SBD/13/Sports Society

NBA'S RACE RELATIONS EXAMINED IN WASHINGTON POST

          In a front-page feature in Sunday's WASHINGTON POST
     entitled, "On NBA's Court, Minority Rules," Kevin Merida
     examined racial interaction in the NBA.  In '57, 93% of NBA
     players were white; currently about 80% of NBA players are
     black.  Merida: "It is one of the most unusual circumstances
     in the American work force, whites as minorities in a high-
     paying industry closely scrutinized by the public. 
     Typically, it is blacks and other minorities who must
     conform to the norms of a mostly white workplace.  ... [The
     NBA] is an intriguing laboratory for exploring how whites
     fare in an exclusive, predominantly black society."  Some
     white players in the league said that "their association
     with black players in the NBA has heightened their empathy
     for those who face discrimination and helped them drop
     preconceived notion about blacks.  Others said they feel
     constant pressure to prove they belong in the league.  And
     some clearly struggle with the decline of white superstars
     as the NBA's popularity climbs" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/11).

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