Basketball league for white Americans targets Augusta

Monday, Jan. 18, 2010 2:25 PM
Last updated Friday, Jan. 29, 2010 7:34 AM
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A new professional basketball league boasting rosters made up exclusively of white Americans has its eyes set on Augusta, but the team isn’t receiving a warm welcome.

The All-American Basketball Alliance announced in a news release Sunday evening that it intends to start its inaugural season in June and hopes Augusta will be one of 12 cities with a team.

“Only players that are natural born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league,” the statement said.

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.”

Don “Moose” Lewis, the commissioner of the AABA, said the reasoning behind the league’s roster restrictions is not racism.

“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.”

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 has had problems with minor league basketball teams in the past, but the issues never centered around race. The Augusta Drive lasted less than a month before folding in 1995, citing financial reasons. The Augusta Groove made it through a full, 20-game schedule in 2009, but accusations from players and local businesses that the team wasn’t paying its bills surrounded the team during the second half of the season. The team later shut down in the offseason.

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combat1 01/21/10 - 07:19 pm
"The Miss America competition

"The Miss America competition originated on September 8, 1921, as a two-day beauty contest in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The event that year was still called the Atlantic City Pageant, and the winner of the grand prize, the 3-foot Golden Mermaid trophy, wasn't even called "Miss America" until 1922, when she re-entered the pageant. The pageant was initiated in an attempt to keep tourists in Atlantic City after the Labor Day weekend.
In 1935, Talent was added to the competition. At the time, non-white women were barred from competing, a restriction that was codified in the pageant's "Rule number seven," which stated that "contestants must be of good health and of the white race." No African American women participated until 1970, although African Americans did appear in musical numbers as far back as 1923, when they were cast as slaves. Until at least 1940, contestants were required to complete a biological questionnaire tracing their ancestry.[2][3][4]" It seems many people on this site seem unaware of the history of "white only" restrictions in the United States. That is why all the various Black organizations exist. And all of the Black organizations allow Whites to participate.

iknowitwheniseeit 01/21/10 - 10:51 pm
This has to be a joke on the

This has to be a joke on the AC!

wlightnin42 01/22/10 - 01:48 pm
With all this "Blacks have

With all this "Blacks have this because they weren't allowed" crap I'm hearing, Look Blacks are allowed now so get over it drop the whites Owe Blacks something bit and get over what most of the blacks alive didn't even live thru. Yes this is stupid, One of the rules on the court is no Dunking(Being white men can't jump), but this stuff will never end as long as both side's keep doing the same crap over and over.

JamesJMcGee 01/26/10 - 09:01 am
combat1 "all of the Black

combat1 "all of the Black organizations allow Whites to participate." NO they do not.

savannahgirl 02/01/10 - 11:51 am
I am officially embarrassed

I am officially embarrassed to LIVE in Georgia at the moment. You should all be ashamed of yourselves, using the fact that Black americans have the NAACP or Black college funds as fuel for this bigotry! If white people had been enslaved not that many years ago and black people had been those who owned them, there sure as heck would be more 'White minority' groups. They have those groups for a reason and that oppression doesn't die easily, just as many people feel that with growing minority populations in the south and Southern California are oppressing the white majority. I'm not saying it should be that way... but I can say that I understand why they have those groups.

Personally, I don't believe that there should be ANY racial pride groups in general, this defeats any sort of cohesive ideals that all Americans can have. ANY division like this excludes people, thus creating tensions between people who cannot have the same special privileges that said group has. Any division creates unease and fosters a hatred of people who are different, when we need to be working as a nation to help each other out. This is not just the american thing to do, this is God's thing to do. Do not covet thy neighbor... treat him as you wish to be treated. Race has no business in the eyes of God.

Please, try to understand one another. Dissolve the NAACP, Dissolve what remains of the KKK and the American Nazi Party, APICAD and any group that is motivated by race.

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