Of the infamous courier advertisement in which the entire Spanish national team has been implicated, Rapors G Jose Calderon says “it’s wrong to interpret it as racist. Lakers C Pau Gasol added, “it was never intended to be offensive or racist against anybody”, to which Team USA’s Jason Kidd replies, “they have some explaining to do.” From Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski :
œWe would™ve been already thrown out of the Olympics, Kidd said. œAt 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, œThey won™t do anything to them. It™s a double standard.
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?
It would be grossly unfair to describe everyone involved with Spain’s sporting organizations as a blithering, racist idiot. It’s not encouraging, however that the Telegraph found the above photograph on the Spanish Tennis Federation’s official website.