In October the National Basketball Association NBA issued

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In October the National Basketball Association NBA issued Powered By Docstoc
					 In October 2005, the National Basketball Association (NBA) issued a dress codefor players that became the
 ect of discussion and controversy across spsrts pages, Web sites, and blogs. Some objected to the idea of a

 erver, where he's worked for over a quarter century, in Charlotte, North Carolina. This article appeared there
October 2005. As you read, pay careful attention to the style of Sorensen's piece.

                                        The dress code, which is new this            Eleven months ago at the Palace in 5

  suits worked well with the leg     clinic and is approved by manage-          public that the brawl was an aberra-
                                                                                tion and that its players are profes-
  othes don't make the man.             So if a basketball player wears an      sionals. Since it can't prove the players

                                     who throw beer at him?                     is absurd to others. In Charlotte,

                       4 Rc- Carruth:former             PGA: Professional Golfers'        which, after Ron Artest
                       wide receiver for the            Association.                      was hit by a full drink cup
                       Carolina Panthers who                                              from the stands, he and
                       was convicted of                 "Go into the Meachen": A          Stephen Jackson, among
                       murdering his girlfriend,        reference to a Detroit            others, entered the stands
                       who was pregnant,                Pistondlndiana Pacers             and began fighting with
                       in 1999.                         game of November 2004             spectators. Officids
                                                        in the Palace in Auburn           stopped the game with
                                                        Hills, Michigan, during           le%than a minute left.
@            CHAPTER23               ISSPORTSJUST         PROXY FOR POLITICS?

business casual means t h a t y o u dress
as if 18 holes o f g o l f c o u l d b r e a k o u t
at any moment, a n d y o u w a n t t o b e                                                NBA Player Dress Code
ready t o tee o f f if they do.                           1. General Policy: Business Casual
      I  don't dress t h a t way. I  don't u n -            Players are required to wear Business Casual attire whenever they are engaged in team c
derstand t h e safe polo-player-or-                         league business.
emblem-on-the s h i r t style. O r t h e                    "Business Casual" attire means
dress-the-same-as-everybody-else                              A long- or short-sleeved dress shirt (collared or turtleneck), and/or a sweater.
look.                                                           Dress slacks, khaki pants, or dress jeans.
      B u t it doesn't matter w h a t I  like. It's
                                                               Appropriate shoes and socks, including dress shoes, dress boots, or other presentabl
n o t as if Ik n o w t h e o n e t r u e w a y t o
                                                               shoes, but not including sneakers, sandals, flip-flops, or work boots.
dress. To b e h o n e s t w i t h you, Idon't
devote a l o t o f attention t o the attire o f           2. Exceptions to Business Casual
other adult males. That's just me.                          There are the following exceptions to the general policy of Business Casual attire:
   . There i s n o universal d e f i n i t i o n o f 10     a. Players In Attendance At Games But Not In Uniform
nice. Walk d o w n any street i any city
                                     n                          Players who are in attendance at games but not in uniform are required to wear the
a n d there w i l l always b e somebody t o                     following additional items when seated on the bench or in the stands during the game:
w h o m y o u c a n ask, " W h o t o l d y o u                     Sport Coat
t h a t l o o k e d good?"
                                                                   Dress shoes or boots, and socks
     W h a t counts i s w h a t looks g o o d t o
you, w h i c h i s w h y w e get t o p i c k o u r          b. Players Leaving the Arena
o w n clothes all by ourselves, p r o v i d e d                 Players leaving the arena may wear either Business Casual attire or neat warm-up
w e don't p l a y i t h e NBA.
                      n                                         suits issued by their teams.
      Style changes f r o m g e n e r a t i o n t o         c. Special Events or Appearances
generation. W h e n I      came o f age, it was                 Teams can make exceptions to the Business Casual policy for special events or playel
                                                                appearances where other attire is appropriate-e.g., participation in a basketball
                                                          3. Excluded Items
                                                             The following is a list of items that players are not allowed to wear at any time while on
                                                             team or league business:
                                                               Sleeveless shirts
                                                               T-shirts, jerseys, or sports apparel (unless appropriate for the event (e.g., a
                                                               basketball clinic), team-identified, and approved by the team)
                                                               Headgear of any kind while a player is sitting on the bench or in the stands at a gamt
Indiana Pacers basketball players
                                                               during media interviews, or during a team or league event or appearance (unless
Stephen Jackson, Ron Artest, and                               appropriate for the event or appearance, team-identified, and approved by the team)
Jermaine O'Neal attend a pre-trial                             Chains, pendants, or medallions worn over the player's clothes
hearing with their attorneys on
September 23,2005, for the fight that
broke out during the PacerslPistons
game of November 2004.
                                                               Sunglasses while indoors
                                                               Headphones (other than on the team bus or plane, or in the team locker room)
                                                                                        SORENSEN /Dress Code Suitable Only to NBA Suits                 @
   der length hair and bell-bottoms                                       Earl T h e Pearl" Monroe:
                                                                          NBA player (1967-1 980)
     en my kids came of age, it was                                       known for his amazing
                                                                          shots. Many compared
                                                                          watching him to listening
                                                                          to great jazz.

