If you’ve been living under a rock for the last day or so, you might have missed this news. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald T. Sterling was “allegedly” caught on tape making reprehensible comments about minorities, specifically Black people, while in an argument with his then-girlfriend V. Stiviano.
In the audio, which was leaked to TMZ, the person we believe is Sterling (legal speak and what-not) is heard admonishing Stiviano for a picture she posted on her Instagram page that featured a “selfie” with her and basketball legend Magic Johnson. Sterling repeatedly asks her to not associate with Black people, though Stiviano herself is Black and Mexican, and to “privately” admire Johnson but not make it known publicly. He also claims that he is bothered because people are calling him telling him about her being seen with Black people, and he is concerned about her associations are perceived by others in his “culture.”
I truly wish I could say I was surprised by the reprehensible statements being attributed to Clippers owner Donald T. Sterling. But being a basketball fan, and L.A. native, there is no way I could feign surprise with a straight face. Sterling has been sued on several occasions by employees and tenants for issues related to discrimination, both racial and sexual. He has made numerous racially charged comments about players on his team, and notoriously mistreated both Elgin Baylor (as GM) and Baron Davis (as a player). This unfortunately is nothing new for him. He just did it in the age of social media. And unfortunately for him, social justice is beginning to move because of the widespread accessibility to his comments on social media.
Many athletes, both current and former, have made it known that they are livid. The league’s biggest star, LeBron James, stated that there is no room in the league for someone like Donald Sterling. Others have even gone so far as to say they believe the Clippers should threaten to boycott the playoffs if something isn’t done. However both Doc Rivers and Chris Paul have stated that their team isn’t playing for the owner. They are playing for themselves and each other. Winning a championship is their goal, and they refuse to let ANYONE derail that.
NBA commish Adam Silver, you must stand up for the majority of your league, and tell Donald Sterling that you will NOT accept his racial prejudices in this NBA.