Gene Simmons Defends Donald Sterling And Freedom Of Speech

KISS co-founder Gene Simmons says he is on Donald Sterling’s side in his dispute with the NBA.

Sterling, the embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner, is in the process of being forced to sell the team by the league after secretly taped racist comments became public and created a national firestorm. Sterling has already been banned for life from the NBA.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal as part of the promotional tour for the new AMC reality show 4th and Loud, Simmons offered up his politically incorrect opinion of the Donald Sterling controversy:

I’m on Mel Gibson’s side, Don Sterling’s side and anybody who has a racist or an expletive rant privately. The difference between this guy, who’s heinous of course, or anybody else is that they were caught. Everybody [says] jokes that are off-color, or when they’re drunk. The difference between Sterling and everyone else is that he was caught on camera, by the way, without his approval. He was ambushed. I think he should have done penance and paid a fine.”

Continued Simmons:

Here’s what’s going to happen. They’re going to go after Sterling and he’s going to put a few million dollars out there, because he can afford it — and he’s going to ask the paparazzi out there to find videos of all the other team members talking trash and racist rants. And then it’s open season. And if, because you say an off-color joke or make a racist rant privately, that causes you to lose a job — nobody would have a job! Black people do it, Jews do it, Christians do it — everybody does it! It’s called America. Free speech. Even if free speech insults other people. Privately. Publicly, that’s different. I’m on the side of free speech in the privacy of your own home or privacy of the situation. Big brother has finally crawled in bed with us.”

4th and Loud chronicles the LA Kiss, an expansion Arena Football League team co-owned by Simmons and bandmate Paul Stanley, which went 3-15 this year. Simmons claims it costs several million dollars to get a new team up and running.

In the same interview, Simmons declared that the Washington Redskins should change their name.

In early July, Simmons admitted that he’s been a member of the one percent for about 30 years and that “it’s fantastic” because one-percenters create all the jobs in the U.S. economy.

Do you agree or disagree with Gene Simmons that nobody — even including Donald Sterling — should lose their livelihood or be stripped of personal property for in private exercising their freedom of speech, even if the language is offensive or racist?

[Images via Bing]

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