As I much as I dread writing yet another blog on racism, I just had to weigh in on the recent controversy surrounding the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling. Sterling allegedly made some very derogatory and racial comments about African-Americans and Latinos. TMZ released a tape of some of the shocking statements made by Sterling. Also, Sterling has a history of being accused of racism in his past.
I am a huge NBA fan, so naturally I was watching the Clippers game on Sunday to see what the Clippers players were going to do to show their displeasure with the statements of their owner, Donald Sterling. The players came out onto the court and shed their warm-up jackets, bearing the Clippers logo, in the middle of the court, and underneath of their warm-up jackets the players had turned their tee shirts inside out to hide the Clippers logo. I thought this was a clear message to everyone that the players are not at all happy with the predicament their owner has put them in because of his utter stupidity.
The question now is, what is the NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, going to do about this situation? Silver has recently taken over as Commissioner and this will be Silver’s first real test. Silver said he is waiting to see the authenticity of the tape released by TMZ before they decide what is going to happen to Donald Sterling. I think if the tape does turn out to be authentic, Commissioner Silver should suspend Sterling for a long period of time and access a hefty fine. Many in the media are questioning whether they can make him sell his share of the team and show him the door, but legally I don’t think they will be able to do that. So what should be done and what can be done?
I will tell you what I would like to see happen. I think Commissioner Silver needs to make a decision on this situation as quickly as possible because this train has left the station and it is gathering up a lot of steam. It is not that this story is so shocking as much as it shows the abuse of power. That a billionaire owner believes it is alright to feel this way about African-Americans and Latinos. It is one thing to have those kinds of thoughts in your head, but it is another thing to say those thing out loud, and those words being made public. Sterling has every right to feel anyway he wants to about people, but when you are in a position of power, signing people’s paychecks, that is where there is a problem when you have these kinds of feelings towards your employees. If nothing is done by Commissioner Silver soon, the Clipper players need to make a stand until something is done. I don’t know what that stand should be, but they need to do something to put pressure on the NBA to deal with Sterling, because this kind of thing affects many people across the country. If the allegations are found to be true, it will leave a really bad taste in our mouths if Sterling is allowed to not bear any consequences for his racist rant, while being an owner of an NBA team.
This is a difficult time for the Los Angeles Clippers. They are in the middle of the playoffs, and now have the whole world watching and waiting to see what is going to happen to their organization. I feel for the Clipper players, but sometimes in life there are situations that arise that you have to make difficult decisions that may mean sacrificing something for the greater good. This may be the kind of decision the Clippers players may have to make in the near future. As for Sterling, if the TMZ tape is authentic, I hope he realizes how many people were truly hurt and offended by his remarks.