Black Sports : Chapman Says Kentucky Discouraged Interracial Dating in '80s...

Discussion in 'Black Sports' started by Aqil, May 19, 2005.

above content a

above content b

 
  1. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2001
    Messages:
    4,029
    Likes Received:
    112
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    New York
    By The Associated Press

    LOUISVILLE, KY — Former Kentucky star Rex Chapman told a newspaper that school officials tried to stop him from dating Black women, or at least "hide it" rather than inflame fans. "There were certain aspects of my time there that were really ugly," Chapman, who is white, said in a story published by The Courier-Journal yesterday. "I don't know how it is today, but that's how it was 20 years ago." Chapman said scrutiny of his private life by athletic department officials, boosters and others hastened his departure from Kentucky. He left after two seasons and entered the NBA draft in 1988.

    Once, someone took a key and scrawled a racial epithet on his car door, he said. He said he also was the subject of obscene jokes. "It's the climate of how things were," he was quoted as saying. "People were bothered by the fact that sometimes I dated Black girls. Most preferred that I keep it confidential and hide it."

    "I was being asked to lead a lifestyle that was absolutely wrong, simply for the fact that some people didn't like that I dated somebody of a different race," Chapman told the paper. "I mean, what is that? Is that America?"

    The 37-year-old Chapman is now director of basketball operations for the Phoenix Suns and is working as a television analyst during the NBA playoffs. Last week, Chapman suggested that race might have influenced the voting for the NBA's MVP award. It was won by Suns guard Steve Nash, who is white; he narrowly beat Miami star Shaquille O'Neal, who is Black. Later, in an interview with ESPN.com, Chapman again talked about race in MVP voting and the close watch on his dating habits at Kentucky.

    Messages left with the Suns for Chapman by The Associated Press were not returned. "I don't have an ax to grind," he said. "I love the University of Kentucky. I bleed blue. "I won't name names, but I can think of at least a half-dozen times or more that somebody with the university asked that it stop or to be sure that it was kept inconspicuous."

    Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton, Chapman's coach at Kentucky, declined comment through a university spokeswoman. Larry Ivy, an athletic administrator during Chapman's time at Kentucky and later the school's athletic director, told The Courier-Journal he had no memory of anyone asking Chapman to stop dating Black women.

    Kenny Walker, who is Black and played at Kentucky just before Chapman arrived, said he had no doubt Chapman was telling the truth. "I'm amazed that people are like, 'Oh, man, did this actually happen?"' Walker told the AP yesterday. "A white guy dating Black women off the court was just unheard of. That's why people were concerned about it. But I don't think Rex was really too concerned with how people viewed him. He did what he felt comfortable doing."

    Walker, the school's second all-time leading scorer, said he was never pressured by school officials on whom to date. "It was somewhat acceptable for a Black player to date a white woman if he was a basketball player," Walker said. "For some reason, if that player was white and dated a Black woman, he had to deal with a different type of pressure, a different type of discrimination."

    Walker said Kentucky has made strides in race relations since he and Chapman played two decades ago. "We've covered a lot of ground since Rex experienced some of those things he's talking about," Walker said. "Still, when you talk about some of the things Rex is talking about, those are things you're not proud of, things you have to keep trying to work on and improve."
  2. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Messages:
    10,227
    Likes Received:
    188
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The Diaspora
    I can care less about Kentucky keeping Rex Chapman from dating Black Women!
  3. Khasm13

    Khasm13 STAFF STAFF

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Messages:
    10,508
    Likes Received:
    4,097
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    i aint suprised...that was the first white cat that i saw with major hops...i knew he somehow he liked chocolate milk....my question is...why come out with this now?

    one love
    khasm
  4. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2001
    Messages:
    4,029
    Likes Received:
    112
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    New York
    From the The Courier-Journal:

    Chapman: Racial Taboos Affected Stay at UK

    Says dating habits bothered many...

    By Michael Smith
    The Courier-Journal

    LEXINGTON, KY - He was "King Rex" on the basketball court at the University of Kentucky, cheered by a multitude of fans who adored his scissor-kick jump shot and high-flying romps to the basket. Off the court, Rex Chapman was told by UK athletic officials to lead a lifestyle that didn't agree with his own beliefs, he told The Courier-Journal yesterday.

    With all of the attention for his basketball exploits at UK came an unwelcome scrutiny of his private life, which included interracial dating. On the court, he was the "Great White Hope," he said, but off it his dates with African-American women created a stir among UK athletic officials and others. "I went down to my car one morning and somebody had keyed 'n-gger lover' into the door," Chapman said. "It's the climate of how things were. People were bothered by the fact that sometimes I dated black girls. Most preferred that I keep it confidential and hide it."

    Chapman, 37, now the director of basketball operations for the Phoenix Suns, drew attention last week during a TNT telecast for saying race might have played a role in voting for the National Basketball Association's MVP award. Suns guard Steve Nash, who is white, won the award by a narrow margin over Miami's Shaquille O'Neal, who is black. Later in the week, in an interview with Jason Whitlock for a story on ESPN.com, Chapman talked openly about the role of race in the MVP voting and the intense scrutiny on his dating habits at UK.

