A superstar engineered?

Posted: October 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

Although race is a socially constructed phenomenon, the ideological paradigms that race implies contribute to the way we view the African-American dominated game.  Of course there are many examples of Caucasians throughout the league, however there are still reinforcing stereotypes such as “white men can’t jump” that set the discourse for the fans of basketballs view of race in the game.


Ideology                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Discourse


Photo by Tae Chung

Another example of racial stereotyping in professional basketball is the NBA player is 7’6 foot tall Asian center, Yao Ming.  Chinese player Yao Ming overcomes the stereotype and discourse that Asians are too short for the game.  Despite going against the typical notion that Asians are too short for basketball and are meant to reactionary and nimble sports such as ping-pong and badminton, Yao Ming has constantly been criticized as a product of Chinese athletic breeding.   Writers for the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper suggest that Yao Ming is “far from being a chance creation.”  China is known for their socialist cultural perfection especially among their export athletes.  It’s further suggested that Yao Ming underwent miserable childhood boot camps in his youth to obtain his present super stardom in the game of basketball.  According to news week journalist Brook Larmer, “Yao’s birth had been anticipated for decades by communist officials-desperate to boost national pride through sports- who had been tacking his family for years.”  Yes his parents were both considerably tall Chinese professional basketball players but does that provide sufficient grounds to believe that Yao Ming was genetically engineered by the Country of China to play basketball?  The cultural differences between our societies blur the lines of what ideologies are in place to make us believe that Chinas greatest basketball player of all time is a planned creation.







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