Let us go ahead and take a collective sigh and breath in yet again, as there is even more Donald Sterling news hitting the internet today. For those that do not know by now, known racist Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was recently caught on audio recording talking to his girlfriend. There he spoke against black people being around his girlfriend and him.
Sterling said, in a memorable quote, “you can love black people privately, but not in public.” She happens to also be a minority, which makes things all the more interesting. She also claimed that she was a fan of Magic Johnson, LA Dodgers’ owner and LA Lakers’ legend. Sterling was fine with her liking him, but he didn’t want pictures of her on instagram or anywhere else showing her with any black person as it was too public.
Now most people would say that this was an invasion of privacy or something along those lines. Yet, the comments were so racial and offensive that most of us have easily bypassed that. The comments were absolutely crazy and incoherent in some ways. Sterling, according to most black LA journalists, has been considered racist for some time. So it is no surprise to them to hear these comments.
Many around the league that know Sterling or played for Clippers have commented on the feeling that the owner seemed racist. Baron Davis commented recently that he, at one point, was the highest paid player the Clippers had. He was a star for the team, yet he couldn’t even get a meeting with Donald Sterling. Davis is black, like a large percentage of NBA players currently.
Davis said he did not understand why an owner, who was known for having a tight wallet, would ignore the man who he is paying the most on the entire team. He had the feeling that Sterling was racist like so many others, but could not prove anything and he eventually left. LeBron James, star player for the NBA’s Miami Heat, claimed that there was no place for an owner who would make such racist comments.
Despite this, Doc Rivers, the coach of the Clippers’ said that they were focused on the NBA Championship even still. At one point however, that was not the case. The team contemplated the idea of boycotting all upcoming games, thus eliminating themselves from the NBA Playoffs and pretty much giving the Golden State Warriors’ a bye heading into the second round.
Rivers is a known black head coach who has been successful in the NBA and even played with the Sterling owned Clippers when he was in the NBA years ago. He also felt the comments were racial, but due to his professionalism, he rallied the troops like a true leader to ignore the comments and focus going forward on the game itself.
Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner, asked Donald Sterling to not be present at any upcoming Clippers’ games, which might have saved his team. Before this, real consideration was present in the locker room about boycotting the games. So Silver was smart in getting this out of the way, quick, fast and in a hurry.
As for the punishment for Donald Sterling, there are none thus far. Silver claimed that the NBA is currently investigating the situation and would take appropriate action. However, from the players to the owners, to fans to journalists…it seems like the same thing keeps coming up. No one wants a fine or suspension. They want to see Donald Sterling gone for good.
Whether the NBA takes this idea and runs with it is yet to be determined. We shall see what they choose to do. What we do know is that Donald Sterling’s comments have hit a nerve across the United States and even made their way to President Obama, who claimed Sterling’s comments were ignorant.
The Clippers’ despite the comments of Donald Sterling are currently playing against the Warriors’. It will take time for us to see if the players will stick around after the season however. For now, they can all rally for the good of the team. After the season though, that is another animal entirely.