The NBA’s Dress Code Is “Racist”?

by John Hawkins | October 19, 2005 10:20 am

For whatever reason, the number of people becoming infuriated at purely fictional racial slights seems to be on the rise. We have people raving that Bush hated black people[1] because he couldn’t magically fix everything in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.

Then we saw William Bennett being accused of promoting “genocide”[2] after saying[3] that aborting every “black baby in this country…would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do”.

Now, we have Indiana Pacers Guard Stephen Jackson claiming the NBA’s new dress code is racist. Here are the details[4]:

“Indiana Pacers guard Stephen Jackson, contending that a league ban on chains worn over clothing is “a racist statement” from the league, wore every long, diamond-studded chain in his collection Tuesday night as a protest.

Jackson voiced no opposition to the bulk of the “business casual” demands in the NBA’s new dress code, but he described the jewelry ban as “attacking young black males.”

“I think it’s a racist statement because a lot of the guys who are wearing chains are my age and are black,” said Jackson, 27. “I wore all my jewelry today to let it be known that I’m upset with it.

“I’ll wear a suit every day. I think we do need to look more professional because it is a business. A lot of guys have gotten sloppy with the way they dress. But it’s one thing to [enforce a] dress code and it’s another thing if you’re attacking cultures, and that’s what I think they’re doing.”

Look, I hate dress codes as much as the next guy, so much so that I actually tried to convince a manager at a place I once worked to drop our suits and ties for a M-F business casual policy. But, the rules are the rules, and let’s call it like it is: it’s not “business casual” if you’re wearing a “long, diamond-studded chain.”

To try to say that this is some kind of racist policy aimed at “young black males” is completely ludicrous, especially since Jackson himself admits that players “have gotten sloppy with the way they dress” and “need to look more professional”. I hate to break this to Stephen Jackson, but if you’re trying to look “professional” as opposed to “sloppy,” you don’t wear a long chain over your shirt.

Before people like Stephen Jackson start playing the race card, they should ask themselves whether there’s any validity to the charges they’re making before they make fools of themselves in public.

  1. hated black people:
  2. “genocide”:
  3. saying:
  4. details:

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