Jan 22, 2010, 6:45 PM EST
Controversy continues to swirl over a proposed all-white basketball league based in Georgia, with one Augusta television station releasing an online poll today showing that a majority actually approve of the idea. (Meanwhile, my idea for an all-cat production of Billy Elliot goes nowhere). Part-time promoter and antique dealer Don “Moose” Lewis caused a mini firestorm earlier this week when he sent out a press release announcing intentions to start a Caucasian-only basketball league — the All-American Basketball Alliance — with teams in 12 southern cities. Preposterous? Of course. There’s been all-white basketball around for years; it’s called Tuesday night rec league.
But opposition to Lewis’ idea is not as widespread as one might think.
Video following the jump.
Reaction in the media has been overwhelmingly negative, but when ABC television affiliate WJBF in Augusta put up an online poll on the subject, 60 percent of respondents approved of the idea. Of course that was a very small sampling; only 1,207 people have voted as I write this. Another station, MyFoxAtlanta-5, also polled readers, and right now the vote is tied at 46 percent, with 8 percent undecided.
Lewis contends that his all-white league isn’t racist. “How are the Soul Train awards not racist? It’s not racist it’s just a niche, its entertainment,” said Lewis.
Charles Barkley, for one, disagrees.
“It’s just blatantly racist,” he told CBS Atlanta. “Because if you look at the code words he uses, trying to say we’re carrying guns, fighting people in the stands, things like that. It just goes to show that there’s people in America who just don’t like us.”
The prospects of this league actually getting off the ground are similar to those of Bing Crosby picking up your lunch tab. But if Lewis was just out for attention — and you can pretty much bet that’s all this is about — then screwy mission accomplished. His name is out there now in a big way, and that will only help his other boxing and wrestling ventures.
Then there’s this, from SportsbyBrooks:
I’ve covered lifetime losers like Lewis my entire life. If you look up his background, you see one failed sports league/promotional venture after another. Every town has dozens of hucksters like Lewis. Dude never created anything legitimate that anyone ever cared about, so he got desperate and started spewing this garbage to stir people up. The league will never see the light of day.
Proposed All White Basketball Team Not Sitting Well With Some in Augusta [WJBF]
‘Whites Only’ Basketball League Proposed [MyFoxatlanta]
Majority Of Georgians Polled Want All-White Hoops [SportsbyBrooks]
NAACP Will Stop All-White Basketball League [CBS Atlanta]
Promoter wants to start all-white basketball league [Out Of Bounds]
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