Sir Charles on the new NBA dress code:
“Young black kids dress like NBA players. Unfortunately, they don’t get paid like NBA players. So when they go out in the real world, what they wear is held against them. See, these players make $10 million to $15 million a year, so nobody cares how they dress. But regular black kids go out into the real world and how they dress is held against them. If a well-dressed white kid and a black kid wearing a do-rag and throwback jersey came to me in a job interview, I’d hire the white kid. That’s reality. That’s the No. 1 reason I support the dress code.”
Perhaps the most lucid and intelligent thing he’s ever said. And this from someone who once protested, “I am not a role model.” I guess he’s finally realized that he, and the rest of the players in the NBA, very much are role models, and that their behavior (including dress) is emulated and copied.
I support the dress code because I think the NBA has the right to institute whatever policies it wants (though requiring a sport coat over dress slacks and a dress shirt is a little harsh, but whatever). I have to wear business casual clothes to work, why shouldn’t NBA players?
But this point is a good one, and it speaks strongly against all the people who are saying that the dress code is racially unfair and racially motivated and aimed squarely at the NBA’s “Hip-Hop Culture.” Because these selfish NBA players don’t care about culture and about today’s black youth. If they did, they would heed Barkley’s words.