Jay Caspian Kang is a Writer-at-Large for The New York Times Magazine and the author of the forthcoming book The Loneliest Americans. (September 2020)

Follow Jay Caspian Kang on Twitter: @jaycaspiankang.

IN THE REVIEW

Ball Don’t Lie

The Game Is Not a Game: The Power, Protest, and Politics of American Sports

by Robert Scoop Jackson
For its non-Black, liberal fans, basketball exists in a sort of triple consciousness. They love basketball in part because it allows them access to Blackness. This, however, comes with guilt and discomfort, which gets processed into a monolithic and easily accessible politics of what these days is called “allyship,” which then needs to be codified and rubberstamped by the esteemed white men who know the players the best. Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr serve as models for white allies. Underlying all this is a pressing need to understand Black people.