Inside the NBA Bubble: How Black Players Performed Better without Fans

Publikation: Working paperForskning

In the NBA, predominantly Black players play in front of predominantly non-Black fans. Using the 'NBA bubble', a natural experiment induced by COVID-19, we show that the performance of Black players improved significantly with the absence of fans vis-à-vis White players. This is consistent with Black athletes being negatively affected by racist pressure from mostly non-Black audiences. We dispel several alternative hypotheses. Beyond hurting individual players, fans' behavior causes significant economic damage to the NBA by lowering the quality of the game.
StatusUdgivet - 2022


  • discrimination, harassment, racism, performance, basketball, NBA, COVID-19

ID: 336469195