Facts & Myths: Discrimination in the NBA
NBA teas choose players that embody the race of their fans- FACT (Burdekin, Hossfeld, Smith)
- White players are significantly more likely to be traded than black players
- Black players are more likely to be traded from a team located in a city with a large white population
- Matching a team's racial composition to the racial composition of the market area increases home game attendance and revenue
Salary Discrimination (Yang & Lin)- REVERSE SALARY DISCRIMINATION- FACT
- International players are more likely to accept an offer with nationality salary discrimination because it would be much higher than the salary they would receive in their home country or other leagues (13-18% lower on average)
- Pay for US White players is ~16% less than non-White players, after controlling for personal characteristics and performance
Stereotypes of Asian-American Basketball Players?
In an observation of a Pacific Coast Youth Japanese-American basketball league
- Parent comment- "Asians are just good at school. They're smart."
- 6th grade player- "A lot of people think that Asians are a lot weaker, shorter and we're only good at stuff like martial arts."
Unquestionably, there is a lack of Asian Americans in US professional sports, especially basketball, but is this a product of discrimination and stereotypes or is this simply because there are less Asians playing sports at higher levels?
There is frustration among the Asian population about the lack of Asian representation in professional sports. Young Asian-American athletes wish that there were professional players that they could relate to. As one college student put it, "I kind of wish we had someone there that was a true Asian American. I wish that we were more well represented."
All in all, I find the topic of discrimination in the NBA to be interesting. I guess I never really thought about how teams would look at the race of their fan base when choosing players, but it makes sense that to fill their seats, they would want players that their fans relate to and have a connection with. I also found it surprising that when it comes to NBA player salaries, white players earn about 16% less than blacks, after controlling for performance and other variables: does this constitute reverse discrimination? And, why aren't there more Asian players in the NBA? Is it related to skill, or does discrimination play a role as well?
Burdekin, Richard, Hossfeld, Richard & Smith, Janet. "Are NBA Fans Becoming Indifferent to Race? Evidence from the 1990s." Journal of Sports Economics, 6 (2005): 144-159. Web 20 Feb 2012.
Yang, Chih-Hai & Lin, Hsuan-Yu. "Is There Salary Discrimination in the NBA?: Foreign Talent or Foreign Market." Journal of Sports Economics, 13(2010): 53-75. Web 20 Feb 2012