Allow me to preface today’s post by saying this will be my only appearance this week. On early Wednesday morning I will be heading to the great state of California for the remainder of the week, and my Tuesday night will be preoccupied with last-second packing. My specialty.
I’m sure I’ll have a nice, juicy post about my time there to compensate for the lack of material this week.
Luckily, we had a senile, 80-year-old man who is completely out of touch with reality speak his mind last week, and now we have a national story to discuss today, thanks to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Sterling, who has a history of making controversial remarks — racism included — told his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, in a private phone conversation, that he did not want her bringing black people to his basketball games. The audio was somehow leaked to TMZ last Friday and has since become the focus of national attention, with prominent current and former basketball players, ranging from LeBron James to Michael Jordan, calling for Sterling to be forced out of the league.
Barack Obama also denounced Sterling’s comments when asked about them during a press conference in Malaysia.
The Los Angeles Clippers team staged a silent protest prior to Sunday’s game against the Golden State Warriors, wearing their warm-up jerseys inside out so the Clippers insignia was hidden. And on Tuesday afternoon, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is scheduled to hand down a punishment.
There’s your Spark Notes version of the situation.
While Sterling’s comments are unquestionably ignorant and racist, I think it’s important to remember that he said this in a private conversation, and not in a public platform. Does it excuse what he said? No. But it’s just something that we have to keep in mind before unloading our utmost vitriol on Sterling.
As noted, the man has a history of bigotry, so he shouldn’t be excused in any way, shape, or form. That being said, there’s probably something we all say every day — probably something that we said today — either publicly to some one we trust, or privately to ourselves, that if it were to be publicly broadcast to the world, it would make us look really, really bad.
Then again, we’re not NBA owners.
Racism exists. It will always exist. And if you want to make racially discriminating remarks, then that’s your prerogative.
But when you say these things and own a team in a league whose players are predominantly black, then you deserve no sympathy. The statements aren’t excusable in any vocation, but it’s extra damning when you’re a major face of a league that showcases the most talented African-American athletes the world has to offer. And that is why this is such a big story.
And what the hell is his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, doing with her name? When I first read the story, I thought her first name was being withheld because media outlets just didn’t know what it was. But it turns out that’s her legal name.
I’m sorry, you could be a perfect ’10’ on the hotness scale, but I am not going to talk with you if your first name is an initial. Who knows, maybe she was so inspired by Hugo Weaving’s performance in V for Vendetta that she changed her name because of it, but whatever the reason, it’s stupid. And now she’s exposed to the world for being associated with an extremely old, bigoted man. She deserves it simply for having that name.
But anyway, Donald Sterling may never remember the 5th of November, but he sure as hell won’t forget the 25th of April.