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Sportscaster Calls Chinese Basketball Player a ‘Chinaman’

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Listen up, sportscasters. Stop referring to Chinese athletes as the “Chinaman.” It is a racial slur. It is not the same as calling someone a Frenchman or Englishman. Ohhh, you didn’t know that? Now you do.

As writer Tom Ziller points on the NBA Fanhouse website, the term “Chinaman” was “first used in a derogatory fashion in the American West beginning in the late 19th century. Anti-Chinese activists in California and throughout the West used the term to classify Chinese immigrants as subhuman.” So don’t use the term unless you want to sound racist or ig’nant.

As Ziller reports, NBA sportscaster Rick Kamla referred to New Jersey forward Yi Jianlian as a “Chinaman” during a live broadcast of a game between the Magic and Nets. Kamla apparently didn’t know the term was racist and offensive. He pleaded ignorance. Asianista is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt — just don’t let it happen again.

As Ziller points out, what’s more disturbing is that the video of the racist slur remained available for days on until contacted by Fanhouse. As Ziller writes:

Kamla’s ignorant slip is far less troubling than the fact this video was broadcast on NBA TV and had been available on for five days. The NBA has made serious strides to reach out to all corners of America and to expand the league’s presence worldwide, with particular emphasis on Asia. Given the league’s emphasis on marketing product to Chinese Americans, for this to go unnoticed within the NBA’s digital arm for so long is disheartening.

— Tom Ziller, writing on NBA

Well said. Don’t be trying to get our (that is Asian-Americans’) hard-earned dollars while dissing us. Educate yourself.


Written by Asianista

November 12, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Posted in WTF?!

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