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Race and College Sports

The last major bastion of slavery in America – college sports. College Football and College Basketball are major revenue drivers for the schools. Being part of a major conference, even for a school at the bottom of the standings still means $8-10 million revenue in TV Rights and ticket sales. The big money from football has caused major realignments of traditional leagues – resulting in major realignments of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and the Big East as schools have fled to the big(ger) money conferences.

Schools winning the Championship series can garner over $50 million in revenue counting TV Rights, Ticket sales, and the ale of licensed material. This is BIG Business…

Racial prejudice is driving opposition to paying college athletes. Here’s the evidence.

With the money made from college sports increasing every year, the way colleges treat their athletes has become controversial.

That’s because college sports is a tremendously lucrative business for everyone but the athletes. The National College Athletic Association (NCAA) will receive $7.3 billion from ESPN for the right to broadcast the seven games of the College Football Playoffs (CFP) between 2014 and 2026, and $11 billionfrom CBS and Turner Sports to broadcast “March Madness” over the next 14 years.

Individual colleges also make out well: The University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball team’s trip to the Final Four this year, for example, brought more than $8 million in revenue to the universities of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Each of the “Big 5” conferences will make an estimated $50 millionfrom the college football playoffs this year.

And none of this counts the money made from concessions, merchandise and licensing fees.

Meanwhile, most college athletes are “paid” with scholarships that cover only tuition, room, board, books and fees — although in 2015, the NCAA allowed Division I universities the option of increasing this to pay the full cost of attendance. After adding up the time spent on practice, training and games, college athletes often “work” the equivalent of full-time hours for the universities they play for…

 

Most blacks want college athletes to be paid. Most whites don’t

There’s evidence that he’s right. In survey after survey, strong national majorities oppose paying college athletes. In March 2015, for example, anHBO Real Sports/Marist Poll found that 65 percent of Americans do not think college athletes in top men’s football and basketball programs should be paid.

But these attitudes vary significantly by race. In every survey to date, blacks are far more likely to support paying college athletes when compared to whites. For instance, in the 2014 Cooperative Congressional Election Study(CCES), 53 percent of African Americans backed paying college athletes–more than doubling the support expressed by whites (22 percent).

Racial divisions on controversial issues, of course, are not new. Even on ostensibly race-neutral policies like welfare, health care, and law enforcement, strong differences in opinion exist between blacks and whites. Decades of research have found (here, here and here) that some of those gaps in opinion come from racial prejudice against blacks. When whites believe that a policy mainly helps blacks, their opinions on that policy are inevitably colored by their feelings towards blacks as a group.

Could some of that gap grow from racism?

Could racial prejudice also affect attitudes toward paying college athletes? There are good reasons to believe that it could.

According to NCAA data from 2014, blacks constitute the majority of players in college football and basketball, the two sports that most people think of when they think of college athletics. Given this reality, it would be strange if questions about paying college athletes did not conjure up images of young black men in the minds of survey respondents.

To find out whether racial prejudice influences white opinion on paying college athletes, we conducted a survey of opinions on “pay for play” policies using the 2014 CCES.

In a statistical analysis that controlled for a host of other influences, we found this: Negative racial views about blacks were the single most important predictor of white opposition to paying college athletes.

The more negatively a white respondent felt about blacks, the more they opposed paying college athletes.

To check our findings’ validity, we also conducted an experiment. Before we asked white respondents whether college athletes should be paid, we showed one group pictures of young black men with stereotypical African American first and last names. We showed another group no pictures at all.

As you can see in the figure below, whites who were primed by seeing pictures of young black men were significantly more likely to say they opposed paying college athletes. Support dropped most dramatically among whites who expressed the most resent towards blacks as a group.

When we talk about paying college athletes, we’re talking about race 

In other words, the discussion about paying college athletes is implicitly a discussion about race. As the representative of nearly 1,200 schools, conferences and affiliate organizations, the NCAA should consider how much it wants to base its policies on public opinion that may be tainted by racial prejudice.

