Great Divide Race Colors Battle Over Sports Arena In Brooklyn

Updated: April 19, 2006




It is a Phenomenon

in our Society

some people



It can’t be defined. Everyone has encountered Some. It isn’t that they HATE certain teams. Or HATE certain players. Or HATE certain sports. They simply HATE sports. Period. Any mention of Anything having to do with Sports in their presence will provoke a visible response. When it’s mild simply a snide comment. Or a look of Disdain. But often it is Worse. Unleashing a Diatribe against those who would waste their time playing or far worse following and enjoying Sports.

It is our Original Theory

here in the Box

That this kind of Visceral HATRED of Sports is at the core of the vicious almost manic Opposition by a small but determined core trying to prevent a new sports arena and NBA Basketball coming to Brooklyn.

Then there are the Racial Overtones

that fit well within the Theory

and the situation in


For those who don’t know or did not assume Brooklyn, New York, the city’s largest Boro’s population has one of the highest concentration of Black Americans anywhere composed of African Americans, Caribbean Americans and Latino Americans. In numerous neighborhoods.

Living peacefully with a much smaller Grouping

of mostly affluent White Americans

Now guess where virtually all of the Opposition to this construction project to build the basketball arena and lots of housing to surround it is Centered. Sorry no prize for answering White Brooklynites. That is too easy. Likewise for the second Question as to the Color of the vast majority of Americans who HATE sports. Be they a very small grouping even among White Americans

Right again. White again.

No prize again.

Too easy.

The fact is virtually every rational individual inside and outside of Brooklyn is enthusiastic about the current New Jersey Nets moving to Brooklyn. If Brooklyn were not part of NYC this Boro with over 2,500,000 residents would be the 3rd largest city in America all by itself. There are far smaller cities that have one or more pro teams. Brooklyn has none.

For Brooklyn to reach its Potential in the 21st century and compete in the Global Marketplace for jobs and business its needs a vibrant Core. That is exactly what is missing in Brooklyn and exactly what the Bruce Ratner developed Frank Gehry designed Complex with the 21st century NBA Arena at its center will provide.

And it is largely PRIVATELY funded

with a minimum of public participation

On the Grounds what it means most are JOBS for lots of African Americans and other Brooklynites of Color who live in and make up the vast majority of Brooklyn residents. And it will mean thousands of affordable state of the art housing units included in the project for low and middle class Brooklynites.

That’s right Black Folk

While the in your face White Opposition live mostly away from this area called Atlantic Yards overwhelmingly Black while the Opponents are massed outside the area in very affluent communities like Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope.

Now again it would be difficult

to understand their Opposition

unless you incorporate


of Sports

Without Stereotyping anyone the vast majority of Opponents as seen clearly in opposition rally photos are 60s style hippie types and their better groomed contemporary counter-parts who as fits well with the Theory were often associated with a disdain even HATRED for Sports as reflecting an aspect of America they despised. and HATED.

While the evidence may be anecdotal it is always the Arena rather than the development itself at the heart of the critics ranting and raving. It is quite possible to conclude that this same Complex IF it did not include a Sports Arena would never have attracted this sort of Opposition.

One telling point is that NO critic has ever said that anywhere or on their Internet stuff that they would support the Arena if the apartment and commercial buildings are eliminated leaving a very small project indeed almost invisible.

And why that is so “strange”

Is that it would be a very logical strategy to gain support for themselves among the many Sports LOVERS Black & White who want professional sports in Brooklyn but who could be convinced to “abandon” much of the rest.

Let’s wrap this up by finally bringing The Greatest Brooklynite of All into the Picture. Jackie Robinson who played Sports more notable than any human ever did in Brooklyn, but who lived as well in Brooklyn while he led the Brooklyn Dodgers and long afterwards until his Death.

It is an Insult to his Legacy and his Memory for a group of White Brooklynites to be plotting so vehemently to try and prevent professional sports from returning to Brooklyn since in many ways the most famous team of all the BROOKLYN Dodgers left Brooklyn for Los Angeles in the late 1950s.

And as we have argued repeatedly

the new Brooklyn Arena

can have only one proper name

The Jackie Robinson Arena

It is past time that Announcement is made

and making it that much more Difficult

for these Opponents to rally support

for their Wrong Headed Campaign

It is Time for

Professional Sports in


Time for NBA Basketball

in Brooklyn.


Whenever you want to reach us with comments or better yet an idea for a topic for the Box …….






March 4, 1999

may still seem

a date of no special note

to many

Not Here At

Black Athlete Sports Network

It’s our Anniversary !

