Lack of support for Team USA Basketball comes down to race

Care more about this team. America.

Care extra about this crew. America.
Picture: Getty Pictures

For over twenty years, the USA has been sending a crew to the Summer time Video games that’s so dominant that shedding isn’t even a distant risk. And each 4 years, thousands and thousands of Individuals take this crew’s excellence with no consideration greater than the lightbulbs of their fridges.

That is the plight of Black ladies.

Team USA’s predominantly Black ladies’s basketball crew has a 72-4 Olympic report for the reason that 1976 Summer time Video games in Montreal. And for the reason that 1996 Atlanta Video games, they’ve received gold in each Olympics with an ideal 48-0 report. That’s higher than their male counterparts, who are 40-3 in Olympic competitors since 1996, which additionally features a bronze medal in 2004. It additionally trumps the ladies’s soccer crew that’s solely introduced house 4 gold medals since 1996 in comparison with the six the ladies’s basketball crew has, because the soccer crew sports activities a 26-8-2 Olympic report throughout that interval.

In a patriarchal society, we already know why the boys’s basketball crew will get extra consideration when the Olympics come round. However while you examine the ladies’s soccer crew to the ladies’s basketball crew, it’s at all times attention-grabbing that one crew appears to get an even bigger push than the opposite, even when their resume isn’t pretty much as good.

The reply to the “why” is a straightforward one. Of the 18 ladies that make up Team USA’s soccer roster, solely two of them are Black. Of the 12 ladies on the basketball crew, 9 of them are Black. The crew can be coached by Daybreak Staley, who’s the primary Black lady to ever coach Workforce USA’s ladies’s senior crew.

America discovering methods to not help profitable Black feminine athletes — and Black ladies on the whole — isn’t something new, because it’s been dominating the headlines. We’ve already seen how individuals have been extra upset with Gwen Berry, a two-time Olympian hammer-thrower, just a few weeks in the past for turning away from the American flag on the rostrum in the course of the nationwide anthem than they were with the terrorists that stormed the Capitol on January 6. Simone Biles – arguably the best gymnast of all time – received penalized for being higher than her competitors after doing the Yurchenko double pike in Could, resulting in the judges solely giving her a rating of 6.6.

“I really feel like now we simply must get what we get as a result of there’s no level in placing up a combat as a result of they’re not going to reward it,” she told The New York Times. “So we simply must take it and be quiet.”

Sha’Carri Richardson’s final hopes for going to Tokyo were crushed on Tuesday when USA Monitor and Area left her off the 4×100 relay crew, although she would have been eligible after serving a 30-day suspension for weed that disqualified her from the 100m sprint. And the Worldwide Swimming Federation (FINA) is reconsidering the ban they put on swimming caps for natural Black hair for the Tokyo video games after all of the criticism it obtained for the choice that was racist at finest, and despicable at worst, for a transfer that particularly focused Black ladies.

It’s no marvel why Black ladies are turning down alternatives which might be beneath them. Hello, Nikole Hannah-Jones.

Because it’s change into clear that the Olympics are nonetheless going to occur in a spot that’s about to declare a state of emergency due to COVID-19, we’d as nicely put together to “unite as a rustic” and cheer on our athletes in sports activities we regularly overlook about. However, whereas that’s occurring, take discover of how one crew received’t be getting anyplace near the eye that it deserves. As a result of whereas our ladies’s basketball crew doesn’t have a roster full of ladies with blonde hair and blue eyes, they’re nonetheless representing the crimson, white, and blue, and constantly carry house the one coloration that issues… gold.


TaraSubramaniam is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. TaraSubramaniam joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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