Kevin Wallsten is an associate professor in the department of political science at California State University atLong Beach. Tatishe M. Nteta is an associate professor in the department of political science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Lauren A. McCarthy is an assistant professor in the political science department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
 
 

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Globetrotter Legend Meadowlark Lemon

The Harlem Globetrotter star, and favorite of millions of young fans has passed.

Meadowlark Lemon, Harlem Globetrotter Who Played Basketball and Pranks With Virtuosity, Dies at 83

Meadowlark Lemon, whose halfcourt hook shots, no-look behind-the-back passes and vivid clowning were marquee features of the feel-good traveling basketball show known as the Harlem Globetrotters for nearly a quarter-century, died on Sunday in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he lived. He was 83.

The death was confirmed by his wife, Cynthia Lemon.

A gifted athlete with an entertainer’s hunger for the spotlight, Lemon, who dreamed of playing for the Globetrotters as a boy in North Carolina, joined the team in 1954, not long after leaving the Army. Within a few years, he had assumed the central role of showman, taking over from Reece Tatum, whom everyone called Goose, the Trotters’ long-reigning clown prince. Tatum was a superb ballplayer whose on-court gags — or reams, as the players called them — had established the team’s reputation for laugh-inducing wizardry at a championship level.

This was a time, however, when the Trotters were known not merely for their comedy routines and basketball legerdemain; they were also a formidable competitive team. Their victory over the Minneapolis Lakers in 1948 was instrumental in integrating the National Basketball Association, and a decade later their owner, Abe Saperstein, signed a 7-footer out of the University of Kansas to a one-year contract before he was eligible for the N.B.A.: Wilt Chamberlain.

By then, Lemon, who was 6 feet 3 inches and slender, was the team’s leading light, such a star that he played center while Chamberlain played guard.

Lemon was a slick ballhandler and a virtuoso passer, and he specialized in the long-distance hook, a trick shot he made with remarkable regularity. But it was his charisma and comic bravado that made him perhaps the most famous Globetrotter. For 22 years, until he left the team in 1978, Lemon was the Trotters’ ringmaster, directing their basketball circus from the pivot. He imitated Tatum’s reams, like spying on the opposition’s huddle, and added his own.

He chased referees with a bucket and surprised them with a shower of confetti instead of water. He dribbled above his head and walked with exaggerated steps. He mimicked a hitter in the batter’s box and, with teammates, pantomimed a baseball game. And both to torment the opposing team — as time went on, it was often a hired squad of foils — and to amuse the appreciative spectators, he laughed and he teased and he chattered and he smiled; like Tatum, he talked most of the time he was on the court.

The Trotters played in mammoth arenas and on dirt courts in African villages. They played in Rome before the pope; they played in Moscow during the Cold War before the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. In the United States, they played in small towns and big cities, in Madison Square Garden, in high school gyms, in cleared-out auditoriums — even on the floor of a drained swimming pool. They performed their most entertaining ball-handling tricks, accompanied by their signature tune “Sweet Georgia Brown,” on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

Through it all, Lemon became “an American institution like the Washington Monument or the Statue of Liberty” whose “uniform will one day hang in the Smithsonian right next to Lindbergh’s airplane,” as the Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray once described him.

Significantly, Lemon’s time with the Globetrotters paralleled the rise of the N.B.A. When he joined the team, the Globetrotters were still better known than, and played for bigger crowds than, the Knicks and the Boston Celtics. When he left, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were about to enter the N.B.A. and propel it to worldwide popularity. In between, the league became thoroughly accommodating to black players, competing with the Globetrotters for their services and eventually usurping the Trotters as the most viable employer of top black basketball talent.

