Sportress of Blogitude


Commercial For Australian Basketball League Called Racist, And It Probably Is

A commercial for the Australian National Basketball League (NBL) is being hammered by players in the league as well as the media for being grossly inappropriate and possibly racist. The commercial depicts players from the NBL playing hoops throughout the house and in one scene, Taj McCullough, an African-American player who is a forward for the Sydney Kings, jumps into bed between a white couple and starts cozying up to the wife. Hoo boy.

The NBL issued a statement regarding the commercial, which has been running on something called The Ten Network for weeks, where they defend it as “lighthearted and fun.”

I managed to track down a grainy version of the commercial on YouTube. Judge for yourself.


Via USA Today/AP:

“We believe viewers and supporters will certainly see the promo in the light in which it was intended, and we note the overwhelming feedback from the public that this is indeed the case.”

Fair enough. But one person who has a huge problem with it is Cal Bruton, an African-American who became a naturalized Australian after starring in the NBL in the 1980s for the Brisbane Bullets, has a pretty damning point regarding the inappropriateness of the ad:

Bruton said it was particularly insensitive because it calls to mind the case of former Brisbane Bullets player Bryant Matthews. Matthews, an African-American, was convicted in 2007 of raping a white woman who was in bed with her partner at the time of the attack.

Although Bruton was hesitant to dub the spot overtly racist, he did say it was in “poor taste.”

Ouch. Not good. Not good at all. Bruton added:

“You wouldn’t ever see an ad like that of Kobe Bryant jumping into bed in America,” he told the AP.

Hoo boy again. Insert joke here. Actually, maybe not. On second thought, I don’t think we should be talking about this.

Australian basketball TV ad slammed as racist, in ‘poor taste’ [USA Today/AP]