By now, all of you have heard Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers made comments widely regarded to be racist, to his mixed-race (black and Hispanic) girlfriend:
Sterling discussing his players: You just, do I know? I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them?Do I know that I have—Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners, that created the league?
Now the entire world is calling for Sterling to be disciplined by the league. They are missing a few things, in my humble opinion:
Sterling owned the Clippers for 30 years? Don’t tell me then-NBA commissioner, David Stern didn’t know about Sterling’s racist leanings all those years. I guess Stern was more interested in getting ratings by deploying fan favorite teams in The Finals and engineering ludicrous trades. But Stern isn’t complicit in Sterling’s ownership, and certainly not current commissioner Adam Silver (who is undoubtedly thanking Stern for leaving him with this gigantic turd in the punchbowl). After all, Sterling’s the commissioner’s boss. Never forget, the commissioner is hired (and fired) by team owners. Since Sterling is the league’s longest tenured owner, he does have significant pull. As a matter of fact, Sterling having been around so long indicates he also knows where the NBA’s bodies are buried. I’d be interested in hearing how the NBA arranged to punish The Lakers and reward the Clippers with the Chris Paul trade.
BSP also takes note of Sterling’s views on race and a litigious past. After all, Sterling was sued twice for discrimination in renting properties in Los Angeles County:
19 tenants accused Sterling of once stating his preference not to rent to Latinos because “Hispanics smoke, drink and just hang around the building.” The lawsuit also accused him of saying “black tenants smell and attract vermin.”
In 2009, Elgin Baylor, one of the league’s worst GM’s ever, sued Sterling in a lawsuit alleging race and age discrimination:
In the original lawsuit, Baylor said that Sterling had a “vision of a Southern plantation-type structure” for the Clippers and accused the owner of a “pervasive and ongoing racist attitude” during long-ago contract negotiations with Danny Manning. The lawsuit also quoted Sterling as telling Manning’s agent, “I’m offering you a lot of money for a poor black kid.”
Baylor alleged Sterling said he wanted the Clippers to be “composed of ‘poor black boys from the South’ and a white head coach.”
Baylor accused Sterling of hiring a white coach (Mike Dunleavy) and paying him more than Baylor. But Sterling, notorious for his cheapness, also was sued by Dunleavy. Apparently, Dunleavy had better lawyers than Baylor, because he won $13M in back pay and damages.
Go ahead, run Sterling out of the game. But Sterling showed what he was years ago, and apparently Magic Johnson was okay with it then. Did he even bring it up? It’s only when he’s talking about Magic himself that makes Sterling radioactive. Wanna talk about standing up for rights, Magic? I’m sure you didn’t know Sterling was a racist prior to this. By the way, Sterling’s girlfriend being African-American and Hispanic is disturbing. On her part, that is. What’s she doing hanging out with someone who placed her into groups he hates? Could it be financial or is she just with him for his magnetic personality?
I can’t believe I’m typing this: “Do” and “don’t” are two different words, Magic; please stop using them interchangeably. Holy smokes, a man who … no, ya’ll are going to call me a racist because I believe a professional broadcaster should speak standard American English. Good luck with that. Let me say this, if Ted Nugent isn’t a racist, neither am I. And everyone knows Ted doesn’t have a “racist bone in his body.”
Frankly, BSP can take a second to thank Sterling for the comments. It kills the notion since a person has a spouse of a different race, they CAN’T be a racist.
Because it came out at playoff time when the NBA was trying to show how allegedly competitive it is (funny, because the Miami Heat are going to win the title anyway — again), the league and basketball fans are pounding away on Sterling. BSP suspects there’s more than one NBA owner that thinks this way, and the evidence is there … there just isn’t a recording to make it big news yet.