Partly as a result, the Globetrotters became less of a competitive basketball team and more of an entertainment troupe through the 1960s and ’70s. They became television stars, hosting variety specials and playing themselves on shows like “The White Shadow” and a made-for-TV “Gilligan’s Island” movie; they inspired a Saturday morning cartoon show…Read More Here

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2015 in Giant Negros

 

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Black Basketball Players Expelled From School for Making 3 Point Sign

This one is so ridiculous, it just makes you mad…

Hand signals are used in basketball frequently to signal the next offensive play, or defense. That is done because in an enclosed stadium simply shouting won’t be heard by the other players over the noise of the crowd. Hand signs are also used by players as signs of success at a particular move or goal (to the crowd), or taunting another player.

High School Suspends Black Basketball Players, Claiming Gang-Related Hand Signs

A Wisconsin school district is standing by its decision to suspend two black basketball players because the signals they were making with their hands looked gang-related, saying that proper procedure was followed, the Raw Story reports.

 It all started at the beginning of the month when a local newspaper, the Sheboygan Falls News, ran what was supposed to be an upbeat story about three brothers, Jordan, Jamal and Juwaun Jackson, who moved to the district and now play basketball with Sheboygan Falls High School. As is normal, the paper did a mini photo-shoot for the article, and ultimately the decision was made to publish a “goofy” picture of the boys fooling around in their team’s uniform, making gestures with their hands.

However, things didn’t end up well for the boys. The high school suspended two of the brothers because parents who saw the story in the sports section of the paper thought the boys were making gang signs. The police department was even called in to investigate at the school’s request, the Raw Story notes.

“I did it like every other kid does it when they make a three [pointer],” Jordan Jackson explainedto TMJ News. “When you make a three, everyone does this sign. You’ve probably seen LeBron James or someone do it. I did the three in the picture, and my little brother pointed at the camera.

“I had no idea, they told us it meant blood,” he said referring to infamous Bloods gang.

Jean Born, the district superintendent, is sticking firm to the decision, saying that the school followed the athletic code. Police Chief Steve Riffel claimed that he was “able to confirm that the sign was indeed a gang sign,” even though he admitted the boys weren’t a threat.

The Sheboygan Falls News is siding with the boys on this issue, shocked at the mess the article has caused, expressing their disappointment in the school.

“The sign made by Jordan Jackson (on the far left side of the photo) is also commonly used by NBA players, such as James Harden, Lebron James and Brandon Jennings, after making a three-point shot,” the paper’s editor, Jeff Pederson, wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday. “The good intentions surrounding a positive article about high school student-athletes adjusting to a new school and contributing to an SFHS sports program has somehow taken an ugly turn.

“We are disappointed and saddened by the negative reaction and subsequent outcome, which has resulted in two high school basketball players being forced to miss a game against the team’s biggest rival,” he added. “In my 20 years in mainly small-town newspaper journalism, I have fielded plenty of complaints from readers. However, I have never seen anything published in a paper I have been a part of escalate to this very unfortunate and negative magnitude.”

The ACLU of Wisconsin has also stepped up in the boys’ defense, saying that they will be investigating the case themselves.

“It appears as if the Sheboygan Falls school district and police department are unprepared to respond to the increasing diversity in the schools in an appropriate and educationally sound manner,” ACLU Executive Director Chris Ahmuty said, according to the Raw Story. “The ACLU will be seeking information from the schools in order to assess their compliance with pupil non-discrimination rules. The ACLU asks the district to immediately make the brothers eligible to play in tomorrow’s game.”

Now, I don’t know where they recruited this particular group of school administrative morons from but obviously they have never attended a Wisconsin-Michigan Game…

Wisconsin Badger Frank Kaminsky makes a “gang sign” after making a 3 pointer. Michigan’s Nick Stauskas with “3 points in your eyes” 

Or a pro game.

Lebron James gives the three point signal

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in The New Jim Crow, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Celtics Great Bill Russell Detained At Airport For Carrying Loaded Gun

Things that make you go…Hmmmm…

 

Bill Russell detained at Seattle airport

 

 

Celtics legend Bill Russell was briefly detained and cited for bringing a loaded handgun into a Seattle airport in his carry-on bag on Wednesday night, officials said.

