this is done and allowed and I think it's fascinating and that people can learn from this.

And of course there are enough examples who don't fit the criterion, which is logical because everybody is different. You have "black" guys who are both athletic and smart like LeBron James and you have "white" guys who are neither athletic or smart and therefore won't have a career in the NBA  ;D
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Re: Basketball culture: a good example of dealing with racism?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2020, 08:24:46 PM »

Offline Ogaju

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I think your premise was probably true 30 years ago, but the prejudices you talk about have been debunked for years now in the NBA.

Unfortunately one of the incidents in which the racial prejudice reared its ugly head involved out beloved Celtics when Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons after a loss to the Celtics bashed the media for all the credits given to Bird for being a hard worker whilst black players were referred to as natural basketball players as if 'they came out of the womb playing basketball'. Since that time there has been an effort in the NBA to not prejudge players based on race. I thought Williams or Brown was the smartest player on the Celtics not Hayward. 8)

Re: Basketball culture: a good example of dealing with racism?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2020, 08:28:20 PM »

Offline bdm860

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Not only is it remarkable that it's common and basically accepted to say such things, but also that there's a probably a lot of truthness in it. Just look around in the NBA. The most athletic guy on the Celtics is Jaylen Brown or Robert Williams, while the smartest player is Hayward. The discussion of who is the best center is between Embiid (game based on height/size and athletism) and Jokic (games based on ball handling and BBIQ). The stars of tomorrow: Zion (superathlete) and Doncic (supersmart). I can name many more examples, so there definitely seems to be a correlation between race/genes and a specific skill.

Not that I don't think this is a thing, but I've never personally heard that Gordan Hayward is the smartest player on the C's.  If anything I always hear Jaylen is the smartest (though that's more off court than on court), along with Tacko and Grant Williams.  If we're talking solely about bball IQ, I'm not sure if there's any consensus, you'll probably hear Walker, Hayward, Smart all mentioned, along with guys like Horford, Rondo, and KG in the past.

On top off all that, I don't think the media ever shuts up about how high the bball IQs of LeBron and Chris Paul are.  League wide poll I wouldn't be surprised if those 2 topped the list.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 09:15:39 PM by bdm860 »

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Re: Basketball culture: a good example of dealing with racism?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2020, 09:03:44 PM »

Online gouki88

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I think your premise was probably true 30 years ago, but the prejudices you talk about have been debunked for years now in the NBA.

Unfortunately one of the incidents in which the racial prejudice reared its ugly head involved out beloved Celtics when Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons after a loss to the Celtics bashed the media for all the credits given to Bird for being a hard worker whilst black players were referred to as natural basketball players as if 'they came out of the womb playing basketball'. Since that time there has been an effort in the NBA to not prejudge players based on race. I thought Williams or Brown was the smartest player on the Celtics not Hayward. 8)
I don't think that these prejudices aren't found anymore. They're more covert I think, but still there. You can see it in player comparisons, where Doncic is relentlessly compared to Bird even though his game as it stands is Harden-like, or every white big man who can shoot from Bargnani to Bender being compared to Dirk.

Also, in terms of BBIQ, it's definitely Smart or Hayward. In terms of general IQ, it's Grant or Tacko.

Re: Basketball culture: a good example of dealing with racism?
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2020, 09:12:25 PM »

Offline BitterJim

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I think your premise was probably true 30 years ago, but the prejudices you talk about have been debunked for years now in the NBA.

Unfortunately one of the incidents in which the racial prejudice reared its ugly head involved out beloved Celtics when Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons after a loss to the Celtics bashed the media for all the credits given to Bird for being a hard worker whilst black players were referred to as natural basketball players as if 'they came out of the womb playing basketball'. Since that time there has been an effort in the NBA to not prejudge players based on race. I thought Williams or Brown was the smartest player on the Celtics not Hayward. 8)
I don't think that these prejudices aren't found anymore. They're more covert I think, but still there. You can see it in player comparisons, where Doncic is relentlessly compared to Bird even though his game as it stands is Harden-like, or every white big man who can shoot from Bargnani to Bender being compared to Dirk.

Also, in terms of BBIQ, it's definitely Smart or Hayward. In terms of general IQ, it's Grant or Tacko.

And anyone that does think that should just listen to Jeremy Lin
I'm bitter.

Re: Basketball culture: a good example of dealing with racism?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2020, 09:21:30 PM »

Offline trickybilly

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I think your premise was probably true 30 years ago, but the prejudices you talk about have been debunked for years now in the NBA.

Unfortunately one of the incidents in which the racial prejudice reared its ugly head involved out beloved Celtics when Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons after a loss to the Celtics bashed the media for all the credits given to Bird for being a hard worker whilst black players were referred to as natural basketball players as if 'they came out of the womb playing basketball'. Since that time there has been an effort in the NBA to not prejudge players based on race. I thought Williams or Brown was the smartest player on the Celtics not Hayward. 8)
I don't think that these prejudices aren't found anymore. They're more covert I think, but still there. You can see it in player comparisons, where Doncic is relentlessly compared to Bird even though his game as it stands is Harden-like, or every white big man who can shoot from Bargnani to Bender being compared to Dirk.

Also, in terms of BBIQ, it's definitely Smart or Hayward. In terms of general IQ, it's Grant or Tacko.

BBIQ: I got Smart, Kemba, Tatum, and maybe Theis.
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Re: Basketball culture: a good example of dealing with racism?
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2020, 10:33:14 PM »

Offline Csfan1984

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Forgive the old terms of white and black instead of African American or Caucasians but it helps to call it as it was then in black players or white players.

 Bias of athletic or smart based on white or black are pretty old stigmas that do somewhat label people till proven otherwise. Take athletic ability there are some crazy dunkers on YouTube who are white. Some are pro dunkers who can dunk better than 95% of NBA players. With modern training, it made the gap between genetics and hard work smaller than ever. On the negative there are a good amount of white and black athletes in college right now that have incredible bounce but can't shoot. So white or black you can be athletic and only athletic sometimes.

Look to back in the day and there was always phenomenal in shape white players too. Guys who could easily handle 40mins a night and could get up pretty high. Some were considered best conditioned players on their teams. But stigma was formed I think due to the "average common player" people who didn't train physically but just played.

In contrast there was always skilled black players as well and many were smart but instead of labeled smart players they were labeled instinctual due to racism.

And I definitely want to be clear basketball smart is different than life smart or book smart. Schooling has been different for the majority vs minority groups a long time and that is a legit factor on book and life knowledge. Also in rural areas sometimes funds for schools was low so didn't matter what color you were. You had to get an education on your own dime if you wanted one.

Back to labels and bias. Many of the labels were also formed based on what the cultures found impressive and what they liked talking about. There were always examples of all types of people doing different feats. So maybe cultures promotion played in to it.

One last thing is coaching. Some white coaches early days did have bias against black players being the top scorers on a team and insisted on blacks sticking to rebounding and defense. That went through all levels of basketball youth to pro. That also limited perseptions early in basketball's life. It dictated what guys were expected to do and what they worked on.

So yes racism and culture has set a bias which most players have to prove doesnt apply to them but I think no one today feels a black player can't be smart or that a white player can't be athletic.

Re: Basketball culture: a good example of dealing with racism?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2020, 10:25:34 AM »

Offline gift

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I think you should make a distinction between people casually exposed to basketball culture and those more involved. There are different levels of knowledge and at those different levels exist different thoughts, ideas and biases.