Turner Sports spokesman Jeff Pomeroy relayed to FanHouse an apology to anyone offended by the remark from Kamla and the network, which manages NBA TV and NBA.com. Pomeroy said Kamla was not aware of the connotations of the word, and meant nothing malicious or offensive by it.
Kamla's ignorant slip is far less troubling than the fact this video was broadcast on NBA TV and had been available on NBA.com for five days. The NBA has made serious strides to reach out to all corners of America and to expand the league's presence worldwide, with particular emphasis on Asia. Given the league's emphasis on marketing product to Chinese Americans, for this to go unnoticed within the NBA's digital arm for so long is disheartening.
"Chinaman" is a term first used in a derogatory fashion in the American West beginning in the late 19th century. Anti-Chinese activists in California and throughout the West used the term to classify Chinese immigrants as subhuman.
Anti-Chinese sentiment is a sad legacy of the industrial boom of California in the post-Gold Rush era. European American-dominated unions led a fight to deny Chinese families the right to emigrate to the United States, culminating in President Chester Arthur's signing of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882. The law not only restricted entry for Chinese families, but prevented Chinese men and women already in the United States from leaving and returning at a future date. The act was not repealed until 1943, and unlimited Chinese immigration was not allowed under federal law until 1965.
Note: An earlier version of this post stated that the clip ran several times on NBA TV Friday and Saturday. Pomeroy clarifies that the clip only ran on NBA TV once -- during the live broadcast of Kamla's highlights Friday evening. The clip was available on NBA.com until this morning, however.