The Racial Ideology in the NBA
NBA (National Basketball Association) is not all about competition. The racial ideology has been present in the NBA. In NBA games, African American people are on display to entertain mainly white Americans. It reminds people of an inappropriate example, in the Colosseum, slaves bloodily fought among themselves or with animals until one’s death while the audiences viewed it as a kind of entertainment. Today, however, American society does not tolerate any downright prejudice, and the NBA helps to build this racial ideology in a more modern and subtle way. Both commercials and commentators are contributing factors to the construction of this racial ideology which has culturally shaped the values of sports.
By looking into the historical events and social changes, people can get a greater understanding on this racial ideology in the NBA. After the NBA was founded in 1946, there was, “the shift from rigid to fluid competitive group relation, changing distributions of power, declining level of overt prejudice and new ideas about assimilation and pluralism” resulting from a civil right movement of the 1950s and 1960s, the urban riots and Black Power movement of the 1960s, briefly, “the changes in black-white relations in the 20th century” (Healey, 115-116). “Agricultural work became less labor intensive, and the need to maintain a large, powerless workforce declined”, hence the black laborers came out to urban areas, seeking opportunities (qtd. in Healey, 116). Meanwhile sports as one of several unlimited fields that were opened for African Americans, earned more attention around the countries, especially from the black laborers. Sage noticed, “in the early 1960s only about 20% NBA players were black, but in 1989 black athletes comprised over 80% of NBA teams” (58).More African Americans tried to make their livings by taking part in the NBA. But, was that beneficial for them?
Historically, the African Americans’ poverty, which is a...