Where Autosarcophagy Happens

Readers, a foul deed has come to this publication’s attention. If reports by telegram prove accurate, then Sherman himself must envy the damage wrought to once-glorious Atlanta. Apparently, there resides a sporting club in that city flamboyantly named “The Hawks.” These featherless raptors perform in a grand arena where they reportedly bounce an orange ball in choreographed formations while contested by an opposing troop. This to the delirium of wealthy patrons.

To foster a sense of exotic wonder in spectators, the warring parties are each manned by enormous specimens of African descent who have each had their skeletal frames elongated by exposure to the rack. Some even approach seven feet in length, and all are dressed for the contest in silken gentlemen’s loungewear. It is claimed these skirmishes over the “basket-ball” can last upwards of two hours and involve intermissions where local trollops on retainer prance revealingly about in a temporarily vacated gymnasium to the lascivious leering of male onlookers.

Several cities now feature their own “basket-ball teams.” These organized into a shady syndicate cryptically calling itself the “NBA.” The proprietor of each club is called an “owner” who sees to the business of acquiring personnel who appear most skilled at manual ball manipulation. Scoring is achieved through the process of “dunking” the ball after having bounced it in a prescribed sequence. The team that “dunks” the most within an allocated timeframe is declared the winner–this typically accompanied by fisticuffs or gunfire. And so “owners” are constantly seeking replacement performers.

And one of these owners, Bruce Levinson, has just learned of an electronic mail sent from his very person that was “race-ist.” This being a legal term representing an infraction of word or thought that has (or may potentially) aggrieve(d) a member of a race other than whites. Here is the full unedited content of that correspondence for those with an iron constitution.

From: Bruce Levenson

Sent: 8/25/2012 11:47:02 PM

Subject: Re: Business/Game ops

1. from day one i have been impressed with the friendliness and professionalism of the arena staff — food vendors, ushers, ticket takers, etc. in our early years when i would bring folks from dc they were blown away by the contrast between abe pollin’s arena and philips. some of this is attributable to southern hospital and manners but bob and his staff do a good job of training. To this day, I can not get the ushers to call me Bruce yet they insist on me calling them by their first names.

2. the non-premium area food is better than most arenas, though that is not saying much. i think there is room for improvement and creativity. Levy is our food vendor so we don’t have much control but they have been good partners. i have wished we had some inconic offereing like boog’s barbeque at the baseball stadium in balt.

3. our new restaurant, red, just opened so too early for me to give you my thoughts.

4. Regarding game ops, i need to start with some background. for the first couple of years we owned the team, i didn’t much focus on game ops. then one day a light bulb went off. when digging into why our season ticket base is so small, i was told it is because we can’t get 35-55 white males and corporations to buy season tixs and they are the primary demo for season tickets around the league. when i pushed further, folks generally shrugged their shoulders. then i start looking around our arena during games and notice the following:

— it’s 70 pct black

— the cheerleaders are black

— the music is hip hop

— at the bars it’s 90 pct black

— there are few fathers and sons at the games

— we are doing after game concerts to attract more fans and the concerts are either hip hop or gospel.

Then i start looking around at other arenas. It is completely different. Even DC with its affluent black community never has more than 15 pct black audience.

Before we bought the hawks and for those couple years immediately after in an effort to make the arena look full (at the nba’s urging) thousands and thousands of tickets were being giving away, predominantly in the black community, adding to the overwhelming black audience.

My theory is that the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a signficant season ticket base. Please dont get me wrong. There was nothing threatening going on in the arean back then. i never felt uncomfortable, but i think southern whites simply were not comfortable being in an arena or at a bar where they were in the minority. On fan sites i would read comments about how dangerous it is around philips yet in our 9 years, i don’t know of a mugging or even a pick pocket incident. This was just racist garbage. When I hear some people saying the arena is in the wrong place I think it is code for there are too many blacks at the games.

I have been open with our executive team about these concerns. I have told them I want some white cheerleaders and while i don’t care what the color of the artist is, i want the music to be music familiar to a 40 year old white guy if that’s our season tixs demo. i have also balked when every fan picked out of crowd to shoot shots in some time out contest is black. I have even bitched that the kiss cam is too black.

Gradually things have changed. My unscientific guess is that our crowd is 40 pct black now, still four to five times all other teams. And my further guess is that 40 pct still feels like 70 pet to some whites at our games. Our bars are still overwhelmingly black.

This is obviously a sensitive topic, but sadly i think it is far and way the number one reason our season ticket base is so low.

And many of our black fans don’t have the spendable income which explains why our f&b and merchandise sales are so low. At all white thrasher games sales were nearly triple what they are at hawks games (the extra intermission explains some of that but not all).

Regardless of what time a game starts, we have the latest arriving crowd in the league. It often looks and sounds empty when the team takes the floor.

In the past two years, we have created a section of rowdy college students that has been a big plus. And we do a lot of very clever stuff during time outs to entertain the crowd. Our kiss cam is better done than any in the league.

We have all the same halftime acts that other arenas have but i question whether they make sense. people are on their cell phones during half time. i wonder if flashing on the scoreboard “$2 off on hot dogs during halftime tonight” just as the half ends would be a better use of our halftime dollars and make the fans happier.

We do all the usual giveways and the fans are usually their loudest when our spirit crew takes the floor to give away t-shirts. It pisses me off that they will yell louder for a t-shirt then for our players.

