Monday, March 7, 2011

Glory Road

I have chosen to focus on a backstage video I found regarding the 2006 film “Glory Road”. It’s a true story from 1967, of a college basketball coach having five black males on his team. Don Haskin from Texas Western College decides to find the best players in the country regardless of race to form a team that can compete for a national championship. At this time in life, basketball, and all other sports for that matter were segregated into whites and blacks.

The black players were men that the other school and colleges didn’t want on their team because of their race. Haskin never had the intention of picking black guys for his team to make some sort of stand, or to change the way sport is seen in society, he just picked the best males for the job, be them black or white. But his commitment to the team enabled the wall of segregation to fall that little bit more.

Of course they felt some setbacks within society of racial aggression and beatings, but they stuck to their beliefs. Like a true fairy-tale for race, the team were triumphant in beating the all-white best team in the country, Kentucky Wildcats; leaving as champions.

In the video, a reporter interviews Josh Lucas, the actor who plays Don Haskin and makes the point that not many people know the story. I didn’t know of the story before researching it today and Josh Lucas didn’t know about the story before he auditioned for the movie. It seems that even though it was such a pivotal moment in Basketball history, not many people are aware of it.

I’m going to link this to an article that I discovered whilst doing research. In January 2010 it was proposed to create an All-White Basketball League. Don Lewis is the founder of The All-American Basketball Alliance which hopes to have a team in Augusta – where the Masters Golf tournament is held each year, an event which also has history of racial issues.

Lewis claims that he doesn’t “hate anyone of color. But people of white, American-born citizens are in the minority now.” So the All-American Basketball Alliance would be “a league for white players to play fundamental basketball, which they like”

This doesn’t just exclude African-Americans, but Hispanics, Chinese, Japanese, Iraqis etc. Anybody born in another country cannot play within this league.

Lewis stated in an interview that he wanted to emphasize fundamental basketball instead of “street-ball”, which he says is played by “people of color”.
"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."

This isn’t just reverting back to pre-civil rights era, but it’s going further.

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