May 17, 2005

Chapman: 'Most preferred that I keep it confidential': Former Kentucky star Rex Chapman told a newspaper that school officials tried to stop him from dating black women or at least "hide it" rather than inflame fans.

posted by justgary to basketball at 06:23 PM - 13 comments

Finally, an issue we can all agree upon -- Kentucky is a goddamned hole.

posted by wfrazerjr at 07:36 PM on May 17, 2005

Oh man, I know where this is going... Bring on the douchebag parade!

posted by Samsonov14 at 07:48 PM on May 17, 2005

This is a great post. Sorry about the outburst - lot's of uneccesary stuff around here lately. Be sure to read the Page2 article as well.

posted by Samsonov14 at 08:00 PM on May 17, 2005

Bugmenot registration for Miami Herald here if anyone wants to read the column that started this whole debacle.

posted by Samsonov14 at 08:04 PM on May 17, 2005

No doubt that twenty years ago in Kentucky it was just as Chapman reported it. I would like to think that things have changed a little since then. I still am not convinced that Shaq not getting the MVP was a racial matter.. Thanks for the post, very interesting!

posted by daddisamm at 09:52 PM on May 17, 2005

daddisamm if you read Sammy's Page2 link you'll see that Chapman says explicitly that the racism in the part of Kentucky where he grew up is as bad today as 20 years ago. I don't let this nonsense off so easily as you seem to suggest is appropriate. Perhaps it was all the times I was called a kike growing up by nice Christian boys.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:37 PM on May 17, 2005

Growing up in Dallas, I felt like you could drive 20 minutes off any interstate in Texas and turn back the clock. Whitlock's column on this -- and interview of Chapman -- are a great read. I don't think Owensboro, Ky., is going to be holding any favorite-son parades for him in the future.

posted by rcade at 07:45 AM on May 18, 2005

I read page 2 and my comment is the same. After twenty years you would like to think things have changed. Deep down they havent.

posted by daddisamm at 09:22 AM on May 18, 2005

Having lived across the river from Owensboro for a couple of years, I think the only way Whitlock will get a parade there is if he's followed by 500 guys in white robes. It's not exactly a hotbed of tolerance. As for Whitlock's column, I liked it. I'm just stunned that people are all over Le Batard for stating the obvious: 1) Some people are racist. 2) In a close vote, that racism could swing the outcome of a vote. Duh.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:39 AM on May 18, 2005

I'm not particularly convinced that the Shaq/MVP thing was particularly racial- voters like to recognize the new contender, they like to be seen as doing something different (even when it is the same 'something different' as everyone else), and Shaq's injuries probably cost his team guaranteed home-court. But clearly there are still bigger issues in our society, and downplaying the Shaq MVP vote shouldn't be interpreted as playing those down.

posted by tieguy at 10:50 AM on May 18, 2005

Basketball is so racially charged, I can't fathom the possiblity of it not being a factor - in the MVP voting, fan base, popcorn selection - anything. Perhaps not as overt as once, but with the Chapman revelations, the Le Batard column and Whitlock, I can't see anyone having their head in the sand anymore.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:45 AM on May 18, 2005

The article mentioned that Chapman was often described as the greatest high school basketball player Kentucky had produced (I believe Tim Couch was described the same way in football, although Shaun Alexander looks to be having a bit better NFL career). Chapman was good, but I'd say he wasn't better than Wes Unseld or Darrell Griffith who have high school, college and NBA titles between them. But their problem was that they were from Louisville, and what's worse, the West End. Even when he was at Kentucky, my mother didn't like him, because she knew Kentucky fans loved that he was white. Being a fan of Louisville, the arch-rival and largely black university, got me called n----- lover quite a bit at school. Perhaps the funniest thing is that winning changes a lot. Now that Pitino is at UL, and they made the Final Four, I have seen quite a few rural white people sporting UL gear. (I'm a white guy who grew up in the Louisville area and now lives in Detroit)

posted by BobbyC at 01:45 PM on May 18, 2005

I'm just thankful Chapman added: But it's not just the South. [It's] other parts of this country, rural areas hell, in the cities. It's more out in the open in th south due mostly to history, but too often the rest of the country is allowed to hide their own problems by pointing the finger. As far as the MVP vote, there are so many factors it's a little misleading to point at racism. And I'm not sure the fact that a player is black wouldn't give them a slight advantage with some black voters.

posted by justgary at 05:11 PM on May 19, 2005

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