This day 7 years ago Roland Rogers, CEO of BASN, and a friend and colleague, spoke by phone as they often did, one at the northern the other at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, and before that long Conversation had come to its Conclusion they had gone on line and registered a name

And agreed to form a Venture dedicated to Sports but unlike any other by Africans Americans for African Americans and for everyone interested in a uniquely African American perspective on the religion of our days Sports.

It has been a Rough Ride

so far

but still Rewarding

BASN averages 100,000 unique visitors a month, millions of page views and a very loyal core audience. We have done this without a drop of advertising or marketing, and no significant coverage in other media nor the benefits of many linked Sites.

We have an extraordinary robust business plan that we have not been able to implement yet, and a growing fraternity of writers who supply content with varying amounts of frequency. We have a regular flow of comment from readers, and our unfair share of hate emails for having the audacity to confront the conventional view of sports in America as Color Neutral.

We have published our share of groundbreaking material and covered many topics and athletes in ways the mostly white media is not interested in doing or genetically incapable of doing. We have a series of Special Reports which are kept on our Front Page we challenge anyone to match.

Most of all our coverage of Sports is anchored in a view of Reality in which Sports is an inherent reflection of the Wider Society. Even more in our view that in many instances the best way to understand life in America is to view it through the Prism of Sports. Black Sports in America.

In doing so time and again we expound upon what we believe is a virulent 21st century definition of Racism in America which is ever so clearly seen in American Sports. For those who want to believe the word “racism” is really mostly something from the past when it was Blatant …..

BASN forces readers to deal with the fact Racism lives. A new form of Racism. Racism by Exclusion. Racism by Neglect. And it is undeniable in American sports. We just saw it written Large in the Winter Olympics in which a “record” (sic) 6 African Americans were among 211 white American Olympians.

And except for one Shani Davis they were each Invisible.

And to jolt you a little more NO African American has ever competed in the majority of Olympic Sports not only Winter but Summer as well. Why ? No there are NO ( or few ) open aggressive Racists controlling Olympic Sports in America. But every bit as effectively there are a group of important white men and women who see nothing Wrong when they face their teams of athletes in sport after sport and don’t see any African Americans among them.

And do Nothing about it.

that is Racism

no doubt about it

21st century style

Racism that leaves no fingerprints !

Racism that the practitioners

do not admit to

It is the exact same formula in all the major sports as well in the college and especially the pro ranks. Baseball, football and basketball. There are major aspects of all three in which you will find very limited or no African American involvement at all. Especially off the Field. In management and ownership.

Where the Biggest Scam of All

is the response

” but we can’t find Qualified African Americans ”

21st Century Racism

in Sports

We chose as our graphic for the Box for this special day a rather counter-intuitive image. The cover of the current issue of National Geographic. A publication and an issue that has absolutely nothing directly to do about Sports.

Rather the cover story is the latest version of the evidence that traces ALL human life back to Africa. It is beyond any dispute at all we are ALL African. Africa is the Birthplace of our Human Species. No doubt about it.

And how ironic it is that ALL our ancestors began as Black skinned humans only to find over hundreds of thousands of years of colonizing the entire Globe and skin pigmentation changes in response to environmental conditions that our original ancestors and their still Black skinned descendants are the most oppressed and Africa the most scourged and ravaged part of the Earth.

And that everywhere

throughout History

The Color of Nobility Black has been used to enslave and destroy countless millions because of the Color of their Black skin. Nothing more than that. That in the imperfection which is the Human Condition we as a group look to find the most obvious trait that can make us “different” and the basis for exploiting others.

It is ultimately defined by Greed

the fatal flaw in the human psyche

which leads us to find “justification”

for taking from some to give to others

because of the Color of their Skin

Specific to our American society while Plantation Slavery is long banished the human imperative that motivated it is not. More for us less for them. It is the Mantra of the Elites. Here at Black Athlete Sports Network we are not Deaf to the fact that the 21st century manifests that inequality and specifically in Sports.

Maybe that will make you appreciate

BASN’s motto

The Soul of Sports

So after 7 years of existence and a growing number of years of continuous daily publication we are Proud of the fact we are playing with the Big Boys and often overwhelming their very limited perspective on Sports and Society, and their lack of understanding of the African American Experience of Sports.

Many of our articles are “straight” sports without any specific overtones but written by African Americans in almost all cases. You see. We are a private sector profit oriented ( if not realized yet ) enterprise in the best American tradition, and our business is Sports and to be entertaining to our Audience.

First and foremost

what separates us

is a Core and a Foundation

based on the reality of

The American Experience

past present and future

that other Sports media

cannot Claim

Watch us Grow

overcome the Obstacles

Enjoy where we’ll Be by

our Tenth Anniversary

Be part of the Journey

Happy Anniversary

to us All

Out of Africa !