You may not have heard, but the internet was buzzing on Wednesday over the proposed whites-only basketball league down in Augusta, Georgia. For me, it actually didn’t sound that racist at first. Nothing different than what my friends would do back in high school, at least (and now I just sound like a full-fledged bigot).
But seriously, sometimes we’d say to our friends that were really good at basketball (black and white, FWIW) that they couldn’t play pickup, because it ruins the fun. When you’re a bunch of unathletic idiots, it’s no fun to have someone there who’s constantly reminding you just how pathetic you are. The blind leading the blind is a whole lot more fun than one kid dominating and four other guys trying not to screw up.
So that was my first reaction. It’d be like that Filipino basketball league with a height limit. Kind of cute, really.
Then a.) I remembered that America’s still a pretty racist country and b.) I read the article from the Augusta Chronicle, and remembered that even the rest of the America concedes that Augusta, Georgia is the most racist place on earth. An excerpt from the article:
Lewis said he wants 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.”
So, yeah, that guy sucks. The only solace we can take from learning that perspectives like this still exist is that at least we know his venture will be a total failure. It’s the sort of thing that you really can’t ridicule mercilessly enough. And the Internet certainly obliged. Below, some highlights from the conversation that ensued when someone created the Twitter topic: “#AllWhiteHoopsLeague.”
Ordinarily, these hashtag things pretty much ruin my day, because everyone starts chiming in on Twitter with some variation of the same joke, and after about 15 minutes, it gets unbearable. But like I said, an idea like this can’t be ridiculed enough, and making jokes about it was maybe the only way to make this less disturbing. Just a few of thousands of riffs on the idea:
Bookgirl96: Slogan: “Where nothing amazing happens” #allwhitehoopsleague
DHSpeedwagon: When hockey just isn’t white enough for you. #allwhitehoopsleague
Unsilent: Short shorts and jerseys with sleeves. #allwhitehoopsleague
brickcheney: Minnesota Timberlakes, Utah Jazz Snobs, Washington Grand Wizards, Boston Celtics #allwhitehoopsleague
julia_flyer: ESPN criticized for having “Mid-west Bias” #allwhitehoopsleague
bruce_arthur: Eight-foot rims. #allwhitehoopsleague
russbengtson: Beats By Scott Storch headphones. #allwhitehoopsleague
WFNYCraig: Just slightly more entertaining than the WNBA #allwhitehoopsleague
TiricoSuave: Every team will be coached by one of the player’s fathers. #allwhitehoopsleague
chasehughes: “Just look at the technique on that lay-up. Bank it down big fella, bank it down” #allwhitehoopsleague
jeskeets: All-Star Weekend 2010 in … Eau Claire, Wisconsin! #allwhitehoopsleague
CaptainAnnoying: Dick Vitale? Still incredibly annoying #AllWhiteHoopsLeague
Unsilent: Tamir Goodman deemed “too jewy” for the #allwhitehoopsleague
mdotbrown: Adolph Rupp isnt rolling over in his grave. He’s trying to claw his way out! #allwhitehoopleague
DHSpeedwagon: Massachusetts is trending, I can only assume this has something to do with the #allwhitehoopsleague
mdotbrown: “So you mean Tommy points actually count now?” #allwhitehoopleague
DanFilowitz: All the podcasters who talk about it are black. #allwhitehoopleague
DrSaturday: Phrase “coast to coast” replaced by “manifest destiny.” #allwhitehoopsleague
Annnnnd…. Scene. No way you’re topping “manifest destiny.” There’s just no way. So, in closing…