The strong assertion that the NBA is racist is equally as absurd. The NBA is a model of equal opportunity (as far as race is concerned) in both the dominance of black players, and the increasing presence of black coaches and managers. Christensen points to the suspension of Abdul-Raouf as an example of the NBA’s racism, yet few would believe that they would not have suspended a white player just as quickly, had he refused to stand for the national anthem.
There is much to criticize about the media’s role in professional sport. We are, for example, far too willing to accept professional athletes as role models, while at the same time knowing nothing about their true strength of character other than what we can glean from an admittedly distorting media. And while Christensen is quick to qualify his statements as an analysis of the players’ media images, he still ends his article by saluting Rodman and his like who “refuse to sell their souls to the capitalist sports machine.” Perhaps Christensen is all too guilty of believing the media images that he so ineptly criticizes.