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Saturday, August 28, 2004

Play that race card, Jason

Jason Whitlock: "The criticism of USA Basketball is borderline racist, is definitely unsophisticated and exposes a lot of super patriots as hypocrites."

Or maybe we should just apply Occam's Razor and assume the team has been criticized because they didn't play very well and lost in the semifinals. Whenever a team performs poorly, fans turn on the players--that's just how it goes.

The stuff Whitlock points out about people not liking Allen Iverson's tattoos is nothing new, so why Whitlock expected that to stop when Iverson joined the Olympic team I'm not sure. It's a very bizarre column because amid the racism accusations, Whitlock makes a case that international players have developed a superior basketball style, likening the changes to hockey's evolution over the decades. How any of that relates to the American public holding racist attitudes I'm not sure.

Then we've got the myriad examples of black athletes who have been embraced by the American public, but I think the main point of the column was not to be right but rather to stir the pot and get some attention with a little bombast. Mission accomplished, I guess.

Bill Simmons responds in the middle of his mailbag column and is a bit too generous to his colleague, I think.