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CNN Calls NBA All-Star Weekend “Black Thanksgiving”

CNN Calls NBA All-Star Weekend “Black Thanksgiving”

CNN managed to upset a lot of people Friday morning when it posted an article on its website that called the upcoming NBA All-Star Game Black Thanksgiving.

CNN posted the article by longtime NBA analyst David Aldridge, who called All Star Weekend a national holiday for African Americans and quoted USC professor Todd Boyd as saying that the NBA All-Star Weekend has turned into a celebration of African American culture by extension.

A spokesperson for CNN responded to the criticism, It’s not as big a deal as everyone is trying to make it out to be, only 12.5% of America is black, so that means 87.5% of everybody else was totally cool right? That’s how it works…

In the article Aldridge says, Other folks have Tweetups. Black people have All-Star Weekend, or ASW. It’s a national holiday, sort of.

The article ran on the front page of the website, as well as in the sports section, and started a flurry of angry comments.

You managed to include every Black stereotype known to the Western world in this article, rockhanna wrote.

The CNN spokesperson responded again saying, Every stereotype? No way. Why we didn’t bring up Water… Just then, the spokesperson was tackled to the ground and gagged by CNN executives.

CNN had planned to associate other ethnic stereotypes with other holidays as well which included:

  • The Daytona 500 as Red Neck Easter
  • The Super Bowl as Jock Hannukah
  • The World Championships of Ice Skating as Gay New Year

Says Dan Aldridge:

So, you want to know about Black Thanksgiving? That’s what sports writer Mike Wilbon calls NBA All-Star Weekend. First of all, what you need to know about Wilbon, whom I love, is that he has been known to exaggerate just a touch on occasion. But on this one, he’s on point.

For those of us who cover the NBA for a living, like me and Wilbon — now an ESPN yakker and writer, formerly a Washington Post yakker and writer, and my friend –All-Star Weekend is a long four days of work. But for most of the people who descend into town — this year it’s Los Angeles, with its still sparkling Staples Center and the surrounding “L.A. Live” area — it’s an opportunity to go wild (sometimes a little too wild, as happened in Las Vegas a few years ago) and get together.

Other folks have Tweetups. Black people have All-Star Weekend, or ASW. It’s a national holiday, sort of.

SW is the only time of the year that people call me. I don’t say that to be maudlin, ’cause most of the time, I don’t want people to call me. (Dirty little secret: I don’t really like talking on the phone.) But they come out of the woodwork this time of year, because NBA players are royalty in Black America, and everyone wants to be near them. The old saying is that ballers want to be rappers, and rappers want to be ballers. That’s really, really true.

Basketball is a culture. It isn’t for everyone, though the game is loved by people of all colors. There is a rhythm to it, just as if McCoy Tyner was dribbling a ball instead of playing piano.

“Considering that the culture of basketball in a predominantly black league like the NBA is so strongly connected to African American culture, the NBA All-Star weekend has turned into a celebration of African American culture by extension,” says Todd Boyd, professor of critical studies at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.

The season begins just as baseball’s ends, when the days grow short and the weather turns windy and cold. The tempo is slow at first, like the beginning strains of John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme,” but then, just as with Coltrane, it picks up steam. Rookies like the Clippers’ Blake Griffin find their voice, and their game blossoms, as the calendar turns to a new year. While older, wiser veteran players and teams tinker here and there, not much interested in the daily standings, knowing that the important games come in the spring. They can wait


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