Racism in the United States is as virulent as ever”, Willliam C. Rhoden writes in The New York Times in connection with the National Basketball Association for the second time since April being rocked by a disclosure from a team owner that the presence of blacks at games negatively affects the bottom line. Bruce Levenson, who had a controlling interest in the Atlanta Hawks, sent an email in August 2012 to the team’s general manager, Danny Ferry, and other members of the club’s ownership, complaining about the team’s struggle to “get 35-55 white males and corporations to buy season” tickets. “My theory is that the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a significant season ticket base,” Levenson wrote in the email.
Levenson, who meanwhile has announced that he would sell his stake in the Hawks, complained
that his franchise was drawing an “overwhelmingly black audience.” He also complained that most of the Hawks cheerleaders were black, that the music played in the arena was hip-hop or gospel, and that “there are few fathers and sons at the games.”
Referring to the April revelations about the owner of the Los Angeles clippers, the NYT author
writes: “Now I understand why the N.B.A. did not want the Donald Sterling case to go to trial. Why the
league did not want to follow the truth to where it really led. “Now it should,” William C. Rhoden
continues. “In light of this second embarrassing disclosure, N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver should
conduct an investigation to find out how many other Donald Sterlings and Bruce Levensons are among the league’s owners and top executives. Who are the racists, the sexists, the homophobes? Throughout the Sterling ordeal, I maintained that the best thing that could have happened to the N.B.A. — to all of us— was for the case to go to trial. To push Sterling — who was forced to sell the Los Angeles Clippers several months after an audio recording in which he was heard making racist comments
was released in April, — to acknowledge what he knew about the deeds and misdeeds of other owners and top executives in the league.
“Instead the case was settled. The Sterling saga ended last month when Steve Ballmer, the
former chief of Microsoft, completed a $2 billion purchase of the Clippers. Levenson will most likely
make plenty of money from the sale of the Hawks, as well.” To continue click:
This article was republished with permission from the editor and publisher of the Sport Intern, Karl-Heinz Huba.