The HBO series Ballers has a lot of racist qualities. The athletes are all African Americans, who despite being physically gifted are completely immature and incapable of handling their own personal or financial lives. The management firms that save the African American athletes from their own stupidity are all run by smart White guys. The main firm doing the financial work (Anderson Financial) is owed by a rich Jewish guy, which is just one more stereotype among many.
How Ballers portrays women is just as bad as the way it portrays African Americans. Most of the woman are either Bimbos or Shrews. The Bimbos are the topless girls who show up at every party ready to immediately have sex with any passing NFL player. The Shrews are the players wives or live-in girlfriends who scream at their men to stay away from the other women.
Of course, the star of the show, Spencer Strasmore , is played by Dwayne Johnson who is mixed race (black Novia Scotian/Samoan). However, Spencer was brought into Anderson Financial not because he has any business expertise but simply because he personally knows a lot of NFL players. Spencer’s main way to attract new clients is to have wild parties with a lot of naked woman, drinking and drugs. Supposedly Spencer knows a lot about financial management, but we never see him actually doing any. Mostly he just walks around looking great in custom made suits. He is basically the token minority the financial firm brought in to show it is not racist.
John David Washington plays Rickey Jerret a great NFL player who continually sabotages his own career with fights and woman chasing. In addition to the house he lives in, Jarret keeps a “party house” where there is a 24 hour drug-fueled orgy going full time. How could someone who abuses his body constantly and almost never works out possibly be a top professional athlete?
Another player named Vernon (Donovan Carter) is constantly accompanied by an annoying hanger-on named Reggie (played by London Brown). Reggie constantly complains that Spencer is not very good and is not getting enough money for Vernon. Reggie convinces Vernon to turn down a good deal and hold out for more money. However, all ends well when the team does come across for the additional salary and Spencer and Reggie become friends. Of course, if you think about this too closely, you realize that Reggie was right all along. Spencer actually is not very good at his job. If an untrained hanger-on can negotiate better than Spencer, what the hell is Spencer being paid for?
Ballers does have its good moments, especially the plot line following Charles Green (played by Omar Benson Miller). He is a retired NFL Lineman working as a car salesman when he decides to try for a comeback. One of the best scenes in Ballers is when Charles Green pushes a car up a ramp while customers and other car salesmen cheer him on. He realized how much he misses the roar of the crowd and decides to take the risk and go back to the NFL.
That is the type of scene Ballers needs more of. The best part of Ballers is the opening sequence of each show, which has clips of real athletes in action. It reminds us of how extraordinarily skilled they are. Before the money and the women and the fame, everyone who eventually became a pro athlete had a pure love of the sport. Show more of that, and fans will grow to love Ballers.