Every time I think I've heard it all, someone comes along and proves me wrong once again.
A new professional basketball league for whites only called the All-American Basketball Alliance (AABA) sent out a press release on Sunday saying that it intends to start its inaugural season in June, with teams in 12 U.S. cities.
I swear I am not making this up.
Don "Moose" Lewis, the commissioner of the AABA, said the reasoning behind the league's roster restrictions is not racism.
The former-Pro wrestling promoter for the International Wrestling Union is a basketball purist and he’s got a novel idea; Lewis loves the way basketball used to be played so much that he wants to take us back in time, say 60 years back, and start an all-White basketball league.
In a league statement released on the eve of Martin Luther King birthday, Lewis, the commissioner of the league, states that the developing league is solely for “players that are natural-born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league.”
The ABAA, or All-American Basketball Alliance, is looking for Caucasian individuals interested in paying a $10,000 fee to become an elite franchise in twelve cities throughout the Southeastern United States.
All-American Alliance? Yikes, the name in and of itself just sounds racist, but Don “The Moose” Lewis insists that it’s not racism that is the motivation for the new basketball league, even though he contradicts himself in his own statements:
“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.”
“People will come out and support a product they can identify with. I’m the spoken minority right now, but if people will give us a chance, it’ll work… The white game of basketball, which is essentially a fundamental game, works.”
The Atlanta-based league, which will operate as a single-entity owning all of its teams, is looking for local contacts to pay $10,000 to become a "licensee" in one of 12 cities throughout the Southeast. Lewis said he has already received threats from people opposed to the roster restrictions and several cities have told him to stay out of town. Lewis said he has yet to hear from any one in Augusta.
"We need a local person ingrained into the community to make this successful," he said.
Lewis said he expects to eventually find support in every town with a team.
"People will come out and support a product they can identify with. I'm the spoken minority right now, but if people will give us a chance, it'll work... The white game of basketball, which is essentially a fundamental game, works."
Lewis said he wasn't sure where the team will play.
Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver, who has publicly expressed his support for minor league teams in the past, said he would not do the same for this team.
"As a sports enthusiast, I have always supported bringing more sporting activities to Augusta," he said. "However, in this instance I could not support in good conscience bringing in a team that did not fit with the spirit of inclusiveness that I, along with many others, have worked so hard to foster in our city."
Clint Bryant, athletic director at Augusta State University, laughed when he heard the news.
"It's so absurd, it's funny, but it gives you an idea of the sickness of our society" he said. "It shows you what lengths people will go to just to be mean-spirited. I think at any basketball level, no matter if it's all black, all white, all Hispanic, all Asian or anyone else, the players should just be a basketball team."
All Misplaced can say is wow... just... wow.
See you tomorrow.