Seeing Hints of Racism on Message Boards in Characterizations of USA Basketball

An original version posted on 8/20/2004 as "Racist Agenda Towards USA Basketball"

It's always interesting to see how racist people really are when people from different countries come together. But that's to be expected.

What isn't really expected is when your own country is racist towards you.

One act of racism is committed when one or more individuals think that there is something inherently wrong with a group of people based on physical characteristics, namely color of skin.

Whether intentional or not, message boarders People seem to be (whether intentional or not) blaming the urban culture of hip-hop, dominated by minority races in these Team USA basketball losses. And since the USA team is composed of all black people, some people see it fitting to associate them with hip-hop. Most people do. I mean, when one thinks of hip-hop, one will most likely think of a black person's face.

People bashing Team USA start out blaming things strongly associated with hip-hop like street basketball, the And 1 Tour (sometimes even mockingly using hip-hop terms). They imply that these aspects associated with hip-hop are what is causing the US team to be selfish and lose. They claim that these players are being selfish as a result of liking hip-hop/urban.

For example, they'll say things like "it's all about And 1 basketball with these guys. They don't know anything about team basketball or fundamentals."

Yeah, I completely missed the off-the-backboard 360 dunk by Tim Duncan followed by the Emeka Okafor off BOTH Carlos Arroyo's and Carlos Boozer's head dribble all with 4 fingers while keeping his middle finger up at the US flag in the loss to Puerto Rico.

Oh wrong game?

I guess I was watching the game where Allen Iverson was actually passing the ball. The rest of the team thought that was such a great idea that they decided to do just the exact same. The team was playing defense. They may have these reputations as selfish players (which is an issue in itself), but that's not what they have shown in the games.

In other words, I've observed the exact opposite of what they have been accused of doing by message board posters.

Racist ? Check with a big fat red, white, and blue mark !

People seemed to immediately placed labels on the team based namely on Allen Iverson. They have romanticized FIBA style basketball. They call the whole team selfish, some have even said that they lacked pride.

I definitely saw that they lacked pride because they're all too black for us to see their hearts.

Team USA's just one example of how hip-hop and everything associated with it has become such a great goat for these mostly American message boarders to put all their own bad traits of Americana into and kick repeatedly.

I'm not sure that people actually watched the game. "Hip-hop" style of basketball doesn't really affect how they play the game. Hip-hop, blackness is not to blame because it had absolutely nothing to do with the team USA loss.

If there's anything to blame it's probably how the NBA Rules are structured.

Let's just all ignore the facts that this team was poorly conceived and sorely unadapted to the competition. Sure, they're top players, but all of them have the same skills and lack the same ones. It also doesn't help that none of them are great shooters.

How is that possible in basketball you ask ?

In the NBA game, these guys are taught to be aggressive and attack the hoop. What faciliates going to the hoop is that there is this 3 second rule in the NBA which prohibits players from staying in the painted area for more than 3 seconds. It was a rule conceived to add more action to the NBA game. International basketball has no such rule and so the strategy for these international teams has been to clog these lanes.

Another reason USA basketball has slipped is that these international teams don't select players from a big pool. There's a tryout process for them. The USA team basically threw together a team composed of young, inexperienced, good players. They're still the most talented team, but unlike the previous Dream Teams in 1992 and 1996, they're not good enough to plow through other teams on just talent alone. They actually need team chemistry. Not fundamentals.

More reactions of hidden racism here.

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