Some thoughts about race and sports

These guys are Navajos, not Nazis

The three original Thunderlads- Acilius, LeFalcon, and VThunderlad- have exchanged some emails in recent days in which we’ve been talking about race and sports.  The discussion has gotten on to some pretty interesting questions, I think, about politics, economics, culture, etc.

This started when blog founder VThunderlad sent us a link to a news item about “The All-American Basketball Association,” a proposed professional basketball league that will be restricted to players who were born in the USA to two parents “of the Caucasian race.”  I blogged about that story a few days ago, explaining my suspicions as to what the promoters are really up to.

In response to VThunderlad’s email, LeFalcon mocked the AABA’s promoters’ claim that African-American players had corrupted the NBA:

There actually is something interesting about
the reasons they give for forming the league:
They’re suggesting that African-Americans have corrupted the sport.
How so?

The white players are grounded in “fundamentals”
(= honest, hard-working).
Black players violate these “fundamentals,” supposedly gaining an unfair advantage from doing so.
It seems to be implied that black players, in a seeming paradox, are both superior players
AND intrinsically lazy.

Question:  If opportunism wins the day,
can’t white players similarly “cheat”?

“Both superior players AND intrinsically lazy”- that’s exactly the kind of logical absurdity racism makes it possible for people to accept blithely.  VThunderlad expressed surprise about one point:

“”natural born citizens of TWO (2) Caucasian parents” (they seem to have left out a definition of parents being a man and a woman, as one might expect, but perhaps they don’t mind homo-ball, just negro-ball.”

I responded with the theory I laid out in my “Gametime for Hitler” post.  Then the conversation started to turn away from the sarcastic tone above (“riddim,” “negro-ball,” etc) and toward a more serious discussion of the underlying issues of race and sport.  From LeFalcon:

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Gametime for Hitler

Don "Moose" Lewis

I suppose everyone has heard of The Producers, the 1968 Mel Brooks movie, the Broadway musical based on it, and the 2005 movie based on the Broadway musical.  Max Bialystock makes a living sweet-talks lonely old ladies into investing in plays that never succeed; his new partner, Leo Bloom, points out that if each “investor” bought a share of the profits, the producers could make a fortune by putting on a play that did not earn profits.  They get hold of the script they deem least likely to attract an audience, a musical called Springtime for Hitler, and sell several hundred percent of the profits to Max’s marks.  To their horror, the play does attracts an audience.  New York theater-goers decide it’s a satire, and that it’s hilarious.  It become a runaway hit.   Faced with profits they have already oversold, Bialystock and Bloom end up in jail. 

Where Bialystock and Bloom made their mistake was in actually producing the play.  Introduce the ticket-buying public to the equation, and you can never be certain how it will turn out.  A man named Don “Moose” Lewis has found a way around this problem. 

The day before the national holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr, Lewis and his associates announced that they were starting a new professional basketball league, the All-American Basketball Association.  The All-American Basketball Association will be open only to players who are “natural born American citizens with both parents of Caucasian race.”  Asked where the proposed league will play its games, Lewis has said that “he hopes to find kindred spirits at private white-flight academies that are prevalent across the southern regions,” according to the Augusta, Georgia Chronicle

To me, this last remark is the surest proof that Lewis is another Max Bialystock.  White-flight academies are sitting ducks for anti-discrimination lawsuits, and they know it.  The last thing any of them would do is to make an overt public statement like the one implied in renting a venue to the “All-American Basketball Association.”  Since they know they won’t have to worry about distributing any revenue, Lewis and his confederates can recruit capital from as many people as they can find who are deranged by a powerful love of basketball, an even more powerful hatred of black people, and a weak sense of business.  When the league fails to get off the ground, their subscribers are less likely to demand their money back than they are to hold Lewis and his fellows up as martyrs to their anti-black cause.