Here are the essentials: It will be called the All-American Basketball Alliance, the AABA. Its kickoff will be in June. It hopes to launch in twelve cities in the South. Only white players–that is, “natural born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race,” according to their press release–will be allowed to play. The league will be based in Augusta, Georgia, a town not exactly known for racial inclusiveness in sports, but even the town’s mayor couldn’t bring himself to endorse the league. Don’t think that there’s much else to tell you so you can get on with dissolving into a fit of giggles, or uncontrollable eyeball-rolling. Except maybe these choice quotes from AABA’s commissioner, Don “Moose” Lewis:
“There’s nothing hatred about what we’re doing,” he said. “I don’t hate anyone of color. But people of white, American-born citizens are in the minority now. Here’s a league for white players to play fundamental basketball, which they like.” 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.”
Hey, nobody’s gonna defend Arenas around here. But he can rest easy today knowing there was someone out there with far more stupid ideas. The longer I cover race news, the more certain I am that racial ignorance of this severity will probably never be eradicated from our world. But it’s up to us to make sure the league never gets off the ground, never gains any sponsors, and most importantly, is never taken seriously.