"France gets more abuse for playing black players who were born in France" - Fans react to NBA player getting accused of racism for a seemingly innocous tweet about EuroBasket

Philadelphia 76ers v Phoenix Suns
Philadelphia 76ers v Phoenix Suns

With France and Spain moving into the EuroBasket finals, NBA player Bismack Biyombo released a now-deleted tweet. He commented on the racial profile of the French basketball team. Biyombo's tweet came as a reply to Nicolas Batum, who had earlier tweeted the following:

"And we really thought we could have something different?"
🇫🇷 vs 🇪🇸 And we really thought we could have something different? 😅

Biyombo responded with:

"In my eyes I only see Spain vs Africa. No more comment"
Bismack Biyombo tiene a toda Francia rabiando. Padre

r/NBA users took to Reddit to share their opinion on Biyomobo's comments. Some users criticized him:

"I find these comments so bizarre. Each country plays - or should play - the best players who are eligible. Better yet, teams should play the players who were born or grew up in that nation."
"France gets more abuse for playing black players who were born in France than Portugal or Italy do for selecting Brazilians who moved to the country recently to play for a local club." (via) Reddit

Biyombo took to Twitter to respond to the backlash, calling for people to take his comments light-heartedly:

"C'mon guys you can’t be serious, I understand this is sensitive for some, but it was nothing but a joke. I have friend and ex-teammates that are French and from somewhere in Africa or have both passport! Honestly it was nothing but a joke.. let’s just stop here" (via) Twitter

As highlighted by Reddit users, France has been at the center of similar comments in the past. After France won the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Trevor Noah—an American comedian and host of The Daily Show—called out the team, stating:

“Africa won the World Cup”

This comment made light of the large number of French players of African descent.

Bleacher Report's Tom Williams published an article titled "Why France Are Carrying Africa's Hopes in the World Cup Final."

EuroBasket nears its finish, and all of the NBA's big names are out

Germany v Greece: Quarterfinal Round - FIBA EuroBasket 2022
Germany v Greece: Quarterfinal Round - FIBA EuroBasket 2022

The EuroBasket finals will be played between France and Spain on September 18, 2:30 EST, at the Eurobasket Arena in Berlin. The French team boasts several notable NBA players, including the Timberwolves' Rudy Gobert, the Knicks' Evan Fournier and the Mavericks' Frank Ntilikina.

The Spanish team, however, is less star-studded, with the most notable name being Juancho Hernangomez.

Two teams boasted NBA MVPs: Serbia and Greece. Both were knocked out in the Round of 16 and quarterfinals, respectively. The Luka Doncic-led Slovenia, too, was knocked out in the quarterfinals.

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Edited by Chad Marriott
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