oked, I knew they could find old
ctures of me and ask, W h o told you                                      E a d n "Magic" Johnson:
                                                                          NBA point guard
 M favorite all-time NBA players
  y                                                                                                                      Earl Monroe of the New York
                                                                          (1971-1991,1996)    for the                    Knicks drives to the basket
 Earl Monroe0 and Mag~c     JohnsonP
                                                                          Lakers. For many, one of                       during the 1980 NBA game
    them so much I would have paid
   ch them shoot layups in a gym by
                                                                          the greatest living basket-                    against the Boston Celtio at
  selves. Their moves were amazing.                                       ball players.                                  Madison Square Garden in
 Yes, but were their clothes amazing? 15                                                                                 New York City.


  1. In what senses is the NBA Player Dress Code a definitional argu-
       ment? How successful is it as such an argument? Why? (For a dis-
       cussion of definitional arguments, see Chapter 8.)
  2. According to Sorensen, why is the NBA Player Dress Code unneces-
       sary? Which events or circumstances, in particular, does Sorensen
       see as having led to the creation of a dress code? In what sense can
       these events be seen as political or as being part of larger political
       debates in the United States?
  3. What functions does the opening example of Rae Canuth serve in,
       Sorensen's argument (paragraph I)?Is it impdrtant that Sorensen                                                   Magic Johnson shoots in the
       is able to use personal experience here (rather than, say, reporting                                              Radio Shack Shooting Stars
                                                                                                                         competition during the NBA
       on something he observed on cable television)?Why or why not?
                                                                                                                         All-Star Weekend in Houston,
  4. One characteristic of much journalistic prose, and especially opin-                                                 Texas, February 2006.
       ion columns on the sports page like this one, is their style: short
       sentences, short paragraphs, and a conversational tone. Such char-
       acteristics are often evaluated negatively in academic writing.                                                                   s
                                                                                                                         Informal logic i the basis for
       Rewrite Sorensen's article using much or all of the content that his                                              Sorensen's argument against
       column includes, converting it into a form that's more appropriate                                                      Bs  '
                                                                                                                         the N A dress code. Use the
       for academic arguments than the current column is. If you're hav-                                                 description of Toulmin
       ing trouble getting started, imagine that you're Sorensen and you                                                 argumentation in Chapter 6
       want to write an essay for the class you're now taking in which you
                                                                                                                         to identify the reason, warrant,
       disagree with the NBA Player Dress Code, using the arguments and
                                                                                                                         and claim of this argument.
       examples Sorensen uses.
 ..,...........................,............................. ..... ........ .. . .. . . . .. .............. .........
       Larry Stewart is a sports writerfor the Los Angeles Times, where this
   article appeared in October 2005. In contrast to the preuious selection, where
  Tom Sorensen presents his own opinion about the NBA Player Dress Code,
   Stewart is writing a newsfeaturefocusing on Charles Barkley, who played
  for the NBAfor sixteen years and serves now as a TNT studio commentator
  on the NBA. Thus it's Barkley's, rather than Stewart's, opinion that we hear.
  As you read, consider how Stewart uses Barkley's opinions to create an
  ethos for Barkley and for himself.

