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Update: Spanish B-Ball Team Controversy


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#1 Jaime Quintanilla

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Posted August 13, 2008 - 08:11 AM

Decided to close the last thread since it doesn't make any sense of having it open when the truth has finally came out...

BEIJING – Four days into the most global of events, and surrounded by buildings which foster social harmony across all colors and creeds, Gasol had to apologize for the actions of a Spanish men’s basketball team that made Asian “slant eyes” at the camera for a sponsor’s advertisement and thinks it’s OK.

Around him, his teammates and coaches reacted to the criticism homing in on them from around the world with a mixture of embarrassment, confusion and some mild defiance. The ad in question was for a Spanish courier company, Seur, but the Spanish team also counts the athletic shoe and apparel company owned by Li Ning – the former Chinese Olympian who lit the torch at this summer’s Games – among its sponsors.

But Gasol got it. He didn’t get it when the Spanish courier company persuaded the players to pose with their index fingers stretching their eyes to a thin slit at a team media day, but he sure as heck gets it now.

“Some of us didn’t feel comfortable doing it just because to me it was a little clownish for our part to be doing that,” Gasol said. “But the sponsors insisted and insisted. I think it is just a bad idea I guess to do that, but it was never intended to be offensive or racist against anybody.

“I didn’t find it very funny. I didn’t find it offensive, either. I guess some guys didn’t mind. To me I don’t want to be that way, I guess, to be doing that stuff.

“If anybody feels offended by it we totally apologize for it. We never meant anything offensive by it.”

The advertisement has regularly run as a full page in Spanish sports daily Marca soon after the picture was taken on July 1. However, it only came to prominence after it reached the attention of the Guardian newspaper in London this week.


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#2 lyk13

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Posted August 13, 2008 - 08:54 AM

Hatred gonna be appeased? I've never thought of Pau or anyone on the Spanish team to be like that, and may this truth dig it.




#3 Rinnegato

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Posted August 13, 2008 - 09:10 AM

Saw on the news that Jason Kidd said that if the roles were reversed and that the US team was doing this, that heads would roll and it would be a HUGE incident. Jason Kidd feels that theres a double standard going on-
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#4 Nirvana

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Posted August 13, 2008 - 09:23 AM

What did I tell everyone? Exactly.

Saw on the news that Jason Kidd said that if the roles were reversed and that the US team was doing this, that heads would roll and it would be a HUGE incident. Jason Kidd feels that theres a double standard going on-


Link?

Edited by Darth Bynumite, August 13, 2008 - 09:24 AM.

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#5 Rinnegato

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Posted August 13, 2008 - 09:26 AM

What did I tell everyone? Exactly.



Link?


Sorry saw it on KTLA morning news a couple hours ago - the news people said that Jason Kidd said that
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#6 Icker

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Posted August 13, 2008 - 09:26 AM

yea i just read that, i totally agree, theres double standards on everybody, l;ike the lakers against the celtic on goame 2 of the finals

#7 Nirvana

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Posted August 13, 2008 - 09:29 AM

Sorry saw it on KTLA morning news a couple hours ago - the news people said that Jason Kidd said that


Well, I have a comment to make on the issue, but I don't want to make it untill I know it's true.

I'll make the comment anyway, the reason people would react differently is because of two things. 1), the U.S.A is one of the very few world leading countries as well as THE world leader when it comes to Basketball.

And

2). Because Americans are known around the world for being abit ignorant and rude to people of other nationalities.

Just two possibilities of why people would react differently to the USA.
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#8 Guest_Chicano_*

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Posted August 13, 2008 - 10:54 AM

ya know that the spanish are the original wetback, and all mexican are part white right

Well, wouldn't necessarily say ALL, but ALMOST.. the majority of Mexicans are mostly mestizo, which stands for pretty much half Spanish or Euro in general cuz some have some French as well believe it or not, & half indian.. & then there are some & those who have more of one of the other. Some have more Euro, or almost all & some have more indian & almost all, BUT.. there are actually some Mexicans who can still almost literally trace back completely to indegenous tribes in which they don't have any Euro blood at all, but that's few in comparison to the huge number that has at least some.

#9 gcclaker

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Posted August 13, 2008 - 11:07 AM

It is good to read Gasol's thoughts on the matter. He did not feel comfortable and felt it was unnecessary. On the subject of whether the message was offensive, Gasol was ambivalent. All in all, I do respect him for speaking out on it instead of brushing it off entirely not that he could or anything.
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#10 lyk13

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Posted August 13, 2008 - 11:38 AM

What did I tell everyone? Exactly.



Link?