Perry Cooper, a spokesman for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, said Russell was cited for having a weapon in a prohibited area, and he was released to continue his travels after being detained for about 30 minutes. The gun was confiscated, Cooper said.

A spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration said the loaded .38 caliber Smith & Wesson was detected during routine screening of carry-on luggage.

Russell was scheduled to fly to Boston. It was not clear if he boarded his intended flight or a later one.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2013 in Giant Negros

 

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Michael Jordan’s New Beau

 Yvette Prieto and Michael Jordan   Looks like MJ has locked on to a new Beau…

Now… If he can just find a coach.

Michael Jordan is engaged to Yvette Prieto

One of Charlotte’s most eligible bachelors is now engaged, NewsChannel 36 has learned.

Charlotte Bobcats majority owner and NBA legend Michael Jordan got engaged over the Christmas holiday, a Jordan spokeswoman first confirmed to WCNC Thursday afternoon.

Several celebrity gossip websites reported MJ proposed to longtime girlfriend Yvette Prieto recently. Jordan was spotted courtside at the Bobcats game against the Bucks on Monday with friend and New York Yankees baseball star Derek Jeter.

One website is reporting the couple is celebrating on a private yacht overseas.

Jordan was married for 17 years to wife Juanita, but the couple divorced in 2006. They have three children.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2012 in and the Single Life

 

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Jeremy Lin – Race Matters

Growing up in the 60’s I was pretty comfortable in my ignorance about Asian people. They were short, small folks weren’t they? During segregation black folks didn’t much socialize with Asians, as the few Asian kids that were here went to the white schools. That comfortable ignorance was shattered my freshman year of college when I went to the Penn Relays and a friend introduced me to a 7′ tall Chinese High Jumper, who educated this poor brainless twit to the fact that Asia is huge, and peopled by a lot of different folks…

With the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 eliminating racial quotas and restrictions on immigration (not to mention putting us all in the same schools in more enlightened parts of the country) – you would think folks would have learned a hell of a lot about each other by now.

I guess not in the last bastion of bigotry – Sports.

Jeremy Lin - The Kid's Got Game, Y'all

Opinion: Man to man defense

Last Friday, Jeremy Lin – the Knicks’ sensational out-of-nowhere superstar – finally sealed the deal.

Despite his record as one of the most exciting talents to come out of the Bay Area in years, leading Palo Alto High to a stunning 32-1 record in his senior prep year, he was recruited by none of the top basketball schools, finally opting to attend Harvard University after being offered a guaranteed spot on their team.

He subsequently dominated the Ivy League, and put up numbers in his senior year that should have gotten any NBA scout excited, becoming the only player in the NCAA’s Division 1 to rank in the top 10 in virtually every performance category.

And yet Lin went undrafted, finally accepting an offer of a deep backup slot on his hometown team, the Golden State Warriors – who gave him a handful of garbage minutes, shuffling him back and forth between the bench and the NBA’s development league, before finally releasing him in December.

The Houston Rockets, who’d lost center Yao Ming to retirement the previous season, briefly picked up Lin as a potential ploy to retain their substantial Asian fanbase, but dropped him a few weeks later – on Christmas Eve.

The Knicks, ravaged by injuries to all their big-name, big-ticket stars and reeling in the standings, picked him up to ensure they could field a full team on the floor. In the past week, Lin has led New York to a string of victories with a set of incredible individual and team performances.

And last Friday, after dropping 38 points on an elite Los Angeles Lakers squad, he convinced his remaining critics and doubters that they’d been wrong all along.

Most of them.

Minutes after Lin’s amazing game, with the streets of midtown still in the throes of LINsanity, Fox Sports News personality Jason Whitlock issued a flip, ostensibly satirical tweet that probably can not be reprinted in full here. Suffice it to say that it suggested that Lin would be celebrating his victory by entertaining “some lucky lady,” while also reiterating an ugly and cliché stereotype about Asian anatomy.