Our player intro is flat. We manufacture a lot of noise but because of the late arriving crowd and the fact that a lot of blacks dont seem to go as crazy cheering (another one of my theories) as whites, it is not great. Even when we have just returned from winnng four straight on the road, i am one of the few people in the arena standing and cheering when our team takes the floor. Bob has kicked around ideas like having the starters coming down aisles rather than off the bench during intros. Sounds cool but may highlight all the empty seats at the start of games.

Not enough of our fans wear hawks jerseys to games. i have just begun to push for ideas like discount food lines for folks wearing jerseys, special entrances, etc. I think we need a committed and perhaps incentivized fan club. We need to realize atl is simply different than every other city. Just adopting nba best practices is not enough. we have to create our own.

I am rambling and could probably go on forever. If you have any specific areas you would like my thoughts on, let me know.



ps — I have cc’d todd and ed so they can chime in with additional or different thoughts.

The editors have contacted our solicitor for clarification on what aspects of this missive were “race-ist,” though it is likely Mr. Levinson has violated every law of the land under this rubric. What remains unclear is whether this villainy will see him suffer the shackles of a maximum security facility or the pain of state sponsored electrocution. If the latter, we are told the prosecutors office is seeking incarceration in lieu of interment as an enhancement to the posthumous penalty phase. Race-ism is a grave offense indeed.

The NBA’s capo, Adam Silver, responded to the apprehension and arrest with the following statement.

As Mr. Levenson acknowledged, the views he expressed are entirely unacceptable and are in stark contrast to the core principles of the National Basketball Association. He shared with me how truly remorseful he is for using those hurtful words and how apologetic he is to the entire NBA family — fans, players, team employees, business partners and fellow team owners — for having diverted attention away from our game.”

Plainly Mr. Silver is committed to operating a legal syndicate that does not discriminate–or even contemplate–based on race. It is entirely unacceptable and in stark contrast to the core principles of the NBA.

And if any readers are interested in doing business with such a principled organization, Mr. Silver encourages you to become certified as a non-white business partner today!


6 thoughts on “Where Autosarcophagy Happens

  1. There’s a little more going on here than meets the eye. What this carpetbagger actually means is, please buy this albatross of a franchise from me so I have enough cash to buy into a red-hot Atlanta real estate market while there’s still time.

  2. It’s becoming ever more difficult to distinguish earnest leftoid absurdity from trolling and cunning. So let me ask you AG, did Levinson face some impediment to selling the franchise in a normal fashion, and pursued this ludicrous “I’m racist!” gambit as an out?

    From what I have read the team has been hemorrhaging cash for years and the league is humiliated by the empty seat optics of every home game–these undoubtedly resulting from the exact causes identified in Levinson’s race-ist Email.

    So he wanted out of a money pit and the league wants out of the embarrassing Atlanta market. All understandable. So why the I’m race-ist nonsense?

  3. It is in the event of confusing and complex social issues like these that I always find myself turning to the wisdom of…Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

    I read Levenson’s email. Here’s what I concluded: Levenson is a businessman asking reasonable questions about how to put customers in seats. In the email, addressed to Hawks President Danny Ferry, Levenson wonders whether (according to his observations) the emphasis on hip-hop and gospel music, the fact that the cheerleaders are black, the bars are filled with 90 percent blacks, kiss-cams focus on black fans, and timeout contestants are always black has an effect on keeping away white fans.

    Seems reasonable to ask those questions. If his arena was filled mostly with whites and he wanted to attract blacks, wouldn’t he be asking how they could de-emphasize white culture and bias toward white contestants and cheerleaders? Don’t you think every corporation in America that is trying to attract a more diverse customer base is discussing how to feature more blacks or Asians or Latinos in their TV ads?

    Hmm. It’s a little disappointing to hear one of our most profound thinkers succumb to such fundamentalist logic. Of course practically every large business in America explicitly ponders how to make both their workforce and clientele less white. Our government is even more focused on race. Did you know we are in the midst of National Hispanic Heritage month? Though these are all initiatives to lower the presence of whites. While Levinson was despicably contemplating how to increase these figures. Why can’t Kareem see the difference? It’s simply a principled matter of right vs. wrong.

    And something we are now seeing as very wrong in this country is the rampant systematic racism of Jewish-Americans. With Sterling and now Levinson we see a vile hatred for the African-American community rearing its head. And we have seen only the tip. Is this a topic that the Jewish-American commissioner Silver is willing to address honestly? I have my doubts and so am asking the league for a plan to transition from its wildly disproportional Jewish executives and ownership, to an African-American one that will finally respect the dignity of its players and fans.

  4. Don Sterling promised a few months ago to hire private detectives and air out the dirty laundry of other NBA owners as revenge for his hilarious defenestration. I wonder if Sterling obtained this email? Perhaps Levenson found out and decided to go public to try to mitigate the reputational damage.

  5. This story was immediately stinky because of its parallel: the jews who control Lebron James made a calculated decision this offseason to restore his image with white middle class males by surrounding him with ‘wholesome’ teammates. Last night, the Cavs started two whites and a Brazilian carnizo, as well as playing a couple other palefaces in the rotation (Kevin Love’s presence as sidekick was a nice touch, and Mike Miller got Lebron’s own personal thumbs up). In NBA terms, this is an avalanche of whiteness that registers nearly a 14.88 on the Richard Lapchik racism meter. Much more relatable, however, than the image of Lebron and twelve congoids scowling in their Trayvon hoodies.

    Who cares though, since no one cool watches the NBA?

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