BASN Classic BlackBox: Real Issue NBA Ref Study

Updated: August 21, 2007

A BASN Classic BlackBox Last Updated: May 6, 2007 REAL ISSUE NBA REF STUDY




It happens all the time

very often anyway

we talk around

REAL issues

The NBA study of referee calls by some academics and featured on the front page of The New York Times last week led to lots of Ink around the nation written and verbal, denials by NBA Commissioner David Stern who produced a counter study to prove decisions by NBA refs on foul calls are not race biased.

The original study by the Professor at the Wharton School of Business and a colleague at Cornell did not contend specific Referees were biased but rather statistically and presumably unconsciously White Refs called more penalties on Black players. Since there are so many more Black players it appeared to have a material impact on the outcomes of some games and by logical extensions team records and by further extension season and playoff results.

Well the fact is that after all was said and done over the last few days there simply was not enough clarity, and most of all the players did not seem to care much at all, and since there is no real “remedy” to an issue that may or may not in fact exist since foul calls are so much a matter of judgment and the study did not include a specific lengthy list of questionable calls – which would have been essential to establish any defining credibility for the study.

Or to quote that euphemism

you can prove anything

with Statistics

NOW here is the element of the study EVERYONE missed and it has nothing at all to do with subjective statistical analysis but very elementary and absolutely true facts.

Buried in the study seemingly as trivial information is the KEY problem with Referees in the NBA.

The study states that 83% of the players in the NBA are Black but 67% of the Referees well over half of them are WHITE.

There are 55 White NBA Referees and 29 Black NBA Referees according to the Study.

The REAL question rhetorical as it is in the Real WHITE World WHY are 83% of the players African American but ONLY 33% of the Officials. That is a 50% discrepancy between Color of the Players and the Refs.

The statistical study of fouls is but a diversion from this issue that is ALL important.

WHY can’t players expect “parity” among Officials that reflect the make-up of the players.

OK HERE COME THE EMAILS !! Don’t bother.

I will answer you now and save you an email. The fact is it would be NATURAL for the make up of the NBA Referee Corps to reflect the make up of the League since IF there is so high a level of interest and talent among the Players WHY wouldn’t that be reflected as well among the Refs.

The reason that NATURAL flow does not exist is that the decisions about hiring NBA Referees is made in an ARTIFICIAL way to reflect the inherent biases of Management which is overwhelming WHITE.

That is the Point and by the way it is even the specific Point of the Study If the professor knew what he was doing.

Any group in any setting Sports or anything else will reflect core unconscious belief systems that define the groups being examined and tested.

For those of you who need

“Statistics for Dummies”

What would have been SURPRISING would have been if there was no statistical bias in a setting in which the two groups the players and referees are so different. To put it another way. If both 83% of the Players and 83% of the Refs both were African American it is very very unlikely the Professor would have found the statistical abnormality he did. In fact close to impossible.

So once again the Box

goes where others do not

right to the TRUTH

of issue after issue

so how come we

don’t get paid

$ 1,000,000

and then some

David Stern does

to Screw up !

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