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  • Writer's pictureDan Carney

The "Greek Freak" and other problematic nicknames

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

“King James”. “Superman”. “Danaconda” (me). It’s not often that a self-given nickname sticks. Most nicknames in sports are bestowed by fans or commentators with no real knowledge of who the player is off the court, and that’s problematic. I’ve compiled a list of nicknames thrust onto players who never had the chance to reject them. So here they are:

“Pistol” Pete Maravich

While Pete Maravich was a quick and stylish point guard, I take issue with the name “Pistol” because it promotes gun violence - very problematic. It’s not a name he chose, but it’s a name he sure should regret.

Suggested Nickname: “Peaceful Pete Maravich”

Giannis “Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo

If you moved to another country to person your passion and provide for your family, how would you feel if someone called you a “freak”? Let alone the fact that the word “Greek” is thrown in front of it, clearly a political stance on immigration by the opposition. Problematic.

Suggested Nickname: “Normal Citizen”

The Splash Bros. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson

Our first and only duo in the group, this nickname is more confusing than rude, but still very problematic. As far as we know, there is no relation between Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. They clearly are not brothers. In fact, the only thing they have in common is that they’re both incredible shooters playing on the same team. Maybe the name exists because they’re both biracial? If so, very problematic.

Suggested Nickname: “Two People Who Are Very Good Shooters On The Same Team And

Happen To Have Similar Skin Tones”

Vince “Air Canada” Carter

Stolen valor. Clear as day. It’s time for Americans to stop stealing the thunder from other countries and cultures and let the Canucks shine on their own. Imagine if Justin Bieber played Captain America? Problematic.

Suggested Nickname: “Air Foreigner”

Charles “The Round Mound of Rebound” Barkley

If I have to explain this one to you, then you’re part of the problem. Fat shaming doesn’t belong in society, and it certainly doesn’t belong in sports. Whether you like Sir Charles or not, this is problematic AF.

Suggested Nickname: “Plus-Sized Rebounder”

Jeremy “Linsanity” Lin

I didn’t know which angle to go at this, but I see a lot of ignorance in our final monicker. Is it so “linsane” for an Asian-American to dominate a sport in which he’s the only member of his demographic? I don’t think so. Additionally, mental health is a serious issue, and if he is “linsane”, then he needs our help. Most problematic.

Suggested Nickname: Jeremy Lin “Manuel-Miranda”

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