There’s an old expression that says controversy creates cash, essentially that anything controversial could potentially lead to a great financial gain for a person. This has worked out well for a bit in some instances, it helped the world of pro wrestling experience it’s largest boom in the mid to late nineties, so there’s something to be said about the axiom. (wikipedia) While this expression can be accurate it seems there are limits to the controversy that can be courted, possibly the most difficult to come back from is racial discrimination. There have been quite a few instances, especially in recent years, of race based controversy, from Michael Richards to Mel Gibson Hollywood has had it’s issues in this field. (ranker) Some of the stars have received support during their troubled times but the majority of society have made it very difficult for these stars to come back from such a dark territory. (huffingtonpost) While Gibson has been accepted back, at least to some degree, and Michael Richards has found his way back into television, neither has really made it back to anywhere near their previously prominent positions. (funnyordie) With all the problems brought about when these celebrities were caught making such horrible comments, typically the upped echelon of the world are smart enough to keep their feelings hidden, especially those running multimillion dollar organizations.
This weekend audio was released of Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise, going off on his girlfriend for being seen in public with black people and bringing them to “his” games. (motherjones) While it’s not unusual for a white male who happens to be incredibly rich to have racist tendencies, it was a bit strange to hear of something like this from a man who owned an NBA team and happened to be dating a woman who is of mixed race. As recently as last week the NAACP had been planning to present Sterling with a lifetime achievement award, once this audio was released that plan appears to have been scrapped. (usatoday) Apparently there have been complaints of discrimination and racism in Sterling’s past but they’ve essentially fallen by the wayside and people somewhat turned their attention away until someone finally produced a recording to prove his inner disdain for people of other races. (huffingtonpost) In light of this latest accusation, which appears to have been legitimized by the audio recorded, there has been talk of somehow removing Sterling’s ownership of the Clippers, and I can’t really see any reason to disagree with this stance. While I don’t feel there’s much of anything a CEO could say that would make me not show up to work, that doesn’t mean I have to agree with their stance. On Sunday the players on the Clippers staged a protest, although some don’t feel it was strong enough, I feel the symbolism was powerful. They tossed the jackets of their warmups at center court and wore the warmup shirts inside out to hide the team name. (foxnews) Only time will tell what the final outcome of the terrible actions of Donald Sterling will be, will he be forced to give up his ownership, or will the NBA eventually turn a blind eye to his words?