Yes indeed. The NBA gets it. NFL and MLB you really need to take note. Hockey? Psst! Lets not even go there with Hockey. Like it or not America is no longer a “Good ole boy” country. It’s officially diverse. America is for everyone. Not just me, not just you. The NBA Gets it. Don’t try to change it. The NBA not only gets it, but they’ve made a worldwide brand off of this sport. There’s so much change that has happened in this country since basketball was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith. We are not going to visit those life changing venues. We could. But we will save them for another day. Instead we will talk about the current infrastructure of the NBA, the NFL, the MLB, Hockey and other socio-economical issues. One thing that we have to realize before proceeding, is the acceptance of other. Please try to do that. I, myself am working on that everyday. So with that being said, I present to you America, The NBA.
Diversity is talk about amongst everyone today in modern America. (maybe not in rural areas and certain states. Talking bout you, Vermont) From civil rights, to religious freedoms, to the LGBT movements, to Womens rights, equal pay etc. The NBA has been at the forefront of all these issues. Just think. In the NBA you will be suspended and fined for saying gay slurs like “FAG” or “Homo.” Remember those words was commonly used in common jokes. Not today Do you think that would happen in the NFL? Sacramento Kings Guard Darren Collison got arrested for Domestic violence. He will face a hefty fine and suspended. The NFL Ray Rice fiasco?? Hahahahahahaha next. Is it because the NFL players are considered modern-day gladiators and get a free pass once they sack the Quarterback? Or is the fact the Helmet these gladiators wear can protect them from public opinion. A sense of anonymity? Ok what about Michael Sam? Look how he was ostracized from NFL locker rooms. Now compare that to Jason Collins. Granted Jason Collins was a bust, a journey man and on the tail end of his career. He did not have star power or influence as a Michael Sam. (Now I personally do not like Michael Sam which is another story as well.) But Michael Sam on the other hand was an All American in 2013, The 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the year, 1st team All-SEC 2013 team. NFL Scouts and GM’s (anonymously of course) would masquerade Michael Sam’s media coverage as a reason not to take him. Whispers of “Oh he’s not even played an NFL down and look at all that attention he’s getting.” True but let’s be honest here: When in the fuck has the NFL ever shied away from media attention. Isnt any publicity good publicity? Hell NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made an estimate $44 million dollars from the time of the Ray Rice incident 2/15/14-Mid 2015 (Thanks to deadspin.com & Yahoo sports.com writer Frank Schwab.) Now lets dig in deeper, shall we. The NBA just released its LBGT shirts for every team in the NBA. Do you think this would happen in football? “Hell to the Naw.”
Now America (sorry bout that again) The NBA gets it right when it comes to our ladies. Becky Hammon was hired as an assistant coach by the San Antonio Spurs in 2014. Multiple women basketball players have been inducted into the Hall of fame with their male counterparts. There are women analyst. Women trainers. Another win for The NBA. Now The MLB on the other hand (to my knowledge) does not really advertise softball or camps for girls at all. There are no women 3rd basecoaches, or umpires. NFL? Hahahahahahha once again why bother. I understand the physicality of football and most people would agree that a women’s body could not handle the constant wear and tear on the gridiron. True. Ok but why not have more women integrated in football? We know for a fact that it takes a strong woman to work in any male dominated field.
I’m a 100% Straight, black, young single father whom was born and raised here in San Francisco Ca. Now I’ve had the privy of growing up, growing around and interacting with different groups of people. So you might say I’m biased but if you disagree with this sentiment, I might be more like you if I grew up in a place where it’s just black and white. I’m accepting of the fact, that many individuals in this world are products of their environment. (guilty to some extent) When I was a tour guide here in the city I, I would often folks from all over the world.What was crazy it that it was always someone from a small town middle America, who would ask me this question: “Hey T, Are we going to see any queers on the tour today? You know like on TV?” I would always laugh in my head on how close minded some people are. My response was simple: “Sir, How don’t you know if I’m gay?” Now being that I’m comfortable with my sexuality I know that comment would offend them. But wait! There’s more. They would respond with something along the lines of “Well you don’t look gay” LMFAO. Gay no longer has a look. Fat, old, sweaty, feminine, masculine, thug etc. Every type of personality has gay people in that genre. After statements Like that I would ponder deeper. What do people who’ve never met a black person think about us? Do they think we can all Jump High, and can rap or dance? Or do they expect us to be “Shucking & Jiving” and “Cooning” it up? Once again It’s portrayal. Food for thought. Also even people without the same upbringing as me, go through the same trials and tribulations. Death, murder, drugs, debt, disease, etc. All the bad stuff, right? So just because someone doesn’t look a certain way does not mean anything. My 9th grade Algebra teacher, Mrs. Grace once told me something I’ll never forget. “Never judge someone on their first impression. You don’t know what that person is going through that day. Judge them on the length of character.”
Another topic. Majority Ownership. You guys know by now that I’m not a big stats guy. Here is something interesting however. In the 3 major sports in America, There are 9 Majority sports owners that are minorities. (Maybe 10 because Nintendo owns the Seattle Mariners)
1. Arturo Moreno majority ower of The LA Angels. Mexican American.
2. Kim Pegula majority owner (via marriage of Terry Pegula) of the Buffalo Bills. Korean American
3. Shahid Khan majority owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars Pakistani American
4. Michael Jordan majority owner of the Charlette Hornets African-American
5-7 Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and James Lassiter. Majority Owners of the Philadelphia 76ers. All 3 are African-American
8. Erik Thohir majority owner of the Philadelphia 76ers Indonesian American
9. Vivek Ranadive majority owner of the Sacramento Kings Indian American
There are countless of minority owners in sports ownership. We all know this. But look at the NBA. They are getting it right. NFL and MLB? light-years away from cracking any major barriers. Please understand that I don’t hate the NFL or MLB. No as you know I am a die-hard sports fan. There’s nothing wrong with harsh, constructive criticism. It’s like me telling them that their breath stinks or telling them that maybe you shouldn’t wear that out of the house. Sometimes the truth hurts, but we all need to hear it.
The global effect is something that the NBA has dominated. It is a brand that people of many countries around this earth understands. They know the players. You can’t do that in football. The world hates American football. Basketball is easier to understand and follow. Baseball can be complex at times but it doesn’t have that same style of basketball. Yes baseball has a diverse group of ball players, from Cuba, to Japan, to the Dominican Republic but baseball doesn’t really transcend into the Eurasian market like basketball. Just look at Stephon Marbury. Some would say he was oust here in the US, he is living like a king in China. Speaking of China yesterday Minnasota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor sold 30% of the rteam to a Chinese business man named Lizhang Jiang. Ahhhh yes Diversity. At its finest too.