August 13, 2008

Spanish Basketball Team in Racist Pose


Thanks to T-Tocs who first posted this in our forum. There's already a huge discussion taking place about the story. The Spanish basketball team was photographed doing the slant eye pose that so many of us know from grade school, and they're not apologizing for it. To make things worse, as minorTruths points out in the forum, there is a Chinese sponsor who is exonerating them by saying it's not offensive.

I've already blogged somewhat about the topic of European racism. I don't know what else can change a culture other than an internal movement. Love or hate the U.S., we're still ahead of much of the rest of the world when it comes to understanding race relations.

MinorTruths referenced an excellent article here, which makes good points about the double standard that Americans face and also makes some good points about how the money spins and who works for whom.
So far, there’s nothing out of the league office. Rest assured, unless there’s an outcry over that photo, the NBA will wish this story away. Maybe the league will even issue a mild rebuke. It won’t be enough. Maybe this doesn’t rise to a suspension, but there should be significant fines and a bold condemnation. There needs to be a message delivered to NBA players everywhere: When you earn your money with us, you are always on the clock. Kidd, Kobe and LeBron understand it. It’s time the rest of the league does, too.

As some suggest he’ll do, Stern can’t dismiss this as the business of a federation team. These are NBA players returning to NBA cities this year. Never mind the host country and millions of fans here, but consider the Asian-American season ticket holders in cosmopolitan cities such as Toronto and Los Angeles. One of the reasons the New Jersey Nets traded for Yi Jianlian was to market him to a large Asian-American base in Metropolitan New York.

If anyone is feeling activist, send a letter to the NBA. Send one to the New York Times. Just keep on sending letters until someone gets the message.

Edit: Contact the NBA here. You can also use the link to contact the Raptors and the Lakers to let them know what you think about their "representatives" Gasol and Calderon.

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