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Critical Rhetorics of Race$
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Michael G. Lacy and Kent A. Ono

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814762226

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814762226.001.0001

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Control, Discipline, and Punish

Control, Discipline, and Punish

Black Masculinity and (In)visible Whiteness in the NBA

(p.117) 6 Control, Discipline, and Punish
Critical Rhetorics of Race

Rachel Alicia Griffin

Bernadette Marie Calafell

NYU Press

This chapter critiques the “allegorical power of sport” in relation to historical and contemporary manifestations of white supremacy. In particular, it argues that media discourse about the NBA commissioner David Stern as well as his public statements demonstrate white paternalism. From the onset of his career as commissioner, Stern normalized whiteness as a nonracialized space by repeating discourse that marked the racialized “other” as criminal. Moreover, in a popular sport in which seventy five percent of the players are black but virtually all of the corporate owners and commissioner are white, Stern's enforcement of extreme penalties and policies affecting primarily black players visibly reproduces a spectacle of the white father figure and black slave child relationship found on plantations during the antebellum South.

Keywords:   white supremacy, NBA, David Stern, white paternalism, white father figure, sport

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