I saw a feature on ESPN last night that explored the phenomenon where there are fewer and fewre white American male playing professional and big college basketball. The first United State Olympic basketball team had several white men on it. This year there will be none. Of the top fifty scorers in the NBA, one is a white American. Twenty years ago, there were eight in the top twenty. Across the board in American basketball, there is a massive underreprentation of white men.
The ESPN piece explored why. Young white men are opting out of basketball, it said, because they see scholarships for hoops as being out of reach, so they playt baseball or football instead. ESPN even put forth the notion that white parents take their kids on vacation so they have less time to practice basketball.
What was missing though was the one word that is ALWAY interjected into a discussion of black underrepresentation in any American arena. When people examine the lack of black Republicans in Congress, this word is mentioned, for it is assumed that there is foul play afoot. When one examines the lack of blacks among Fortune 500 CEOs, this word is mentioned; it is again assumed that the playing field is not level. When the Philadelphia Philles started eight white men in the 1990s, there was furor in Philly. It was assumed that something was wrong.
The word, of course, is "racism".
If corporate boards, baseball teams, or Congressional delegations are "too white", the assumption is ALWAYS made that racism is a factor. But when big money basketball is discussed, well then the reason has to be that white men are opting out. They are choosing not to level the playing field.
Could it be that whites are underrepresented in big ticket hoops because of institutional racism at EVERY level of roundball, so that when a coach has to choose between to equal players to fill his last roster spot, he chooses the black player, assuming that the black player has more potential to be great since most great b-ball players in the past have been black?
Well of course it is.
But that wasn't said. But if corporate boards choose a white man to be CEO because they see him as having better potential to be a great CEO, because in the past most great CEOs were white, well then the "r" word reigns supreme in any analysis of the situation.
"Level Playing Field" is only mentioned where whites outperform blacks.