I never would have seen this one coming. The person most upset about Team Spain's "slant-eyed" photo is...Jason Kidd. But don't misunderstand the situation. Kidd's not fighting against the inequities of racism and mindless bigotry; he's whining about a perceived double-standard in the NBA front office. See, he believes that David Stern would have punished the players on Team USA for pulling that stunt, while the Spanish team's NBA players -- namely Pau Gasol and Jose Calderon -- are (as far as we know) going to get off scot-free.

"We would've been already thrown out of the Olympics. At least, we wouldn't have been able to come back to the U.S. There would be suspensions. They won't do anything to them. It's a double standard."
Thanks for your two cents, Jason. I, for one, am enlightened by your contributions to this controversial issue. Huh. I'd think that Kidd would be a little too busy, you know, competing in the Olympics (and hitting on Olympic hotties) to start railing against NBA injustice. Or, maybe he's not that busy after all...

Interestingly enough, according to this article, many Chinese people had no idea they were being mocked, however gently. Sunny Wu of MSNBC.com showed some of the Chinese the Spain basketball team advertisement. The responses ranged from "They're thinking," to "They're just happy, smiling and pointing to their eyes," to "They must be saying the Chinese people are really thoughtful because they're pointing to their minds," to "Perhaps they're mimicking someone. Maybe it's supposed to be a funny thing."

Out of 14 people who were asked, only one Chinese person realized that the Spanish team was mocking them. But once the reporter told them how offensive it was, some of the people did get offended. So there you have it.

Update! Basketbawful reader darrell d has informed me that the Spanish tennis team also captured the "chinky-eye" on film. Oh yes, they most certainly did.

Spanish tennis team

Now, apparently, this picture was taken last February after the team defeated Italy in the quarter-finals of the Federation Cup. That win earned them the right to face China in the semi-finals. The photo appeared on the official website of the Spanish Tennis Federation. The original is captioned "Estamos preparados para China," which translates as "We are prepared for China." Rumor has it the caption might be changed to "We are Siamese if you please; we are Siamese if you don't please" in order to make the photo less offensive.

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Blogger Darrell said...

the Spanish tennis team also did the "chinky-eye" after beating China to move into the finals...

they obviously don't see anything wrong with doing this pose...

Blogger Five Pound Bag said...
If David Stern would throw Jason Kidd out of the Olympics for being old, slow, and not shooting a lick he'd be doing us all a favor.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Mark Cuban is obviously point-guard impaired, or maybe just a dumbass when it comes to that position.

Lets see:

Steve Nash? Eh who needs him. We're getting DEVIN HARRIS, bitches!

Devin Harris? Meh. We're getting a bombed out and deplete JASON KIDD, son!

What's next, Cube? "Jason Kidd is played out- we're trading him for Tyronn Lue!"

Oh the pain! Nice knowing you, Dallas Mavericks.

Blogger Justin Tenuto said...
The Olympics: Where Jason Kidd rotting in front of your very eyes happens.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Out of 14 people who were asked, only one Chinese person realized that the Spanish team was mocking them. But once the reporter told them how offensive it was, some of the people did get offended. So there you have it."

The Spaniards didn't think the picture was offensive, the Chinese didn't think it was offensive.

But hey, the US media duly informed everyone that this was a big deal and that everyone should be offended.

So now we've pushed our moral standards on other nations and created an issue where there was none. Mission accomplished!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
A chocolate bar advertisement featuring Mr T has been taken off the air after accusations that it is "homophobic."In the Snickers commercial, Mr T--who played BA Baracus in the 1980s show The A Team--pulls up in a truck alongside a man exercising in tight yellow shorts and shouts: "Speed walking. I pity you fool. You are a disgrace to the man race. It's time to run like a real man."He then forces the man to break into a sprint by taking pot shots at him with a Snickers machine gun. The commercial ends with Mr T uttering the slogan to the current Snickers campaign--"Get some nuts."

Only two people complained to Britain's Advertising Standards Authority about the ad. "However, it prompted strong protests from the U.S.--even though it was never shown on American television."

The Mail quotes gay Brits who were unperturbed. One describes himself as "fed up with the ultra-politically correct stance" of a complaining organization. Another says, "'I'm gay and I found the ad hilarious."

Blogger Martingale said...
What if the team had put on blackface or jumped around like a monkey with a banana in their hand? Would that be considered offensive? Because thats what frequently happens in Spanish soccer league games.

