Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

How About Affirmative Action for the NBA?

Posted by M. C. on April 24, 2023


By Walter E. Block

Suppose there were affirmative action for the National Basketball Association.  What would it look like?

Before we address that question, we must ask: why would anyone even think of such a policy?  It is simple.  We want an NBA that “looks like America.”  Right now, this league does not at all fit that bill.  Blacks are only 13% of the population, yet they constitute something like 80% of the players.

As a first step in this initiative, we would have to fire most of the black athletes now in the league.  Then we would be obligated to hire enough whites so that the racial makeup would at least roughly conform to that of the entire nation.

But that would be only the beginning of the process.  We would be seeking not only equal proportional representation, but also equity.  That is, the goal would be that these newcomers would be treated in much the same manner as those they had replaced.  In a word, we want to make them feel welcome, as though they “belong,” that they are not at all second-class citizens.

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