It's in the same link as the TS posted.

Or here: http://sports.yahoo....b...o&type=lgns




#11 LD2k

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Posted August 13, 2008 - 03:19 PM

Not good.

#12 netlord

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Posted August 13, 2008 - 11:21 PM

I think Gasol and Calderon already explained enough about this incident, Jason Kidd says the truth, but that would be because in Spain that isn't considered racist because probably there is not a big asian population. I think this is more than over.
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#13 LALakersFan4Life

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Posted August 14, 2008 - 03:29 AM

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BEIJING – When Jason Kidd logged into a laptop to see the Spaniards with his own eyes on Wednesday morning, the photo appeared just as described to him: Here were National Basketball Association players giggling like schoolgirls as they posed with fingers pressed against their temples in a squinty-eyed pre-Olympic salute to China.

Before long, Kidd considered the consequences had those giddy European faces been substituted with those of Team USA.

“We would’ve been already thrown out of the Olympics," he told Yahoo! Sports. “At least, we wouldn’t have been able to come back to the U.S. …There would be suspensions."

And for his European peers, well, Kidd suggested, “They won’t do anything to them. It’s a double standard."

For Spain, there are several NBA players, including the Lakers’ Pau Gasol and Toronto’s Jose Calderon, in this unnerving team photo. They wore Spanish uniforms and had the federation’s seal on the floor. It ran as a full-page advertisement in a Madrid newspaper, an advertisement for a national team sponsor. This wasn’t an impromptu shot, but a carefully calculated choice.

Gasol is too smart, too sophisticated, to have let this happen. After practice Wednesday, he suggested that he wasn’t troubled with the photo on the merits of longstanding racial implications as much as he thought it wasn’t funny. The sponsor pushed and pushed them to pose, he said. They broke him down.

“It was supposed to be a picture that inspired the Olympic spirit," Gasol said.

And how’d that work out, Pau? Just imagine what would’ve happened had that explanation come out of the mouth of Carmelo Anthony? Here’s what: Stern would’ve been on the next plane to China to work the damage control.

The Spaniards made a deplorable circumstance worse with dense justifications and a sense that they had done nothing wrong and nothing offensive. When they were hemming and hawing, digging a deeper ditch, Kidd talked at Team USA’s practice. He was curious how the Spanish players were spinning this.

“They have some explaining to do," he said. “They’ll come up with something good."

Gasol and Calderon aren’t just accountable to Spain on this Olympic stage but the global corporate entity that pays them more than $130 million in pro contracts. The NBA could’ve delivered a ready rebuke on Wednesday and there was none.

They’ll dock you $50,000 for ripping an incompetent official, but you can get a pass on an orchestrated racial slur? Gasol is kidding himself to say that he was pushed into it. Do you think Kobe Bryant would’ve been pressured to pose this way? LeBron James? Gasol is a serious, sensitive player with the prestige and clout for Spain to step up and say: Forget it, fellas. This isn’t happening. Only he didn’t.

As much as anything, this episode feeds a prevailing feeling among African-American NBA players that they’re the constant scapegoats for whatever issues – real or perceived – plague the sport. Without the public demanding a pound of accountability for European players, do they get a pass?

“The simple question is, ‘Would Stern and the league hold the American players accountable?’ And I think the answer to that is yes," one NBA general manager said. “So why wouldn’t he hold the ‘other’ NBA players accountable – unless the rules only apply to the American players."

So far, there’s nothing out of the league office. Rest assured, unless there’s an outcry over that photo, the NBA will wish this story away. Maybe the league will even issue a mild rebuke. It won’t be enough. Maybe this doesn’t rise to a suspension, but there should be significant fines and a bold condemnation. There needs to be a message delivered to NBA players everywhere: When you earn your money with us, you are always on the clock. Kidd, Kobe and LeBron understand it. It’s time the rest of the league does, too.

As some suggest he’ll do, Stern can’t dismiss this as the business of a federation team. These are NBA players returning to NBA cities this year. Never mind the host country and millions of fans here, but consider the Asian-American season ticket holders in cosmopolitan cities such as Toronto and Los Angeles. One of the reasons the New Jersey Nets traded for Yi Jianlian was to market him to a large Asian-American base in Metropolitan New York.

The NBA is a global league, so understand: Whatever the summer uniform, it’s the players who are forever representing the logo. The idea that Stern shouldn’t act on this behavior because it falls under FIBA and Spanish rule is ridiculous.

“We could say that too, but at the end of day, we are still representing the NBA," Kidd said. “No matter if we’re saying (the actions) have nothing to do with it. At the end of day, we have to go back home, and our jobs are there."

