Proposed Basketball League Only Jim Crow Could Love
According to All American Basketball Alliance founder and commissioner Don “Moose” Lewis, what the sports landscape needs is a new professional league limited to White basketball players that emphasizes fundamentals and promotes White mainstream cultural values.
Lewis said he wants his White basketball players to emphasize fundamental basketball instead of “street-ball” played by “people of color.” He pointed out recent incidents in the NBA, including Gilbert Arenas’ indefinite suspension after bringing guns into the Washington Wizards locker room, as examples of fans’ dissatisfaction with the way current professional sports are run.
“Would you want to go to the game and worry about a player flipping you off or attacking you in the stands or grabbing their crotch?” he said. “That’s the culture today, and in a free country we should have the right to move ourselves in a better direction.”
Lewis goes on to claim that his restrictions are not racism. “There’s [no] hatred about what we’re doing,” he said. “I don’t hate anyone of color. But people of White, American-born citizens are in the minority now. Here’s a league for White [basketball] players to play fundamental basketball, which they like.”
The league is hoping to start in the fall with 12 teams based in the southeastern U.S. Only natural born Americans with two Caucasian parents need apply.
Mitch Shatzen, 53, of Irvine, CA is a White basketball fan who played high school and college ball in Southern California, and continued to play in serious men’s league games into his forties. He counts himself amongst those not dying for the return of the two-hand chest pass and underhand foul shots.
“As a player, fan and father of young adult children who enjoy sports of all kinds, I think the concept is rather ridiculous. Instead of the NBA, why not call it the DNA – Do Not Accept racism in sports league for men with limited color and no brains.
“Speaking of DNA, how White is White? One generation, two, three or more? What is the ‘White’ amount of no color? Rather ridiculous I’d say.”
Commentator Ray Woodson of KNBR in San Francisco suggested the new league call itself the KBA for Klan Basketball Association.
Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley was direct, as usual. “It’s just blatantly racist because if you look at the cold words he used, trying to say we’re carrying guns, fighting people in the stands, things like that,” Barkley said.”It lets you know, as a Black man, there are people out there who don’t like you,” he added.
The NAACP also proclaimed its disapproval. “My general reaction is it’s ridiculous,” said Rev. R.L. White, president of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP. “We’re going to be watching this very closely because it attempts to set back what we’ve been trying to do for 100 years,” Lewis said that if his organization could do anything to stop a league with just White basketball players, it would.
The good news is that a lengthy online search could turn up no one, at least in a public forum, who believes a league limited to White basketball players is a good idea likely to create serious interest or turn a profit. If we compare that reaction to what Hank Aaron faced when he was chasing down Babe Ruth’s homerun record in 1974, maybe we can conclude that progress has been made in America.
Hirsch is a contributing writer for Regal Black Men’s Magazine.