Racism has been a hot topic regarding the Philadelphia 76ers, and it seems like, especially in the city of Philadelphia, it’s unfair towards the Sixers’ roster.
Maybe not racist, for 100% of American society has issues with racism on some level; it’s just human nature to have it, even if a tiny degree, and one must constantly beat it back with education and reflection. I guess what I’m speaking of is more like “racialized” thinking.
I love how current authors are revising history. All of the sudden, since the Sixers are not even close to knocking on the door of a 41-41 season with Spencer Hawes only to fall in the first round playoffs, all of the sudden we are a “basketball town.”
And why are we a basketball town? Because little cute CYO teams play zone defense and high school and college teams in the area play for the love of the game while overly relying on the three point shot.
Does anyone assume that Villanova Football, LaSalle Baseball, and Drexel Ice Hockey, all have more intangibles, coaching, and players than the Philadelphia Eagles, Phillies and Flyers respectively? Of course not. It does not however, seem absurd for the Philadelphia Big Five teams to be granted more respect than the Philadelphia 76ers. It’s weird. It’s almost like the religious schools that have college basketball in the city have a moral sanctity that the pros cannot appreciate.
I did not realize how much some fans openly long for the days for NBA purgatory. Hinkie is not off-base at all. If the Eagles, Flyers and Phillies were all playoff teams, Hinkie would then be dead wrong. Some Sixers fans have empathy for Hinkie because the other teams conventional approaches fail year after year after year after year.
Here is how you know most of the disdain for the Sixers is racialized:
But notice that none of them are considered lazy, greedy, or with bad attitudes. J.D. Drew was a hated man, but I never noticed anything directed at even him like this:
This directed at a former 76er in a comment section: “Why is this even news worthy? The guy is a lazy bum and should not be given any recognition as an athlete.”
Here’s another: “This guy is a fraud. He’ll sit out, collect the check, and come back the next year “ready”… to dupe the next idiot. He’ll never play again.”
Even the essentialism is offensive. Here is a comment directed at Elton Brand: “He was a tough player, and a class act. Hope it rubs off onto Okafor.” Notice the word, “class” (also mentioned a couple of more times). You see, we need to assume that black basketball players are without “class,” until we appropriate them with “class.” No Flyers, Eagles, or Phillies are ever considered half-devil, half child in this same way, I checked.
Many baseball and ice hockey players naturally skip college, but they are never considered or known as players that skip college to miss out on a vital experience. This past year Moses Malone and Darryl Dawkins left us.
What’s worse is that Malone was considered a player that “skipped college” and somehow lacked intelligence. Dawkins? Same thing. David Zirin wrote eloquently of the racialized aspects of this matter.
But the next time you hear sports talk regarding the Sixers and individual players remember it and compare it to when you hear Flyers, Phillies and Eagles talk. You’ll notice how the Sixers are considered (and the black athletes on other teams for that matter) unenlightened.