Consider me one of the few who disagrees with the National Basketball Association’s decision to banish (former/current?) Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for his disparaging comments about African-Americans.
Now, to be clear, what Sterling said was totally egregious beyond belief. It showed his ignorant, vile, contempt for African-Americans.
However, Sterling spoke those words in the privacy of his home. His comments were taped by his female ‘personal assistant’ (is that what they call them these days?) who released it to the public.
No matter how hateful, stupid, despicable, and racists, Sterling should have the right to say whatever he pleases in the confines of his home.
And, let’s be real here. If some of the things we said or did within the privacy of our homes were made public, all of us would be either embarrassed, fired from our jobs, arrested, or maybe all of those things combined.
My problem here is if the NBA was really serious about fighting racism they would’ve taken action against Sterling long ago.
The man is a slum lord. Straight up. He has been sued for refusing to rent to people of color. This is well documented over the years, and yet the NBA has chosen to look the other way.
How could the NBA allow a slum lord to be affiliated with its league? How could it allow a man who discriminated against people of color stand for such a thing?
It is insulting to me that the NBA overlooks a man who practices racism to an entire community, but punishes him for saying things _ albeit ignorant _ from the comfort of his home, insulting.
My father would say that is “Jackass backwards.”
When Sterling’s taped comments became public it was very easy for everyone to jump all over him. His racists viewpoints are Neanderthal.
The decision for new NBA commissioner Adam Silver to banish Sterling wasn’t a difficult decision. It was an easy slam dunk.
However, for Silver’s predecessor, David Stern, to take him on because of racists business practices would’ve been far more complicated.
And, for the most part, in today’s era of racism and civil rights, very few are willing to take on the difficult issues such as the spiraling unemployment and incarceration rates among African-Americans, and poverty, gentrification, voters rights, education and violence issues.
However, there are no easy slam dunks to those problems. It takes time, and lots of serious work.
Therefore, many chose to take the easy way, and wait for some prominent person (lately, Sterling, Paula Deen, the silly guy from Duck Dynasty) to make offensive comments.
But those issues pale in comparison to issues facing black folk all over. Consider that in Nigeria, there are currently more than 200 young black girls who have been kidnapped by terrorists?
Although it is an international event, it is a world wide horror that impacts us all.
It is important matters such as finding those teenaged girls that should be pressing headlines, and not the blathering rantings of a racist, old, man.