Dressing Up the NBA

A little less gangsta, a little more J. Crew. The National Basketball Association imposes a dress code. But some players see the new rules as racist, denegrating fashions popular with young black men.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

The NBA wants their players to look a little less gangsta and a little bit more J. Crew-a(ph). This week, Commissioner David Stern announced a dress code for players when attending league activities. The players, who are all million-dollar corporations, will be required to wear business casual when going back and forth to games and giving interviews, suits or blazers and dress slacks. They cannot wear sleeveless tees, sunglasses while indoors or glittery chains and medallions, but could Dennis Rodman wear a cocktail dress? The players union agreed to the code, but there was some grousing. Stephen Jackson of the Indiana Pacers called the code `a racist statement,' attacking young black males. Mr. Jackson was part of a brawl with Detroit fans last year that spurred concern about the league's image, but union president Antonio Davis of the New York Knicks said, `Guys will come in and they'll feel good about how they're dressed.' Orlando Magic guard DeShawn Stevenson says the code could induce players not to buy quite so many gold and diamond chains. `It's a waste of money if we can't wear it where we want to wear it,' he said.

Coming up, it's pinstripes in Chicago and orange accents in Houston as the World Series begins.

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