Longtime NBA writer David Aldridge is the subject of controversy after CNN posted his column referring to the NBA All-Star weekend as "Black Thanksgiving."
Aldridge, 46, quotes ESPN’s Mike Wilbon’s “Black Thanksgiving” label, saying NBA players are “royalty in Black America and everyone wants to be near them.”
“Other folks have Tweetups. Black people have All-Star Weekend, or ASW. It’s a national holiday, sort of,” wrote Aldridge, who said people flock to All-Star weekend without tickets but have hopes of getting into one of the numerous parties attended by players and celebrities.
Aldridge quotes Todd Boyd, professor of critical studies at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, as saying, “Baseball’s Negro League All-Star Game was once the biggest national black social event of the year. It seems that the NBA All-Star Game serves a similar purpose now, but on a much bigger platform.”
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Commentators flooded CNN’s message boards, calling the article “utterly ridiculous,” “‘incredibly stupid or incredibly offensive” and “Wow this article is reverse racism at its finest!”
A spokeswoman for New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov said the Russian billionaire has no plans to meet with Denver’s Carmelo Anthony during All-Star weekend. The trade deadline is Thursday. Anthony pointed out that he said Friday there was no meeting planned. Commissioner David Stern said “it’s time to start negotiating” a new collective bargaining agreement and get rid of the rhetoric. The CBA expires June 30, and Stern said both sides understand from the work stoppage of 1998 how devastating a lockout could be.