Limbaugh on the NBA: "Call it the TBA, the Thug Basketball Association ... They're going in to watch the Crips and the Bloods"

››› ››› ANDREW SEIFTER

On the same day that five professional basketball players and seven fans were charged in connection with a brawl that took place during a November 19 Indiana Pacers v. Detroit Pistons game in Auburn Hills, Mich., nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh said that the National Basketball Association (NBA) should be renamed the "Thug Basketball Association"; the teams should be referred to as "gangs"; and the players should be permitted to "strap up out there, and let 'em market their CDs." Limbaugh added: "[I]f a fight breaks out, hey, it's what happens! It's what happens with gangs, and if a cop gets bloodied, you know, that's a bonus for the gang member that pulls that off, and let the fans, you know, go in knowingly. They're going in to watch the Crips and the Bloods [two Los Angeles-centered rival gangs]."

From the December 8 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: You just gotta be who you are, and I think it's time to get rid of this whole National Basketball Association. Call it the TBA, the Thug Basketball Association, and stop calling them teams. Call 'em gangs. You have the Laker Gang, you have the Heat Gang, you have a Timberwolf Gang [distortions of official team names], and let 'em strap up out there, and let 'em market their CDs. Instead of selling concessions, sell CDs out there at the concession stand.

All the players get involved in this, and if a fight breaks out, hey, it's what happens! It's what happens with gangs, and if a cop gets bloodied, you know, that's a bonus for the gang member that pulls that off, and let the fans, you know, go in knowingly. They're going in to watch the Crips and the Bloods out there wherever the neighborhood is where the arena happens to be, and be who you are.

As Media Matters for America has noted, Limbaugh first referred to the NBA fight as "gang behavior" and "hip-hop culture on parade" on November 22. At that time, Limbaugh conceded that his remarks were likely to be "tagged as racist."

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Race & Ethnicity
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