Basketball players assaulted for wearing cultural hairbraids?

Just because it’s “March Madness” doesn’t mean the players literally have to lose their minds…

A 20-year-old basketball player, a student at Hampshire College, is in the spotlight for allegedly beating up on a visiting basketball player. The reason? She didn’t like the hairbraids worn by the visiting team.

The news report explains:

BELCHERTOWN – A 20-year-old Hampshire College student is currently facing charges after allegedly attacking a visiting basketball player over the player’s “culturally appropriated” hair braids, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

During the incident, Figueroa allegedly walked up to members of the Central Maine Community College women’s basketball team and demanded that they remove braids from their hair, calling “cultural appropriation.”

When the girls did not do as Figueroa asked, she allegedly initiated a fight with one of them. At the same time, another Hampshire College student who has not been identified is said to have pulled the hair of one of the visiting players, which caused her to fall down.

The heart of the matter? Cultural appropriation. Wikipedia defines it like this:

Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture.


This is a hot topic these days. Just this week, in a separate incident, a Canadian politician was accused of cultural appropriation when she quoted lyrics from a Beyoncé song in a Tweet.

The Facebook post, quoting the pop star’s hit Irreplaceable, said Ashton would take the party “To the Left, to the Left.” It was removed Wednesday after the Vancouver chapter of Black Lives Matter tweeted at her that “Appropriating Black culture is not intersectional feminism.”

In 2012, the band No Doubt came under fire because of their music video for “Looking Hot.” In the video, the band dresses up like cowboys and Indians, with Gwen Stefani in particular dressed up as a Native American while dancing around a bonfire. In response, the UCLA American Indian Studies Center wrote an open letter accusing the band of denigrating American Indian culture. The band’s response? They pulled the video.

In a world in which cultural diversity is praised, it can be confusing navigating the rule book of what constitutes cultural appropriation, and what constitutes cultural exchange.

If you get the rules wrong, you might get assaulted.

To read the original article, click here.

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