3 reasons why the NBA should have affirmative action
A response to this well-written article.
I was shocked after attending a Golden State Warriors game recently. Most of the players were black. This does not reflect the demographic of California. Upon further research, I discovered the NBA is 78% black. I could not believe this lack of diversity. Clearly, blacks are overrepresented in the NBA whereas Asians are an underrepresented minority. We must begin reversing this trend today.
1) The NBA discriminates against unathletic and unskilled people
Compared with my friends, I'm very agile. I'm not that strong but I make up for it with dirty play. Somehow this is not sufficient for me to gain entry into the NBA. The league discriminates against people like me who can't dunk, block a shot off the backboard, or run a pick and roll correctly. I don't see how this is fair because I can make up for those deficiencies by fouling, missing shots, and turning the ball over at a prolific rate. I also take a fair share of ill-advised three-pointers and make poor decisions under pressure. Why should I be punished for my genetics and poor basketball upbringing?
2) The NBA discriminates against short non-black people
There are two current NBA players under 5' 10" - Nate Robinson and Isaiah Thomas. They are both black. I am under 5' 10" but I am not black. Many of my friends who are also under 5' 10" and are not black, are not in the NBA either. Something is going on here.
3) The NBA's definition of merit is flawed
In the NBA, merit is defined by buckets. As in how well you help your team put the ball in the bucket and prevent the opposing team from doing likewise. This is a very narrow patriarchy-mandated definition. Character qualities are far more important. I think the definition of "merit" should be expanded to include sportsmanship - specifically shaking hands after the game, saying "good game", and making eye contact with opposing team members. I do this all the time after pick-up games. People truly appreciate the merit of this. The NBA should as well.
Objection: But the "crown jewel" of the UC system, UC Berkeley, is supposed to reflect California's demography
Response: UC Berkeley is an elite public institution of higher education just as the NBA is a league of elite basketball players. Elite means not everyone gets to go there. In fact, most people don't. Reflecting the demographic of California is not the UC system's mandate (nor should it be) and goes against the definition of elite.
Objection: But education is different, not everyone is entitled to play in the NBA but everyone should be entitled to an education
Response: Really? Where does the constitution say that? I don't remember that. And I specifically don't recall any California resident being guaranteed a UC Berkeley education, much less a UC / CSU education or even junior college education.
Objection: But the current system without affirmative action is unfair and we're just helping to even an unequal playing field
Response: Yes. And affirmative action is supposed to correct racial discrimination by giving racial preference? It feels counter-productive. Wouldn't it make more sense to do this by economic status (which the UC system does today)?