Saturday, April 01, 2006

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Kendrick Hallum
Mrs. Smith
16 March 2006


Is Sterns a Racist?

This past November 1st, NBA superstars had no choice but to face a change. No more baggy jeans, chains, “throwbacks” basically, the hip-hop look has vanished. Now they have to dress like any other professional business person. Players complained, but some did not care (“Clay”).
“Several stars claim the off-court code is an attack on black American culture as it outlaws hip-hop style attire,” said Joseph H. Cooper author of “A Gender Divide Over NBA Dress Code.” In the NBA, some players feel that Commissioner David Stern is racist. Enforcing the dress code was to make a better impression on the fans. “Putting a murder in a tuxedo doesn’t make him a good guy,” said Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers. Iverson feels that the dress code can not describe someone’s personality (“Cooper”).
The dress code is no problem according to some of the superstars. “When I saw the part about chains, throwback jerseys, I think that’s the part of our culture,” said Paul Pierce from the Boston Celtics. Majority of the players just would like to wear the jewelry. “Since they took all the others we could less wear chains,” said a couple of players from Detriot Pistons.
Rules of the Game
There are now more rules to the game. For in stance, there is a new a rule that no one under the age of twenty can enter the NBA draft. Young kids coming out of high school straight to the NBA, dress in the hip-hop gear. However, there are new rules on
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superstars have to obey. The following were banned by the new laws: t-shirts, sleeveless shirts, shorts, chain, du-rags, headphones, headbands, any headgear, baggy jeans, and tennis shoes. This requirement is required for the time period before and after games.
Some say why enforce the dress code now after all these years. From 1986 to 2003 Michael Jordon was one of the few players to dress in a suit before every game. Why not enforce the dress code then? In Ervin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird’s days, NBA players all wore suits. This generation of NBA stars prefers to dress in hip-hop style and they too are businessmen (“Graves”).
Another thing, no NBA star has ever had a “fist fight” with a fan until the year of 2005. Players from the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons were suspended, but why blame Stern? Commissioner Stern had to do something to promote respect to protect his superstars (“Graves”).
The NBA is a professional association which should have the right to enforce a dress code. “Bossy, fashion police” that’s how some of the players feel about Stern. However, they are professionals. Everyone in a job, from car dealers to bank employees, must follow a dress code. If they can not follow the rules they will just have to pay. Just because someone throws a drink at you does not mean you have to fight them. Especially if you are a professional and you are live on T.V. Real professional people do not react like that towards those situation (“http//sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story”).

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