Ten years ago if I told you during the height of the NBA play-offs the nation had its eye on the Los Angeles team, it most certainly would have been the Lakers. But, no! Not because of anything that’s happened on the court, the Los Angeles Clippers are the most talked about team in the league. No need in rehashing the ugly details. Instead let’s Fast Break to the chase.
When the commissioner of the National Basketball Association announced that the Clippers owner Don Sterling was banned from the NBA for life, it sounded like a severe punishment until you consider the man is 81 years old.
He was also fined $2.5 million. The NBA made its point. Racism is very bad.
But I’m sorry, putting it all on Don Sterling and giving the league, the Los Angeles Clippers organization and everyone who profits from their games, a pass is unacceptable.
It’s like blaming one slave master for the entire institution of slavery. He’s wrong but he wouldn’t be allowed to exist if the system hadn’t supported him. Of course I’m not saying that the whole league is racist or that most owners, coaches and players were not appalled by Sterling’s actions. I AM saying the whole league has some responsibility in letting Sterling stick around until it came to this ugly end.
After all, the racist remarks that got him were remarks made privately in his home…that just happened to be recorded by his “girlfriend.” (He apparently hadn’t read the player’s handbook)
But long before that he had given everyone enough indication that he had problems.
So how do we come to an equitable action? I propose something sports analysts Doug and Ryan Stewart, “The Two Live Stews ” said on the Tom Joyner Morning Show this morning. They suggested that along with banning Sterling, the commissioner busts up the entire Clipper operation That means set every Clipper free from Candyland..as in free agency. Yep. Those who want to stay can stay but those who want out of their contracts get to go to the highest bidder.
I’m just a D.J., but I also say from now on the Negro National Anthem and the National Anthem should be sung before every Clipper game. Oh, yeah and a Clipper should get to date Sterling’s ex girlfriend, V. Stiviano as part of the deal.
I’m kidding but every NBA team, coach and owner needs to know what they stand to lose when they act in a way that proves that have hatred for any group of people. Don’t even start with “what about the players who use the N-word with each other.” Let’s not confuse racism with ignorance. You show me a coach or owner, black or white who is engaging in racism, sexism, homophobia and I say ban him, fine him and bust up his team, too.
Will this resolve racism? No. But neither did abolishing slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, or Affirmative Action. A hard foul won’t keep a player from driving to the hoop. But it will make him pay dearly for it.
Now the latest is that Donald Sterling has prostate cancer. What that has to do with him possibly losing the team, I don’t know. Too bad there’s not surgery to remove hatred and racism. Sterling is no fool. He’s a savvy attorney who made his fortune beating the system and he might do it again.
By the time this case is over the Clippers might be playing they were when no one cared whether Sterling was racist or not. Instead of Oprah, P. Diddy, Floyd Mayweather and the rest clamoring to buy the team, they should invest in the product J. Anthony Brown and I want to market…that big fiberglass helmet that V. Stiviano wears, the “Hide-a-Ho.”
The Clippers are an iffy prospect, but young sidepieces bringing down men will be around forever.