Donald Sterling is a racist. To most people, be it NBA fans or not, this might have come as a surprise. So, to that part of the equation, hearing the infamous TMZ tape about the LA Clippers' owner should have been a jolt, a shock that lasted a lot longer than the hour that Sterling speaks to his girlfriend. But to the rest, such as those that allowed this man to own a franchise, for the reporters in the area where Mr. Sterling lives and conducts business and for those that follow things a bit closer, after hearing the tape a lot of emotions could have come out, but surprise isn't one of them.
Where was the world leader in sports, or any other major network for that matter, when the U.S. Department of Justice sued Sterling in 2006 for housing discrimination, claiming he refused to rent apartments to blacks? And while the mogul said the payment of 2.725 million was paid by the insurance, when you settle it is because you have an inkling you are going to lose.
Where was the outrage when Hall of Fame player turned front office personnel, Elgin Baylor, filed a wrongful termination suit in 2010 that included allegations of racism? Or the comments that Baylor spoke of about Sterling in said lawsuit about Danny Manning...
When Manning’s agent told Sterling that the offer was unacceptable, Sterling responded by saying it was a lot of money. Said Baylor, in the deposition: “Donald T. said, ‘Well that’s a lot of money for a poor black ... ' -- I think he said kid. For a poor black kid I think. For a poor black something, kid or boy or something. Poor black. Poor black. Danny was upset. So Danny just stormed out. He just stormed out of the place. Where he went, I don’t know. He never came back to the house.”
So, be outraged that an owner of one of the most powerful sports enterprise is a racist, but also be furious that his peers, the umbrella that he is under, the National Basketball Association, and all the media that have followed Mr. Sterling never did a thing about it for quite a long time!
It is easy now to pile on, everyone is doing it. Heck, I am doing it! But why is it so hard to take on something like this when it was not as popular? Had Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward been like the media of now Watergate would have never been. Imagine how different many things could be then?
So here is how I will end this little rant of mine. Be hopeful that now things will be able to be fixed, both for the near future and for the long haul. Be supportive of the game, because someone like Sterling should not smear the team or the games being played or the NBA itself. Be thankful that this time around the problem was so big that it had to be dealt with. But, in the end, do not be surprised that there could be other owners, either in the NBA or in other sports that are just like Donald Sterling. Cause if you do, sorry to say, you are naive.
CLNS Radio co-owners respond to the Donald Sterling Controversy