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African American media outlets assigned nosebleed seating
If youâ€™re are reading this and sitting in the comfort of your home and watch the Lakers /Magic NBA Finals game on ABC, then you had a much better view of the game than the African American media contingent at Staples Center.
After paying $40 for parking, I was looking forward to covering The Finals and providing the Black community with a birds eye view of the of the Lakers 30th appearance in the NBA championship.
Having covered sporting events for this publication for more than three decades, I am well aware of the struggle that Blacks had to endure to just obtain a seat in the press box.
It is not a responsibility that I take lightly, but the NBA seating assignments for the championship was so biased towards white established media outlets that it boarded on being shameful.
This is not about me personally, but imagine if the first Black who attempted to obtain a media credential would not have fought for those rights?
African Americans in this country have come a long way from the Jim Crow era to the point of a Black man being elected to the highest office in the land.
But has the respect for us changed?
Does white America view us as Americans or just as token Negroes?
The NBA is a league where more than 80 percent of its players are Black. About a third of its coaches are Black.
However, only about two percent of the media are people of color.
Perhaps, because the league has a billion dollar deal with ESPN, they should be entitled to as many credentials as they wish.
Now, mind you there were other established media outlets who were assigned to the upper deck press seats and few if any had any complaints about such an assignment.
One could make the case that as a weekly publication we donâ€™t deserve the rights as others, but I beg to differ.
Although we donâ€™t benefit from any of those corporate advertising dollars, our service to our readers is not just unique to a specific targeted audience, but necessary.
Even former NBA star Marques Johnson who was assigned to the game decided that if he had to sit in a seat where he couldnâ€™t even see the game that he would not be returning.
Thereâ€™s was nothing wrong the seats, expect that I could not see the game. Something that I would have been able to achieve at home.
Thanks, but no thanksâ€¦