The legal eagles have gotten to the NBA heads and they all agreed as of yesterday to ban Donald Sterling for life. Ok. Now the world can get back to its regular problems and issues and yet another racial issue bites the dust, right?
As I observed all of the feedback, some friends of mine and I all agreed on one thing: none of us are at this point surprised to see yet another racist being outed but this man has had a long history of bigotry; only this time, there was concrete proof to do something about it.
But what about the NBA offices. Most are predominantly staffed by whites. How will this affect staffing in legal, marketing, head office officers, etc.?
Yes, Donald Sterling is a racist and I shake my head at his choice to date a mixed Black/Hispanic woman, but honestly, those who are intelligent among us know that this is just the NBA promoting itself politically, given that 75% of the players are Black. What were they supposed to do? And how should the players flex their muscle in the future hiring decisions of teams in the future. Will this make Black players more politically active in the league. From my observation, most have been very ambivalent when it comes to racial issues in general and not particularly politically savvy or proactive in leveling the playing field in the head offices of the league. When will there be a Black NBA commissioner? And most important, will this be enough for Black players to have more self-respect and stop calling each other “Nigga” in the locker room.
So, will this stop Black NBA players from dating and marrying white women now? It kind of looks stupid to be feigning outrage of racism but participate in what many view as subliminal bigotry against women from your own culture. Reference link:
You can’t demand respect from anyone if you don’t respect yourself.
What really bothers me is the hypocrisy in the NBA. They act as if this is new. It’s not. Donald Sterling has a long history of racist behavior and it’s been known in the league for decades. What is appalling is that no one really cared until TMZ leaked the tape of the conversation with his girlfriend.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar said it best:
“What bothers me about this whole Donald Sterling affair isn’t just his racism,” he wrote in an op-ed piece for Time. “I’m bothered that everyone acts as if it’s a huge surprise. Now there’s all this dramatic and very public rending of clothing about whether they should keep their expensive Clippers season tickets. Really? All this other stuff I listed above has been going on for years and this ridiculous conversation with his girlfriend is what puts you over the edge? That’s the smoking gun?
“He was discriminating against black and Hispanic families for years, preventing them from getting housing. It was public record. We did nothing. Suddenly he says he doesn’t want his girlfriend posing with Magic Johnson on Instagram and we bring out the torches and rope. Shouldn’t we have all called for his resignation back then?”
Donald Sterling’s personal feelings about Black people is one thing, but he has friends. Mind you, it was those friends who were calling him regarding the Instagram photos of his girlfriend posing with Black people. He’s not going to change–and banning a man worth 1.8 billion dollars is not very significant.
The impact of this story is very subliminal as that it provokes us to remember the recent cases that have highlighted very well how white people in general feel about Black people. Even before Obama was elected as President, but ever more so, starting with the Tea Party; White America has forged a profound attitude toward our people and this issue is just indicative of a more pervasive reality that racism is alive in America because many white people ARE RACIST!!! And THEY need to deal with that truth.
Honestly, I’m not offended by what Donald Sterling said…I’m more offended by white reporters who continue to ask Black people why so many white people are racist, but fail to look in the mirror and ask themselves first.
And…has anyone heard from Kobe on this one? *Sarcasm*