Another NBA Owner Makes Racist Comment

By Albert Lin

Fellow owner Joe Lacob and Guber.

For the third time this year, a National Basketball Association team owner is under fire for making racist remarks.

Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber sent out an email on Monday in which he said he would have to learn “hoodish” to keep up with the team’s and the league’s ethnic diversity. Golden State has five international players—from Australia, Bosnia, Brazil, Nigeria and Serbia—on its 15-man roster.

After the NBA announced that it will have a record 101 international players from 37 countries on opening-night rosters, Guber sent the following reply to his staff: “I’m taking Rosetta Stone to learn Hungarian, Serbian, Australian, Swahili and hoodish this year. But it’s nice.”

Later on Monday, after at least one Warriors employee complained about the use of the word, Guber emailed the following:

“Someone just brought to my attention that an email I responded to earlier contains the word ‘hoodish,’ which I don’t even think is a word, and certainly not the one I intended to use. I intended to type Yiddish. Either my mobile fone [sic] autocorrected or it was typed wrong. In any event I regret if anyone was unintendedly [sic] offended.”

Guber’s explanation sounds plausible—the y and h keys are adjacent to each other on a standard QWERTY keyboard, as are the i and o keys—but a quick check of the autocorrect on Apple’s iOS operating system shows that typing “hiddish” or even “hoddish” does not autocorrect to hoodish. Deadspin staffers went even further: “We at the office just tried for way too long to get our phones to autocorrect anything to ‘hoodish.’ It’s just not possible—unless you use the word ‘hoodish’ a lot.”

There has been no comment yet from the league office.

Earlier this year, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was forced to sell his team after audio recordings were released in which he made disparaging comments about Blacks. Three months later, Atlanta Hawks majority owner Bruce Levenson announced he would sell his share of the team after he self-reported a two-year-old email in which he appeared to suggest that the Hawks’ large percentage of Black fans made white fans less likely to attend games.

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