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Study: NBA Refs are racist

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by ifilus, May 2, 2007.

  1. ifilus

    ifilus Well-Known Member

    An academic study of the National Basketball Association, whose playoffs continue tonight, suggests that a racial bias found in other parts of American society has existed on the basketball court as well.

    A coming paper by a University of Pennsylvania professor and a Cornell University graduate student says that, during the 13 seasons from 1991 through 2004, white referees called fouls at a greater rate against black players than against white players.

    Justin Wolfers, an assistant professor of business and public policy at the Wharton School, and Joseph Price, a Cornell graduate student in economics, found a corresponding bias in which black officials called fouls more frequently against white players, though that tendency was not as strong. They went on to claim that the different rates at which fouls are called “is large enough that the probability of a team winning is noticeably affected by the racial composition of the refereeing crew assigned to the game.”

    N.B.A. Commissioner David Stern said in a telephone interview that the league saw a draft copy of the paper last year, and was moved to do its own study this March using its own database of foul calls, which specifies which official called which foul.

    “We think our cut at the data is more powerful, more robust, and demonstrates that there is no bias,” Mr. Stern said.

    Three independent experts asked by The Times to examine the Wolfers-Price paper and materials released by the N.B.A. said they considered the Wolfers-Price argument far more sound. The N.B.A. denied a request for its underlying data, even with names of officials and players removed, because it feared that the league’s confidentiality agreement with referees could be violated if the identities were determined through box scores.

  2. RokSki

    RokSki New Member

    Wow. This is going to cause some serious shockwaves, on both sides.

    And if the NBA couldn't come up with a legit/as strong counterstudy, that is really saying something.
  3. D-3 Fan

    D-3 Fan Well-Known Member

    That kind of balanced itself out, right? [/puzzled look on face after reading the piece]
  4. Big Chee

    Big Chee Active Member

    Maybe Bird trading for Dunlevy and Murphy wasn't such a bad idea afterall.

  5. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised you could get a significant enough sample of white players to even do the study.
  6. RokSki

    RokSki New Member

    I wonder how Valerie P 'graded out.' Is there a gender aspect as well (at least theoretically)?
  7. Big Chee

    Big Chee Active Member

    It's the hair man. White dudes got an edge when getting fouled. Their hair flies all out of place and provides an added dimension in the midst of contact.
  8. armageddon

    armageddon Active Member

    I'm sorry. The only thing the "study" should cause is serious laughter around the league. ::)
  9. ifilus

    ifilus Well-Known Member

    Certainly, she calls more fouls on males than females.
  10. RokSki

    RokSki New Member

    Second LOL moment of the night :)
  11. I'd like to see the data but, Commissioner Stern, I have to say, if the best you have to offer is a three-month quickie study cobbled together specifically to counter this paper, you're in trouble.
  12. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    How many black players compared to white players are in the NBA?
    Why would we even think the number of fouls called would be equal if, say, 80 percent of the league is black?
    The bigger question to me is in the black officials, who are calling more fouls on whites than blacks in a predominently black league.
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