Race and the NBA: 4 Takeaways from Nate Silver’s Study

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Source: Keith Allison / Flickr, Creative Commons

Nate Silver, face and founder of FiveThirtyEight, a data journalism site now under the auspices of ESPN, touches on sports fairly often in his writing. Certainly more so than the politics that brought him to the forefront of the public consciousness when he correctly predicted a large majority of the 2008 presidential election — but it must be said that he was writing about sports before he was writing about politics.

At any rate, Silver recently took to the site in the wake of the Donald Sterling controversy and decided to apply some numbers to what he found. As his disclaimer so eloquently states at the end of the piece: “This estimate is crude. It’s based on the overall racial composition of NBA fans and the overall racial composition of various media markets. It won’t account for the historical relationship that each NBA franchise has with its fanbase, or the different demographic groups that comprise that fanbase.”

There are still many fun things to be pulled from Silver’s study, and it’s a fairly interesting read, especially in the light of the Clippers debacle. The entire piece is worth perusing (you can read it here), but here are four things that leapt out at first blush.

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