As I watched Spain lose to Russia in the Olympic Basketball, I wondered why Oklahoma City Thunder forward, Serge Ibaka, never got off the bench in the second half. I understand why he doesn’t start as Marc Gasol was a NBA All-Star last year, but when he isn’t your first big off the bench, there has to be something else going on. Since he was the only person of color on the team, I wondered, is Spain a racist country? Then as I think about the history of Spain, the answer becomes quite clear.
Spain fans have been cited numerous times for racist chants directed at Black players, and that continues to this day, as the Spanish Federation was recently fined for the racist taunts its fans directed at Italian forward Mario Baloteli during Euro 2012. But those are fans, and people get very emotional when it comes to their sports teams, so I didn’t take that as an indictment on Spain as a whole that its people were racist. I even gave the basketball team the benefit of the doubt in 2008 after posing for the controversial picture in which they slanted their eyes like Asians.
But in retrospect, there are too many coincidences to ignore the facts. Why is Serge Ibaka not getting regular minutes for the Spanish National Team? He’s a top player in the NBA, and his presence was one of the main reasons people thought they could hang with the USA. But the bigger question is why have they NEVER had person of color on their basketball team before. Now that I think about it, I can’t remember any people of color on ANY Spanish team representing the country. If you don’t want no Blacks on your sports teams, you definitely don’t want them around for nothing else. I guess that explains why there’s ni%%as in Paris; they all had to get out of Spain.