November 21, 2009

A More Inclusive NBA

CONCORD, NH -- "I'm fed up and I'm going to do something about it."  With these words two years ago, Paul Scribflam of Concord, New Hampshire, decided he would attempt something many told him at the time was crazy: get the NBA to embrace Affirmative Action.

Mr. Scribflam, a computer consultant, went about his quest in classic American style: he sued the NBA to be more inclusive of white people.  "More than 70% of NBA players are African-Americans, and yet, about half of this country is white.  Something just wasn't right about that.  If you look at short, fat white guys in the NBA vs. their demographic within society at large, the inequality become even more obvious."

His lawyer, Ernest Blech III, went through some of the arguments that have been used in court.  "For years, General Motors has been quietly using race and gender as very important factors in career advancement and promotions.  While some may claim that basing decisions on superficial things like skin color is bad for business, just look at the results.  The NBA needs to do this to stay relevant."

Mr. Scribflam is dismissive of detractors.  "Some of the opponents of this lawsuit seem to think that diversity is what happens naturally when you choose the best person for the job, but the courts say otherwise.  Diversity itself is a strength.  How you look is directly related to who you are, your skills, and your perspective.  By simply having people that are all different shades of color, different shapes, different sizes - a team is stronger and more effective.  Just ask anyone."

While the case slowly makes its way through the court system, other groups have taken notice and are considering similar cases.  In what some in Hollywood consider an ominous sign, the Gentile Actors Guild said in a statement "We are very interested in the outcome of this lawsuit."

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