Stern is walking a slippery slope here, balancing relationships and partnerships in China and Europe. Already, there are jealousies developing in Europe over the way Stern is fawning over the Chinese market. Some European teams have told American marketers and agents that they’ve felt neglected in Stern’s wanderlust for Asia. FIBA is the governing body for European basketball and they’ve already dismissed this as a non-issue. That’s FIBA’s right, but the NBA has a different responsibility here. It has to take the higher ground.

“It would start an international riot if we did it, but they aren’t us," an Eastern Conference executive said. “It’s low-rent stuff, but FIBA won’t do squat, so (the) NBA would show them up with any punitive action. I would be shocked if the NBA does any more than condemn (the) action."

These Games have been a fascinating illustration in the complexities of the NBA’s globalization. The Americans have been treated like rock stars in China. Team USA has handled everything with grace and good humor. After too many trips overseas when this wasn’t the case for America’s national team, it sure is now.

Yes, there are different attitudes in the world, different sensibilities in Europe and North America. But for the NBA, there can be just one set of right and wrong. There should be only a strong voice and strong action now. No one should have to call for accountability from the Spaniards – the way that they would for Americans. Once and for all, David Stern has to be clear that there aren’t rules and responsibilities for different athletes, and different backgrounds – just those for an NBA player.


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#14 Cookie

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Posted August 14, 2008 - 07:29 AM

I agree with him. They would have been suspended for unsportsmanlike conduct.

i wonder if the nba players on that team get suspended...

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#15 GlockFotay

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Posted August 14, 2008 - 10:50 AM

“If anybody feels offended by it we totally apologize for it. We never meant anything offensive by it.”


I forgive Pau, but I still lost all respect for him.

Stupid move. I do hope there's more punishment, they're already in "slanted eye" territory for Pete's sake!!!

It's just like me walking around a black neighborhood with a KKK outfit or southern white neighborhood wearing a Black Panther Fo' Life T-Shirt or a Dashiki.

Edited by G-Money®, August 14, 2008 - 10:51 AM.

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#16 netlord

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Posted August 14, 2008 - 11:45 AM

I really didn't expect this. they apologized and said they weren't trying to make fun of the asians. THe chinese have accepted the apology. Why aren't you. And you say you have lost respect for Gasol. Here in Spain there isn't a big asian population, maybe that is the cause it's not considered racist. YOu can't compare the US and Spain.
Kidd is just playing mind-games.
And you shouldn't go any further with this. This would have gone unnoticed if it wasn't for the british "press" why would this be...
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#17 GlockFotay

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Posted August 14, 2008 - 11:50 AM

Perhaps it is a sole country issue, where in Spain there are not a lot of Asians.

You'll have to be Asian to understand.

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#18 Il Garante

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Posted August 14, 2008 - 12:02 PM

Im not making any excuses for Pau or the Spanish team, but in Spain and many other places in Europe a lot of people don't fully understand what is racist and what is not because in most countries in Europe they live with mainly people of their own etchnicity. In Spain, there are mostly spaniards, in france, frence, in Italy, Italians etc. Here in America and especially places like New York and L.A. there is a melting pot of different cultures and peoples. Here most people understand what is offensive and what is not. Now, obviously, the team and especially Pau, who plays in L.A., should have made more of an effort to realize that that photo was very offensive. They should not be left off the hook for it. But, while it was very stupid, childish, and ignorant of them, it is hard for me to believe that they meant any malice for the Chinese people or Asian people. I mean, if they knew how racist and offensive the photo was, why would they do it right before travelling to a nation of people that they just offended? However, now they DO know that the photo is seriously racist and they should be apoligizing and begging forgiveness from everyone that they offended. And they are not doing that right now.

#19 GlockFotay

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Posted August 14, 2008 - 12:11 PM

In a recent Spanish soccer match they make monkey sounds and throw banana's onto the feild when black English players get the ball. Anyone remembers that?

Racism sadly still exists.

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#20 Guest_Chicano_*

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Posted August 14, 2008 - 12:58 PM

Wait a minute though, I'm afraid a lot of folks might not know the whole story. Am I right or am I wrong?

I thought I remembered reading yesterday or something, sometime, somewhere, some article saying the guys didn't even wanna' do this originally, that it wasn't part of their plan, that some random sponsor type company insisted they pose that way & Pau & Jose Calderon specifically as well as most of the team, felt uneasy & awkward that they were made to do it. The people ordering them to do it even went as far as to falsely assure them there'd be no backlash in this and that it was all innocent. Pau later said afterwards that he regretted it and should've known better not to trust em'.




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