Does the NBA Have a Colorism Issue? Twitter Starts Conversation About Current Draft Class

Does the NBA Have a Colorism Issue? Twitter Starts Conversation About Current Draft Class

Colorism was the topic of conversation during Thursday night’s 2023 NBA Draft.

Influencer and host Scottie Beam retweeted a video of the 2023 NBA draft class posted by sports commentator Taylor Rooks with the caption “Biracial girlllllll.” The caption references a parody song that frequently circulates on Twitter timelines of a man paying homage to biracial women.

Several Twitter followers joined in on the conversation, alluding Beam was pointing out the lack of dark-skinned players drafted this year. “My mom has been pointing out that’s all that’s in the NBA nowadays,” one user tweeted. Another said, “Light skin don’t make them biracial,” and a tweeter with the handle @IamGregordeee, said he calls it “the #NewBeigeOrder.” 

According to statistics from Statista, as of 2022, a little over 71% of players in the NBA identify as African American, while 8% are two or more races. The conversation about colorism in the Black community is a touchy subject as some feel it should be kept alive, and others think it’s time to wrap it up. “Only WE look for this in everything,” a Twitter user wrote. “Commercials, movies, cookouts, neighborhoods, restaurants lol. We’ve been doing this colorism game for decades. It will never end. I’m convinced.”

The biracial topic has been studied for years as celebrities and athletes have spoken out about how they deal. In 2018, NBA Boston Celtics player Blake Griffin spoke about his biracial upbringing. Growing up in Oklahoma, Griffin said he was “too young to really understand” all the stares and comments he and his family would receive. As he got older, Griffin said there was less of a need to address the comments. “I also think there is a huge movement of people like me who don’t feel the need to answer that,” Griffin said. “That’s what’s special.”

On an episode of BET’s College Hill: Celebrity Edition, Joseline Hernandez and Amber Rose got into a physical fight after Rose admitted to not feeling comfortable as a biracial woman. “I don’t fit in white spaces, and I don’t fit in Black spaces either,” Rose said. “If I were to say something that is not appealing to a Black person, I would then be white in that moment.” Yet another colorism-related moment in pop culture this week similar to the NBA’s “issue.”