Over a week ago on TV news I saw a clip of a white woman dragging a portable basketball hoop around Philly and creating a fun time during the protests and riots. I thought it was a cute story and also hoped it would go away. Then it got picked up in the Philly papers. Today, it’s the back page story in theDelaware County Daily Times.

I’m having a hard time believing I’m the only person who has a problem with this story, but since every media outlet I’ve seen seems to think this is a good news story worthy of viral coverage, I feel just as empowered to offer a counter opinion of the problems with this story. 

People conveniently forget we’re suffering with a health pandemic at the same time of social justice protests. For those who remember the drastic actions cities took during the pandemic to keep people from congregating, one of them was removing basketball hoops from backboards.

chester basketball hoop2
Chester’s 7th Street Courts got the rims proudly ripped off by city government in response to coronavirus social distancing – but we can’t get COVID-19 tests

Now, after 8-weeks of no outside basketball, here comes a young lady with a portable hoop in tow encouraging people to come play basketball in the streets. 

Am I the only person who see’s a problem with this? 

I was even more surprised when I saw police officers, the very one charged with making sure citizens maintain the mandated social distance edicts issued from the W.H.O., CDC, Governors and Mayors, out there playing basketball with the young lady. 

Am I the only one seeing a problem with this?

chester basketball hoop
Kids on the 8th and Lloyd Street courts came up with this solution. What a disgraceful response to a disgraceful policy.

If we move from pandemic to protest and consider the lion share of protests has to do with race in America, I wonder if the basketball lady’s actions are only cute to the media because she’s a white lady.

I’ve done some inner reflection on this question, and my inner self keeps coming up with the same answer – If a black man dragged a portable basketball hoop around the the city of Philadelphia for the same reasons the white lady did, I don’t see the black man getting anywhere near the same celebrity status. In fact, his ass would probably be in jail for even attempting such a thing. 

This lady’s actions, and the response to it, totally flips the intent of social distance and social justice all at once. 

Unfortunately, I almost hate having this opinion because her intent is so sincerely noble, and her actions worked to lighten tensions and made people smile in these tumultuous times. For that, she deserves to be celebrated.

I was talking to someone about my concerns on this story a couple days ago and he responded by making sure I know that she isn’t a white lady. Oh! I really didn’t check into her heritage. She just looked white to me on TV. Then I learn in today’s paper…

…she’s of Georgian and Ukrainian heritage. In high school at Central Bucks West, she felt she didn’t fit in with her white peers. She said she felt “foreign,” and found refuge in communities of color that “really embraced me.”

I’d call someone of Georgian and Ukrainian heritage white. What do they call themselves? – I honestly don’t know. Is this another case of American whites not considering former Russian’s as white just as in early America they had problems with the Italians, Polish, and Irish?  I’m no expert on race so forgive my ignorance. 

If it were any other time, this white lady dragging a basketball hoop around town wouldn’t mean a thing because there’d be basketball hoops all around town. Due to the pandemic, our leaders had the bright idea to take em down. She capitalized on the pent up demand to play basketball and said ‘social distance be damned’ and now she’s a celebrity. 

Am I the only one seeing a problem with this?

chester basketball hoop3
Chester didn’t remove rims after 2-kids were shot and killed playing basketball on this portable hoop. Social distance is not the scourge in our community.  

Come on Chester and Philly! If this is such a great story, put the damn rims back on the courts tomorrow. Social distance has officially been damned on the basketball courts by this lady.

Please don’t think I don’t respect what the white lady has done. She has a great mission and is accomplishing it with flair. The missing part of her story is how the response exacerbates the hypocrisy behind government’s pandemic response and their protest response. 

The other point she makes supports an earlier post I wrote that tried to explain the importance of sports in our school district and how we have a golden opportunity now that the Chester public schools are finished to bring a sports-centric solution to the schools in an effort to grow academically. 

She puts it like this…

“I’m a firm believer in sports being able to create real change and being able to impact people’s actual lives,

“You really can accomplish much more than you think you can, and I learned that through basketball, and I think that’s really important for everybody to understand that, especially young women and girls who maybe don’t have the confidence to try these types of things.”