    Reached yesterday by The Courier-Journal, Chapman said the racial climate and his treatment by UK athletic officials, boosters and others played a large role in his decision to enter the NBA draft in 1988 after leading the Wildcats in scoring his freshman and sophomore seasons. "It was a big deal to me," he said. "I was being asked to lead a lifestyle that was absolutely wrong, simply for the fact that some people didn't like that I dated somebody of a different race. I mean, what is that? Is that America? I won't name names, but I can think of at least a half-dozen times or more that somebody with the university asked that it stop or to be sure that it was kept inconspicuous. At the time I just nodded my head and said the things they wanted to hear because I was 18, 19 years old and an older person was telling me to do something. To me, that was just wrong."

    Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton, who was UK's coach when Chapman played, declined comment yesterday through a spokesman. Larry Ivy, an athletic administrator during Chapman's time at UK and later the school's athletic director, said he had no memory of anyone asking Chapman to stop dating African-American women. Former UK star Kenny Walker, one of Chapman's best friends, said he has heard Chapman's stories about racism for years. "I understand the pressures he went through and the decision he made to leave when he did," Walker said. "I've known him long enough to know that he's speaking the truth. Now I never had anybody specifically tell me not to date white girls, but maybe that's because a black guy and a white girl is more acceptable. Rex dealt with it in reverse, and that put a different spin on it for him." Chapman now is married with four children. His wife, Bridget, is white. He said he had no agenda for talking about racial issues he encountered at UK. It's just that this is the first time he's been asked about it.

    He said that he has been barraged with interview requests after the story appeared on ESPN.com, and that no one from the Suns or the NBA has discouraged him from talking about race. "I don't have an ax to grind," Chapman said. "I love the University of Kentucky. I bleed blue. Hey, Steve Nash is my best friend. I look at him like a little brother, and he deserved the MVP award. But it's asinine not to think that some people voted for Steve because he's white and some people voted for Shaq because he's black. I don't think it was enough to influence the outcome, but at the same time, there's this elephant in the room and nothing is ever going to change unless we talk about it."

    Chapman said he saw the effects of racism growing up in Owensboro, KY, and later in Lexington and Charlotte, NC, where his pro career began with the Hornets in 1988. Most of his friends as a child were African-American, he said, and his best friends at UK - Ed Davender and James Blackmon - were African-American. He said they, too, were discouraged from interracial dating. "I can think of at least three times that we were invited to dinner at the home of a friend of the university," Chapman said. "Lo and behold, one of my teammates has an interest in that person's daughter or the daughter has an interest in the teammate and when the family found out, they raised hell. They called the coaches, the AD; they stopped being involved with the program. It was crazy. They liked the players enough to cheer for them at games, but they didn't like the players enough to let them date their daughters."

    On one hand, Chapman said he was the object of adulation from fans and students. Lexington was referred to as "Rexington." A group of students staged a campaign to elect Chapman as president of the Student Government Association. Women wore T-shirts that read, "I love Rex." At the same time, vandals scarred his car, Chapman was the subject of obscene jokes and somebody who didn't appreciate his interracial dating called his mother in the middle of the night. "It wasn't normal," Chapman said. "It made me uncomfortable. At one point there was a rumor that I was sneaking around with James Blackmon's black girlfriend and Ed Davender's sister. Well, Ed didn't have a sister, and James was dating a white girl. Rumors were flying around everywhere. There were certain aspects of my time there that were really ugly. I don't know how it is today, but that's how it was 20 years ago."

    Chapman said hardly any aspect of his life in or out of basketball has been untouched by race. As far back as the seventh grade, when his AAU team finished third in a national tournament, he remembers hearing everyone from white sportswriters to relatives tell him how happy they were that he competed on the same level and flourished in a game dominated by African-American players.

    Kentucky's "Mr. Basketball" Award also is tainted by racism in the voting, he said, because white players often receive preferential treatment over African-Americans. Comparisons among current and former stars often are based on race, which is unfair, he said. "Every white kid who goes to UK is the next Rex Chapman," he said. "Why can't they be the next Derek Anderson or the next James Blackmon? It's unfair. I grew up in Kentucky, so I was somewhat prepared for the racism that existed. But if I had come from another state, I probably would have been a mental patient after two years."
  5. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Administrator STAFF

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    69,220
    Likes Received:
    3,742
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    BUSINESS owner
    Location:
    Da~WINDY*CITY //CHICAGO
    another sports tale spin

Users found this page by searching for:

  1. rex chapman wife

    ,
  2. rex and bridget chapman

    ,
  3. bridget chapman wife of rex chapman

    ,
  4. rex chapman sister,
  5. hiw many wives does basketball player rex chapman,
  6. louisville kentucky interracial