Monday, January 22, 2007

David Stern's continued crusade on all that is niggerish

The Sports Law Blog references an article in the NY Daily News where Mitch Lawrence reveals that " In the wake of the Broncos' Darrent Williams' murder in Denver, and other shootings in that city involving pro athletes, the NBA (read:Stern) this past week ordered its security forces in all 29 cities to come up with a list of clubs and other night spots that should be made off-limits to players. Once the clubs are identified, with the help of local law enforcement, the league will send a directive to teams mandating that players avoid those spots or be subject to a substantial fine."

I remember we hashed out the new dress code and Stern's disdain for athletes carrying guns on this blog a while back. During that time I defended Stern's position's but this recent development has me backpedaling (pun intended) from my previous position. Whereas I had previously opined that the impetus behind Stern's positions was to increase league revenue and profitability which was a good thing even though it came at the expense of certain civil liberties, I dont know if I can continue to hold that position. If there is a line that divides good business practices and racial sanitizing Stern has definitely crossed it.

Without a doubt the clubs that will be put on the list are likely to be of the "urban" variety in "urban cities " (its no mystery how many of the clubs on Stern's hit list will be in Utah). Furthermore it Stern's paternalistic attitudes leaves a bad taste in my mouth not just the fact that he is telling a bunch of grown-ass men how to live their lives but also the whole dynamic of the old white man in charge of the league issuing edicts that are aimed at "whitening up" the black boys that run around and make money for him and the owners. Maybe I am making too much about it?


Hajpaj said...

Strong post. You should read "$40 million Slaves" by William Rhoden--a black sportswriter whose been on ESPN and other major papers for over 20 years. He touches on some of this in his book.

I agree with what you wrote. but i have fairly extensive marketing background myself including some work with sports teams. With that said, you should keep something in mind:

The NBA's core audience is not ethnic. It's primary audience actually 24-45 year old white males, with incomes exceeding 40Gs per year, who love ball, etc. They're skewing on the younger end these days, but they really want that baby-boomer crowd (they've got lots of untapped spending power still.)

much of these target, doesn't live near blacks and people of color and they know the type of Basketball player they want to see. If you don't give it to them, they'll take their sports entertainment dollar somewhere else.

What Stern is doing is telling guys: "know your audience; fit in."

It's still biased, but in this case, it pays.

Brother Afrocan said...

you raise a good point hajpaj but my concern is the slippery slope you go down while trying to please the audience. What lines should not be crossed? the lines that separate athlete from minstrel (or have they already been crossed?) You can only go so far without sacrificing your dignity no matter how high the dollars that are involved are.

Jomo said...

Hajpaj is correct in referring to the "$40 million $laves" book which quite adequately describes this NBA dynamic.
Stern is clearly out doing the bidding of those suburban dwelling whites who are turned off by what they perceive as "barbaric ape and monkey thugs" playing basketball.
Sure they love them when they act according to their liking but let them speak their mind, walk with a swagger and God forbid get into an altercation with another player or challenge a re; it becomes those "ungrateful chumps."
But what ultimately disturbs me most is the fact that not once have any of these NBA players thought of squashing their egos and their desires for more bling, fashion and fast cars to let's say start their own league.
They had an opportunity to do such a thing during the '98-'99 season lockout. They had Stern in a vulnerable position and didn't go all the way.
Imagine the statement it would have made. Had Patrick Ewing and the other guys at that time done so, this whole NBA dress code, the new ball, being banned from certain clubs and all else would be moot points as of today.
This is why the NBA is most like a plantation. It's now time for the field slaves and some of those in the house, to rise up and overthrow Massa Stern!