Why Jeremy Lin’s race matters

After heavy pressure from a range of sources, particularly the Asian American Journalists Association, on Sunday, Whitlock apologized for the joke, calling his remark “immature [and] sophomoric” and one that “debased a feel-good sports moment.”

While many people, including, apparently, Fox Sports News’s leadership, have been willing to let things go based on this act of contrition, I think Whitlock dodged addressing the larger cultural context behind his statement.

I think that’s unfortunate, especially in light of a few other recent in-the-news events.

The first is another offhand tweet by a television personality. Roland Martin, a commentator for the news channel behind this blog, CNN.

Just a week before Whitlock’s unfortunate gibe, as the Giants were headed for a shocking Super Bowl victory over the Patriots, Martin blurted a response to H&M’s sexy underwear commercial featuring David Beckham – suggesting to his followers that any men expressing enthusiasm for the ad should be slapped upside the head. The remark drew a firestorm of backlash from LGBT activists, who interpreted it as an anti-gay statement. Martin was subsequently suspended “indefinitely” from CNN appearances.

There is a connection between the two incidents, and it’s not just that they both related to prominent news figures caught out on social media. Both Whitlock and Martin are African-American men. And both were speaking from a position that illustrates a particular entrenched attitude among men of color about masculinity.

This isn’t the place to go deep into the record of how sexuality, gender and race have intersected in black, Latino and Asian American history, with tragic and sometimes horrific results. Suffice it to say that as a consequence of that history, within each of these communities, manhood – its definition, its expression and yes, the defense of it against those who would question it – plays an outsized role.

Whitlock’s joke said more about his own male insecurities, reinforced by mainstream culture’s stereotypes about black men, than it did about Lin’s anatomy.

And Martin’s joke was ultimately less of an attack on homosexuality than it was a rejection of “sissyhood”: Beckham has long been held up as an exemplar of the “metrosexual male” – the sensitive, fashion-forward guy who, gay or straight, presents an image that runs counter to the rugged and bellicose sensibility of organized team sports, particularly football.

As NFL cornerback turned sportswriter Alan Grant noted in an essay some years back for ESPN.com, “the athletic world – that realm of all things male, musky and aggressive – is the final frontier of masculinity,” which is why it’s so frequently a cesspool for, as he put it, “crude, old-fashioned, sophomoric statements about sexuality.” Like Whitlock’s. And Martin’s.

Whether they intended to or not – and even if they’re oblivious to the fact – with their comments, Whitlock and Martin injected themselves into a much larger conversation of what it means to be a “real man” in an era where manhood is constantly perceived to be “under attack.”

But maybe the particular male archetype that Whitlock, Martin and many others have held up as a benchmark is one that deserves to be under attack.

It celebrates physical parameters that few men can reach – certainly not Whitlock or Martin, or me, for that matter: Big, burly, massively muscled, inhumanly endowed. It reinforces the notion that manhood is best expressed through violence – giving women “pain,” per Whitlock, or “slapping the ish” out of someone, per Martin.

It is, quite frequently, accompanied by words and actions that are deeply misogynist or nastily homophobic, or both.

It presents manhood as the fruit of harsh treatment and abuse – as exemplified by the viral video of the so-called “Eagle Dad,” Chinese businessman He Liesheng, forcing his four-year-old son to run around Central Park in the snow in his underwear to make him more manly: “When the old eagle teaches its young, it takes the young eagles to the cliffside, beats them, and pushes them to teach them to use their wings,” explained He.

One of the things that’s most incredible about the Jeremy Lin phenomenon isn’t just that he’s had so much success, but that he’s done so without relying on or embracing the tenets of raw, rugged, roughneck notions of manhood…

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Giant Negros

 

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Wayman Tisdale – The Music Doesn’t Stop

Wayman Tisdale wass best known as a hoops superstar. What is less known about him was his love for music.

Faced with cancer, Tisdale lost a leg – and a career in sports. But the music remained.

Here is Wayman in a live performance, back in April 2009, a month before he passed away. Wayman is still an inspiration.

 

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