Jay-Z Had To Argue For Black Nets Uniforms, Because The NBA Doesn’t Think Black Looks Good On African-American Athletes

  • Dan Fogarty

The New York Times has an interesting piece this morning on Jay-Z’s impact on the Brooklyn Nets. Although Jigga only owns a small percentage of the team — his original $1 million investment in 2003 means he technically owns one-fifteenth of one percent of it — he stands to make a ton of money off of New York’s new franchise.

From opening a 40/40 club in the Barclays Center, a Rocawear store on the outskirts of the property, and selling his vodka in the arena’s luxury suits, Mr. Carter has put his stamp (and his brand) on pretty much everything about the Nets. For the Nets, Jay-Z’s involvement made their controversial development plans in Brooklyn easier for the borough’s residents to swallow, and also helped drum up excitement among fans (and free agents) for a team that was one of the most depressing in sports. For Jay-Z, the benefit is a ridiculous return on investment for that original $1 million.

But back to the whole “Jay-Z putting his stamp on this team” thing. His involvement in developing the team’s new logos was well-publicized, and, according to the Times, wasn’t without some brushback from the NBA.

He helped design the team logos and choose the team’s stark black-and-white color scheme, and personally appealed to National Basketball Association officials to drop their objections to it (the N.B.A., according to a person with knowledge of the discussion, thought that African-American athletes did not look good on TV in black, an assertion that a league spokesman adamantly denied).

We’re not sure if the league did indeed have objections to black uniforms for black athletes, but there is this fact: no team in the NBA has black as its primary uniform color*, despite black being one of the more awesome uniform colors available. As for whether or not it looks good on African-American athletes, we thought these one-night-only Miami Heat uniforms were pretty spiffy.

*UPDATE: As Twitter user @latilleon points out, I am an idiot: The Spurs’ primary color is black, and the Bulls and Heat wear black alternate road jerseys on the regular. Oh, and the Kings wear black jerseys all the time. Brainfart! Brainfarts everywhere!

[h/t New York Times]