The All-American Basketball Alliance announced earlier this week its plan to launch a whites-only basketball league. The shocking news led at least one mayor of a prospective AABA city to say he would not support the league coming to his town.
Tony McNary of WGCL, CBS’s Atlanta affiliate, sat down with league commissioner Don “Moose” Lewis to discuss his plans for the league. When asked if the league is racist, Lewis flatly responded, “No,” adding, “It’s not gonna be the street-type ball mentality. It’s going to be different.”
Charles Barkley disagrees.
[Updated 01.19.10, 4:05 p.m.]
White Promoter Pushes For All-White Basketball League
A Georgia boxing and wrestling promoter is establishing an all-White basketball league, saying it’s time to restore “sanity” and “fundamentals” to a game that has been hijacked by undisciplined thugs.
“It has come to the attention of the principals of the (All-American Basketball Alliance) that [W]hite basketball players are essentially ‘shut out’ of conventional professional basketball due to the proliferation of non-organized play on the court,” said promoter Don “Moose” Lewis in a news release, ironically, issued on Martin Luther King Day. “With players on other professional teams carrying guns, attacking fans in the stands, and going through the motions of playing the game, fundamentally sound [W]hite players are a vanishing species.
“Fans have spoken to the AABA asking to restore on court sanity to the game of basketball. Their pleas are our mission. Only players that are natural born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league.”
In an interview with Scott Michaux of The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, Lewis rejected the notion that his new league has anything to do with racism. He said it’s more about restoring the game to the way it was before it was saturated with African Americans.
“It’s because of the fact that natural athleticism of people of color is different,” Lewis said. “They can make up for their shortfall in fundamentals with their natural athleticism. And coaches look for the quickest way to win, so they go for natural athleticism instead of the fundamentals from a White player. Is it a coaching problem? To a certain degree, but a lot of it is the culture.
“I know there’s bad apples of every color, but like my wife says, let the numbers speak for themselves,” he continued. “Turn on the local TV news and who do you see on there? Facts are facts. Now, imagine the safety and quality of play at games where there’s none of that. Anyone can be a star.”
He pointed to White professional players – i.e., “guys like Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash, (Dirk is the last great White hope)” – who he said exemplify the characteristics he’s talking about.