            Barkley Fully Supports NBA's New Dress Code
                                             when they go out in the real world,                  Barkley says young men
                                             what they wear is held against them.             making $10 million a year or
  Charles Barkley might not want to be           "See, these players make $10 mil-            playing basketball should I
  your kids' role model, but he could be     lion to $15 million a year, so nobody            fame and wealth to do some
  a role model for NBA players. And not      cares how they dress. But regular                society.
  just because he supports the league's      black kids go out into the real world                After the Leno taping,
  new dress code.                            and how they dress is held against               said, "I wish we would have
      Barkley was in Los Angeles on          them.                                            to talk about Katrina."
  Wednesday for an appearance on                 "If a well-dressed white kid and a       5       Barkley explained that h
  NBC's "Tonight Show With Jay Leno."        black kid wearing a do-rag and throw-            moved by the hurricane trai
  Years ago, Barkley said that parents,      back jersey came to me in a job inter-           its victims that he visited sf
  not athletes, should be role models for    view, I'd hire the white kid: he said.           Atlanta, Houston and Birm
  their kids. But he now at least acknowl-   "That's reality. That's the No. 1 reason         Ala., to see what he might
  edges that athletes do influence kids.     I support the dress code.                        to do.
      "Young black kids dress like NBA           "From the NBA perspective, they've
  players:' he said. "Unfortunately, they    got a product to sell. They've got to
  don't get paid like NBA players. So        make it as attractive as possible to fans,
                                             viewers and corporate sponsors.
                                                 "Dr. J [Julius Erving]" told me              Dr. J (Julius ENing) :ABA-
    Stewart presents a proposal              years ago that we, the players, are the          NBA player (1972-1987)
    argument on behalf of Charles            caretakers of the game. I think too              who's said to have trans-
    Barkley. Barkley is quoted as            many players today have lost sight of
                                                                                              formed the game with his
    supporting the action of instating       that."
                                                 Barkley, a TNT network basket-               ability to manipulate the
    a dress code for the NBA. See
                                             ball analyst, concedes there are racial          ball and fly through the
    Chapter 1 for a comparison of
                                             overtones to the new dress code but              air. Because of the respect
    proposal arguments with other
                                             points out there is a dress code in              he was accorded, he often
    types of argumentation.
                                             every business in the country. "It's             sewed as a spokesman for
............................ -.              dictated by the boss:' he said.                  professional basketball.
                                                          STEWARTIBarkley Fully Supports NBA's New Dress Code
   "In talking with these people I               "Where the Red Cross has helped        he said. "I think I got this gift so that I
earned what they needed most was a           is in determining what families get        could do some good for society and
 lace to live:' he said.                     these homes:' B d e y said. "That's the    help people. And not just black
   Barkley provided $1 million to pay        hard part, picking who gets what."         people. Poor people. That is what is
    houses where Katrina victims can             Such charity is not a first for        really important."
                                             Barkley. He has given more than $3              He hears that Marcus Camby0 of
 "I didn't want to just make a dona-         million to schools-$1 million to his       the Denver Nuggets wants a stipend to
on to the Red Cross," he said. "I            alrna mater, Auburn, $1 million to his     buy clothes to adhere to the dress
   ed to make sure the money                 high school in Leeds, Ala., and $1 mil-    code, and Barkley cringes.
   d go where it could do the most           lion to other schools in his hometown.          "Guys like that have lost perspec- 20
                                                 "I've been blessed with a skill, but   tive:' he said. "What's he make, $8
  He has been directly involved in      15   I don't think God gave me the ability      million a year? It's like when Latrell
   project. He is in the process of          to play basketball just to win a cham-     Sprewel1° said he needed more than
   ing five homes in Atlanta, with           pionship-although          winning a       $14 million a year so that he could
 ans to buy more in other areas.             championship would have been cool:'        feed his family. Give me a break."

                                                                                                  Marcus Camby: NBA player
                                                                                                  since 1997.

                                                                                                  Latrell Sprewell: NBA player
                                                                                                  since 1992-2006; suspended
                                                                                                  in 1997-1998 for choking his
                                                                                                  former coach.

                             Marcus Camby of the Denver
                             Nuggets looks on during a
                             game against the Philadelphia         Latrell Sprewell of the
                             76ers on March 9,2006.                Minnesota Timberwolves
                                                                   holds the ball during a
     Erving slam dunks                                             game against the Denver
      the 1984 All-Star                                            Nuggets on April 8,2005.


                               .....R E S P O N D *
                                   1. As noted, Stewart's article focuses on Charles Barkley, but much of the
                                        piece is devoted to the NBA Player Dress Code. What's Barkley's opin-
                                        ion of the dress code? Why? How does he support his position?
                                   2.   To what extent do Barkley and Tom Sorensen, author of the previous
                                        selection, see the NBA Player Dress Code as an effort to respond to
                                        similar social forces or issues? To what extent do they see it as an ef-
                                        fort to respond to different social forces or issues?
                                   3.   What kind of ethos does Barkley create for himself (with the assis-
                                        tance of Stewart)? How does his former career as a professional bas-
                                        ketball player contribute to (or perhaps detract from) that ethos?
                                   4.                                                     B
                                        If you examine a number of responses to the N A Player Dress Code,
                                        you'll find that writers seem to agree that a major issue to be consid-
                                        ered is the influence of professional basketball players, many o      f
                                        whom are African American, on young African American boys and
                                        men. In what ways is this issue a political one?
                                   5.   To what extent should public figures-professional athletes, profes-
                                        sional musicians, politicians, and television or movie stars-be seen
                                        as role models? Should any or all of these groups be expected to be-
                                        have as role models? For whom? Why or why not? Write an essay in
                                        which you evaluate the claim that one or more of these groups should
                                        (or shouldn't) be taken as role models or be expected to serve as rol(

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