has fancy plans, and pants to match
- Apr 12, 2001
No. I totally get that. I mean it seems that the Boston sport scene's racial reputation is tied only to the Red Sox, which is a bit unfair. The Boston Braves integrated back in 1950 when they had '50 ROY Sam Jethroe. The Bruins were the first hockey organization that had a black player in Willie O'Ree. The Celtics had the first all African-American starting five, first black head coach and a ton of black players when the league frowned on that. But I guess that this is the double-edged sword of the Red Sox being your city's primary sports franchise is that whatever biases the Red Sox had, to some that means all had it.Just a note on the vitriolic reaction. The defensiveness that Boston area residents sometimes feel when these incidents come to light is not always the fault of the residents.
I recall being a fan of the Celtics in the 1980's. Because the Celtics had a couple of white stars in Bird and McHale, several of the mediots of the day were all too willing to lump the Celtics with the Red Sox and the rest of the city as being one of the most racist organizations. Even Spike Lee jumped on that bandwagon for a while. Anyone spending more than 5 minutes researching the actual history of the Celtics would realize that the accusation was absolutely rubbish. But that didn't stop the popular narrative from growing legs for a while.
And I'm only speaking of the professional sports franchises. I know that Boston has had a lot of racial improprieties and strife for a long, long time. That's not what I'm talking about. The Bird/McHale thing was complete bullshit because they were two of the Top 10 players in the league for a majority of the 1980s. I think that if you use that against the Boston Celtics, then you just don't know hoops at all. What I think that people had a problem with was that the bench was mostly stuffed with these white stiff: Marc Acres, Scott Wedman, Greg Kite, Jerry Schiesting (I butchered that spelling), Brad Lohaus, all of these guys who couldn't play or at least play in the high-flying 80s style of the NBA. Combine that with the old fashinonedness of the Celtics in how their organization looked, especially in comparison to the Lakers, and it wasn't that drastic of a leap for some.