In an effort to appease corporate sponsors and broaden its appeal to spectators, the National Basketball Association announced a league-wide mandatory dress code. As of Nov. 1, players will be required to dress in business- casual attire whenever they participate in team or league activities. No longer will players be able to wear do-rags, throwback jerseys or the standard $30,000 diamond chain to post-game press conferences. Instead, they will have to dress like any other respectable American businessman and show up to work in a collared shirt and dress pants.
It would not be the politically correct United States unless the race card were pulled; this debate is no disappointment. Within days of the announcement, the dress code was labeled racist by Indiana Pacers guard Stephen Jackson. Requiring business-casual attire for members representing the league is hardly racist by any means. Three prominent white figures in the NBA – Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban – are notorious for wearing sweatpants and sleeveless T-shirts, but the dress code affects them in exactly the same way as black Americans who choose to wear do-rags and throwback jerseys. The attack on the dress code boils down to one pathetic truth: Multi-million dollar athletes are too damn lazy to put forward a respectable image to those who provide the capital to finance their ridiculous salaries. The NBA is a professional league aimed at improving its image from that of the ghetto lifestyle to something more professional and marketable