Just when I thought this was the most racist thing I would witness in 2008, along came an article by Mark Hasiuk of the Vancouver Courier to steal the show. Last week, Bill Simmons of ESPN sat down with David Stern and the Vancouver Grizzlies was Stern’s answer as to his greatest NBA regret: “I wish we hadn’t had the Vancouver experience,” he said. “Great city, and we disappointed them and we disappointed ourselves.”
Since that interview, the Vancouver Grizzlies topic became a relevant story again and it sparked many discussions, posts and articles about the failed NBA Vancouver experiment. Now, I don’t know if Mark Hasiuk was a fan of the NBA or the Vancouver Grizzlies, but what I do know is that the 1940’s called and it wants him and his views back. In Hasiuk’s column titled “NBA: a ghetto gutter run by money grubbers”, all Hasiuk proves is that he’s about as culturally diverse as an Arby’s roast beef sandwich.
The NBA is America at its worst where money and image trump teamwork and athletic achievement. Players like Allen Iverson, perhaps the greatest basketball talent of his generation, spend more energy producing sneaker commercials than winning basketball games. NBA players wear saggy shorts, roll in posses and cuss on camera.
Good on you Mr. Hasiuk, for letting television decide what you need to learn about culture. I mean, who needs to interact with others when television can provide a packaged stereotype of Black America for you…right? There’s more.
“To be fair, the NBA, like other professional sports leagues, is a business. And it’s not responsible for the endemic problems of black America. But considering basketball’s influence on black popular culture, the NBA has a responsibility to produce a “positive” product, not the ghetto garbage we see today.”
Silly me, I thought that people like you Mr. Hasiuk, that kept the ball rolling on racial stereotypes were a bigger problem for Black America? Then again, Mr. Hasiuk probably has a better cable package than me so he knows far more about culture than I. Plus, I’ve never travelled to the ethnically diverse cities of Victoria or Kamloops to learn as much as he has regarding Black America so I could be wrong.
So speaking of Arby’s, Hasiuk then gets all weepy eyed when talking about former Vancouver Canucks captain Trevor Linden getting his number retired, as if the NBA and their players should aspire to be like the NHL with its band of “heroes” and “good guys”.
Sure, maybe the NBA should be more like the NHL where they prefer to keep their thugs on ice so they can cash in on them in action during a game like, Todd Bertuzzi who was charged with assault causing bodily harm for breaking a players neck in a game, or like Marty McSorley who was guilty of assault with a weapon for his on ice attack of Donald Brashear.Or the off ice topper of them all Dany Heatley, who was charged with vehicular homicide after killing his teammate by crashing his Ferrari 360 Modena joy riding. This act of leadership was good enough for his current team the Ottawa Senators to name him as the clubs alternate captain, a great role model indeed!
Sorry– but since I last checked, the NBA has no team with a killer employed on their current NBA roster.
After reading Mark Hasiuk’s article I still don’t know if he’s a basketball fan, but for the Vancouver Courier to stand behind him as a writer and let his words see the light of day is shocking. If free speech had an emotion it would be regret, after reading his piece.
But hey– at least he’s demonstrated enough knowledge of culture and business to work in the NHL’s front office, which probably suits him better anyway.