The NBA Should Own Its Discrimination

The NBA Should Own Its Discrimination

Since the NBA opposes discrimination on the basis of biology, the time is now to expose the NBA’s rampant history of discrimination for the very same reason.
Jon Wit
By

The National Basketball Association has just announced it’s moving its 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte, North Carolina in response to House Bill 2, which allows businesses and organizations to decide if people should use locker rooms and bathrooms that correspond to their biological identity or the sex with which they identify.

Since the NBA has taken this very public step in opposing discrimination, the time is now to expose the NBA’s rampant history of discrimination and urge the NBA to remove discrimination as a fundamental part of its business model.

The Boston Globe reports U.S. males who are at least seven feet tall have a 17 percent chance of playing in the NBA. Americans between 6’6” and 6’8” have just a 0.07 percent chance, and if you’re a 5’10” male, which is the average height of U.S. males, your chances of playing in the NBA are closer to 1 in 10 million.

This is especially appalling because many of the seven footers who were drafted and received millions before playing a game simply couldn’t play basketball well. To avoid discrimination, NBA teams should draft and pay players in numbers proportional to the heights of the general population.

You Can’t Teach Chromosomes

Those who justify that discrimination by saying “You just can’t teach height” have the same mindset as those who claim your sex is set by biology, not how you identify. You can’t teach XY chromosomes, either.

Imagine a business that hires 17 percent of white male applicants, 0.07 percent of minority applicants, and just 0.0001 of women applicants. The class-action lawsuits and media hysteria over its discrimination would even make Walmart blush. It’s even worse in the NBA. No team has ever drafted a woman to play for any of its teams. So much for its supposed values of “diversity” and “inclusion.” Chauvinists.

If stopping this discrimination is too much for the NBA, let’s start with North Carolina State. Their basketball coach, Mark Gottfried, recently condemned HB2, saying, “I’m against any law that allows discrimination … I think the people at NC State, we believe in inclusion.” Mark, it’s time to prove that. Add woman to your team. At least two members of your starting line-up should be women. NC State boosters, students, and fans won’t mind — after all, they “believe in inclusion.”

He won’t, of course, because basketball’s hypocrisy extends beyond the NBA and into the college ranks. The NBA, though, makes billions on discrimination. While a league source has said the NBA wants “everyone to be able to use the bathroom according to their gender identity, contrary to what the (HB2) law mandates,” fans would be much more interested in occupying the seat that conforms to their fan identity.

All across NBA arenas, seats in the lower bowl, especially courtside seats, are filled with individuals more interested in business deals and status points than the die-hard fans in the upper deck with their faces painted. Try to sit courtside without a ticket, though, and you’ll either be asked to return to your seat or potentially arrested.

Just a few weeks ago, Ayesha Curry, wife of NBA superstar Steph Curry, tweeted that her father was racially profiled and almost arrested at an NBA finals for trying to get to his seat. Looks like it’s time to throw “racist” into the mix for words that can describe the NBA.

NBA apologists will no doubt claim premium seats are available to anyone who can afford them. Prices reached over $18,000 for a pair of tickets to the 2016 finals game. There’s no problem with the price. Once again, it’s the NBA’s discrimination that should have fans up in arms.

My Money Identifies Differently, Too

You see, the NBA refuses to accommodate those who identify a $1 bill as being worth $100. If you don’t think that’s appropriate, you probably think that a Federal Reserve note needs a one and two zeros on it to be worth $100, just like the extremists who think a person needs a penis and two testicles to be a man.  Shame on you and the NBA for not respecting the dollar identity of these fans.

We must stand with Steph Curry when he says “No one should be discriminated against.” Of course, Curry’s as hypocritical as the NBA. This summer he discriminated against his former teammate Harrison Barnes, when Curry recruited Kevin Durant to join his team. Curry and his favored teammates on the Golden State Warriors decided Durant was a better player than Barnes, and kicked Barnes and several more of their former teammates to curb to make Durant the highest-paid player on their team — yet more discrimination.

Basketball apologists try and justify this by appealing to an objective standard: Durant is a better player than Barnes and a bunch of back-ups. However, that’s just a weaker version of the argument proponents of HB2 are using to justify that law. Consider what Kellie Fiedorek, legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, says about HB2:

This is not a violation of the Equal Protection Clause because under North Carolina law, everyone is treated the same. The law simply looks at biology as stated on a person’s birth certificate and is blind to any other characteristic. This is the only sensible and enforceable policy that has worked for hundreds of years. And the law also offers accommodations for those with special circumstances.

Let’s translate using the rhetoric the NBA uses to justify the Warriors’ discrimination against Barnes.

Signing Durant is not a violation of NBA rules, because in free agency everyone is treated the same. Teams simply look at a player’s performance and potential to help their organization and are blind to any other characteristics. This is the only sensible and enforceable policy that has worked for decades. Unlike North Carolina, the NBA offers no accommodations for those with special circumstances, like getting old, being out of shape or being vertically/athletically challenged.

Charles Barkley recently said, “As a black person, I’m against any form of discrimination — against whites, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, however you want to phrase it.” We must have superstars like Curry and Barkley continue to oppose discrimination, and the time is now speak against all the forms of discrimination the NBA embraces by applying the principles behind HB2 — having a standard based on biological differences combined with an appeal to objective truths.

With its current business model, NBA owners and executives, like Commissioner Adam Silver, are just wealthier versions of the North Carolinians who support HB2. A modest proposal: Until it proves otherwise, let the NBA be known as the “National Bigots Association.”

Jon Wit is full of modest proposals and is a pseudonym.

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