Black Players Versus White Fans
by J.B. Cash
29 November 2004
(Left: 1996 mug shot of Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor after being arrested for attempted possession of crack cocaine)
Most employers discourage employees from physically attacking the customers. Bad for business I guess. Thus the NBA and its recent suspension of several Indiana Pacers for their part in a brawl with fans at the Palace in Auburn Hills, home of the Detroit Pistons.
Indiana's Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson, and Detroit's Ben Wallace were suspended for prolonged periods by the NBA for taking part in one of the ugliest brawls in U.S. sports history, a fight with fans that commissioner David Stern called "shocking, repulsive and inexcusable."
With just over 45 seconds left in a game between the Detroit and Indiana, the Pacers' Ron Artest hard-fouled the Piston's Ben Wallace as he went for a lay-up with the game out of reach 97-82 in favor of Indiana. Wallace then pushed Artest in the face and both benches cleared.
As Wallace continued to rant, Artest lay down on the score's table but was eventually hit in the chest by a plastic cup full of beer. Within seconds, both Artest and teammate Stephen Jackson charged into the stands and brawled with fans. Fists and more soda flew as additional players (including some Pistons) and fans joined in. The violence then spread elsewhere in the arena and videotaped replays show a number of violent acts (including a chair being thrown) between players and fans. Eventually, the refs called the game and as the Pacers left the area they were showered with debris.
This incident has been the subject of major media attention as well as unending discussion in the sports world. Not many of the observers have noted that this brawl was a fight essentially between white fans and black players. Because of that it shows that the fight is a microcosm of the problem that is occurring in professional sports - a growing divide between the fans and the players.
The NBA, like the NFL, is heavily slanted towards black players, almost all them from an urban environment. The fan base is becoming almost all upper-class whites as tickets prices rise to a point where only the well to do can attend. This huge racial and economic divide is fueling a growing friction between the fans and players.
I can remember as a kid that several of the local athletes lived in neighborhoods near where I lived. Those players made good money but it was not much better than the local engineers and business managers. Hence the players were seen as part of the same demographic as many fans and actually were part of the local society. Even if those players had grown up in the inner city they were still just working-class people who had moved up to the upper-middle class, as many of the fans had. In today's world, though, the players often come from desperate poverty and go directly to filthy rich, completely bypassing the fan base, and neither group develops any identification with the other.
Hence it is easy for mutual dislike to develop, and it has. Mix in alcohol, bad feelings, and cocky players and you have a recipe for the kind of thing that happened at the Palace.
For their part, Artest, O'Neal, and Jackson can be forgiven if they didn't think they were doing anything especially wrong. Black athletes in America are routinely given passes for behavior much more serious than fighting. Murder, rape, assault and drug use are common among these athletes, usually at little cost to their careers. A case can be made that committing these crimes is a boost for them.
In most professions a criminal record is a hindrance. It's enough to prevent being offered a job and enough to be fired from an existing job. But in the anti-world of professional sports, criminal behavior can be considered an asset.
Take the case of recent Miami Hurricane football recruit Willie Williams. Williams was a top-ranked prospect out of high school and was highly recruited. The scouting services were able to provide all kinds of information on the prep star. Somehow they missed the 10, count 'em, 10! criminal convictions he had managed to accrue in his short lifetime. They found out about them after Williams went on a criminal rampage during a recruiting visit to the 2004 Super Bowl. Miami quickly backed off of Williams, but then quietly picked him up again. He may yet be garnering millions of dollars and public acclaim in the NFL in a few years.
Professional sports has become so competitive that the urge among those running the sports is to acquire the most intensely competitive players available regardless of what kind of a person the player may be. Since the media and the fans no longer judge a player on his off-court behavior, transgressions are forgotten or taken as indications of competitiveness.
Years ago when an athlete earned about what a well-paid executive could expect to make, he was only competing for amounts of money that could be earned outside of sports as well. Competition was intense but civil. Today athletes are paid millions of dollars. What would some people do for a million dollars? Well, we know what some urban kids will do for a pair of gym shoes or a coat - kill. Kids from that same environment make up the bulk of NBA and NFL players.
Thus teams can use criminal history as a gauge of the type of player they are choosing to hire and act accordingly. Here is a guide to determining the value of an athlete by his criminal history. It is presented as an aid to general managers and scouts to help them evaluate prospective black athletic talent.
Crimes against property: theft, vandalism, shoplifting, etc.
These are good convictions to have if you are a prospective college recruit. It shows at a young age you have little respect for other people's property and are willing to break the law and challenge "the man." These are essential for building a "curriculum vitae" for future professional athletic success.
Crimes of a sexual nature, rape and sexual assault.
Nothing says you are a man in the urban environment like mistreating women. Black athletes have a long history of abusing their female companions. An athlete that treats women badly is in good company. A significant number of NBA players have a conviction of some sort involving women so one of the keys to being an NBA player is to have a crime of this type on your resumé. The best player in the NBA, Kobe Bryant, is famous for this, as is Jason Kidd, among many others. Jim Brown, often referred to as "the greatest running back ever," and who is also a spokesman for the black community, is an abuser of women and collects arrests for the crime like some people rack up parking tickets. Calvin Murphy, a former great with the Houston Rockets, is accused of sexually abusing many of the daughters he fathered with various women. Having children with multiple females is also desirable as it shows a callous disregard for your own flesh and blood, which is a positive trait if you are a GM looking for a real "cold-blooded" competitor.
Drug use or substance abuse.
Only a real stud can abuse his own body with illegal drugs and still play at a high level. Also, someone willing to poison his own body with deadly chemicals probably has even less regard for someone else's body. Plus, many drugs give an advantage to an athlete by altering his mental state and making him a real animal.
Lawrence Taylor is the epitome of this type of player. He is a Hall of Fame player noted for his violent aggressive play, which he has admitted was fueled his whole career by "crack cocaine" use. Cocaine is the perfect performance-enhancing drug as it is usually mixed with amphetamines such as crystal meth, adding a mindless violent high along to the pain-numbing qualities of cocaine. The list of cocaine abusers is too long to list, of course, but Taylor estimated over half the players in the NFL partook, so one can imagine how important a drug it is to success in the NFL. Rickey Williams is an avid user of marijuana and also the best running back (not) in the NFL. There are many others just like him.
Crimes of violence against people - assault, murder.
This is the best type of crime for a black athlete to commit. It shows that he is basically a pathological monster and the only places in our society for this type are prison, city streets, and the NFL. Unfortunately many of these five-star prospects are caught and end up in prison. Luckily for us sports fans, the criminal justice system is so incredibly inept and corrupt that many monsters find their back to society in a short time, or even get off free. While this is unfortunate for white people and society as a whole, it is great for fantasy football fans, so it all balances out. The O.J. Simpson case is the best example, but the Ray Lewis situation is another good one.
As long as sports fans continue to worship people that should be behind bars, the quality of athletes will continue to degenerate as teams fill their rosters with desperate psychopaths that will do anything to win one for the home team. Thuggish behavior is to be expected when only thugs are hired to play. Until the white fan base insists on ending the racial caste system and allowing white players to be fairly allowed to compete for positions and playing time, the only pool of players drawn from will continue to be the crime-ridden ghettos of America. The ethics and culture of that group will continue to be the face of pro sports and in many ways the face of America. The incident at the Palace is just a small indication of what can be expected in the future unless the caste system is ended.
Mr. Cash writes for Caste Football.