Tales From the Hilltop
An intelligent, yet Devil's Advocate view of the world

Episode Fifty-Three: The NEW tape heard ’round the world….

So, it appears justice has been served, for once. The NBA has taken a strong stand on it’s zero-tolerance on racism , and the people who perpetuate it in the NBA. This was made true by the league’s action against hopefully-soon-to-be-ex Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling.

If you’ve been in living in a cave for the last week, here’s a short recap:

Last Friday, a audio tape of Sterling surface on the internet, with him telling his mistress that he didn’t want black people at any of his games, nor did he want her to be seen in public with them.  I won’t even go into all the racially offensive garbage spewed, because you can pretty much hear it everywhere, starting with here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZh6WGbZUvA. Of course, this pissed the league off something awful, as about 75% of the league is black, including about 90% of the team he owns. So today, the new NBA commissioner Adam Silver went balls-out, banning Sterling from the NBA for life, as well as fining him $2.5 million, which is I’m sure a record amount in pro sports.

Let me just say on the record, I applaud Silver’s actions. I clapped with i watch the press conference live, to know that this type of thinking should not nor WILL not be tolerated within the NBA, or most of society. Sterling needed to be gone after that tape hit cyber space. However, I do have questions and answers to other questions that surround this whole ordeal:

1) Why does everyone now say that the league should’ve been done this, based on his past? Where was everyone back then? Since there is proof Sterling’s racism was evident in refusing to rent apartments to black and Latino families? Why didn’t anyone speak up back then? I’ll tell you why: it wasn’t made public. Yes, it was documented. Yes, the discrimination suit Elgin Baylor filed for his wrongful termination was documented and made available to anyone who bothered to read it. Trobule is, NO ONE CARED back then. Hell, 99% of the world had no idea of Sterling’s past bigotry until this tape surface. Where were the 1% of folks that knew he was bigoted, that KNEW he felt this way about black folks? What about former commissioner, David Stern? If Sterling has indeed done racist actions under his watch, shouldn’t there be some outrage towards Stern as well?

2) Since he was taped having a private conversation with his sugar baby (cause, let’s keep this 100, that’s what she was), where’s the outrage towards HER? One of the most disturbing things about all of this, is while he’s making this racist diatribe, she’s listening to it, despite the fact she half-black (and half-Latino)….and still stood by him, even after the tape came out?

Whoa. Let that one sink in a bit.

Why hasn’t the mob come after her for being a gold-digger so bent on not being thrown off the Sterling gravy train, she was willing to forgo her race and get rid of all her black friends to please him? Where’s the outrage for this woman who clearly sold more than her body for the finer things in life?

3) For all the people stating that where all are the players when athletes get caught up in their own dramas, ranging from wife-beating, to DUIs, to illegally owning weapons, how can they even compare these situations? My thing is, when athletes get caught up in off-the-court legal issues, I fully believe they should be dealt with by the league just as any player can. But in the end, other than the athlete and any parties involve, who else gets affected by their transgressions? The owners? The fans? Society? Not a chance.

Sterling’s comments effected a ton of people, which is something people are downplaying in trying to defend him. They effected the players, who have to live with the reality of playing for a guy who really doesn’t want their there other than to entertain him. They effected the coaching staff (especially Doc Rivers). They effected ALL of the black folks in the front office. They effect anyone who works at the games. Comparing other private players’ issues to this was an apples-to-oranges move, and most people know that.

Look, this ban on Sterling won’t cure racism in America any more than the election – and re-election – of President Obama did. There will always be racism in America (at least, in our lifetimes. Maybe in a few hundred years, this may change). I absolute abhor it, but as a black man in America, I’m not naive enough to deny it. That doesn’t mean racism should be accepted or tolerated, especially by the ultra-wealthy and powerful. My thing is, with all of the side stories that went with this (including the whole “invasion of privacy” issue), I hope that doesn’t derail the main point here. Racism, discrimination, and hatred of ANY kind must be tackled head-on, and should NEVER be allowed to profit in this day and age.

Adam Silver just made a fan out of me. I hope he made a whole bunch more.




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