In an article for the online magazine, Slate, former NBA player, Paul Shirley, currently in the Spanish pro league, recounts the lonliness of the white American basketball player.
Though he makes a great living playing ball in “Â€Âœthe second-best basketball league in the world"Â€Â, Shirley complains about the racism that he has encountered in the NBA. He believed other players didn’Â€Â™t respect his game specifically because he was white.
Of course, Shirley is not best known for his basketball skills. According to his listing in Wikipedia, ShirleyÃ¢Â€Â™s biggest claim to fame was the online diary he kept as the Phoenix SunsÃ¢Â€Â™ twelfth man on their 2004-2005 playoff run, and the blog he writes for ESPN.com. He was cut at the end of that season, and failed to make the Minnesota Timberwolves roster at the beginning of this season. Ironically, Shirley mentioned the $10 million, 5-year contract of white Timberwolf Mark Madsen as the reason he was released.
Paul Shirley offers an interesting perspective on what life is like as a racial minority. White Americans currently make up only 6 percent of NBA players (75 percent are African-Americans and 19 percent are foreigners). Though the winners of the last three MVP titles are of European descent, they arenÃ¢Â€Â™t white Americans (two-time winner Steve Nash is Canadian and this year’Â€Â™s MVP, Dirk Nowitski, is German). According to Shirley, this is a problem for white American men who aren’t believed to be as talented as Black and foreign players. Continue reading