I can understand that there is some cultural difference and the Spaniards didn't see it as being offensive or racist. However, once they realized that it was they should have said Sorry if people construed it as being offensive, we didn't mean it that way. Instead what Calderon said amounted to its not our fault but its your fault.

Lastly I think this is the exact same thing as flying a confederate flag.

Blogger evan said...
It's good that uptight white people still have a chance to be offended on someone else's behalf.

Blogger Shiv said...
@ Don Paco:

Is calling a non-english speaker a nigger or a faggot offensive? From a purely linguistic point of view maybe not, because they're just sounds that have no meaning to the other party. But, once the meaning is made clear, then they have every right to be offended.

Just because the Chinese didn't recognise what the Spaniards were trying to do (and I don't imagine too many Chinese run around making the "chinky eyes" to mock other Chinese) doesn't mean that the gesture isn't offensive.

Wake up and smell the 21st century.

PS: No offense.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@don paco

Agreed 100%. Making a huge deal out of nothing. Fuckin' media pricks.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Of course the Chinese didn't think it was offensive. The Chinese are the majority in China.

Of course the Spanish didn't think it was offensive. The Spanish are the majority in Spain.

Since the Chinese are the majority in China, why would they feel offended by a gesture used against a MINORITY? Their version of "didn't think it was offensive" was a misunderstanding. Spain's version of "didn't think it was offensive" was cultural viewpoint justification.

I'm sure if some Americans heard the derogatory names they are called (for example, in Korea, it would translate to something like "white devil or monkey"), you wouldn't think it was offensive until it was put in a Korean cultural context (where obviously Americans are a minority group in Korea). Same thing the other way around. I've seen Koreans just blink at me when I tried explaining the term "gook", because they think it means "country", or it's just the second part of the Korean words "migook" (American) and "hangook" (Korean), etc.

And you do realize that the quote and 1/14 statistic came from a website called gambling911.com, right? That's screams Internet quality trust me 100%.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
am I the only one who thinks that the star wars picture with Luke and Leah is hilarious...???
who's with me on this one...?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
14 people out of a country of over a billion? Yeah, that's representative.
Either they interviewed Chinese retards, or more likely, both of those teams knew exactly what they were doing, which is why their hands are just located at their eyes, and not actually pulling at them to make them look slanted. They knew what they were doing, they knew it made them AND the Chinese look stupid, thats why both of those pictures look half-assed. There is no controversy, other than that Americans who think we're somehow lagging on some mythical PC curve finally get to see the rest of the real world would break their heart if they'll only deign to live in it.

Blogger Humil said...
Jason Kidd is awesome!!!! When his moral fiber shines on people, they blister and pop! He understands tolerance like it's acceptance. He does not exist in a world where people can commit improprieties without losing a lot... Brilliantly articulate, has been all his life and career.

I am a Taiwanese person, who also has the same type of eyes as most other Chinese people. However, we were not brought up in a culture where we look to be offended. I can see why people think it's offensive, but really... there is nothing we can do about that, our eyes are like that. It's not like saying we are stupid or illiterate, or incapable of keeping a family together, or any of the stigma that is associated with most other minorities that US people are accustomed to.

Our problem is with underachieving our expectations, so if some team had somehow managed to do that, then it would hurt. But it's like saying many more Chinese people are 4-eyed frogs... it's a fact and we'd just shrug that stuff off.

If you want to make a rouse, try talking trash about Communism, then maybe you'd get yelled at or beat up.

Yeah, there is nothing really that clever about the Spaniard's photo, but whatever...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm asian american and the picture the spanish team took is offensive mostly to chinese-americans. not really to chinese people from china. its a minority mentality thing that is somewhat unique to america (since america is so diverse). of course the people in china didnt really think they were being made fun of, they dont experience that particular kind of racism. however, in america asian americans have to go through a lot of stuff -- fitting in, finding your identity (are you asian or are you american)etc.

Blogger Pipo said...
talking about the olimpics, have you seen this man love photo?

and kirilenko is loving it!

Blogger Silly Bitch said...

just sayin'

Blogger Unknown said...
Well, it's good to see some things never change. Racism played down by white people is no surprise. I was shocked when I saw the photo but I'm not shocked at the responses I read here. It's a pretty normal white person response. "Oh, quit making a big deal or it, it's ok"

Blogger ChrisH said...
the only people I have heard were offended were whites. My Korean buddy basically shrugged it off. Edgarc's explanation is the best.