Sunday, April 27, 2014

Of Sterling Character

Just another reminder that racism still exists in 2014, this time from long-time troublemaker and dirty old man Donald Sterling, owner of the NBA's LA Clippers.  Deadspin is all over this story:

We all knew that Donald Sterling was a racist and an overall horrible human being. So TMZ's lurid audio of the Los Angeles Clippers owner enraged about his girlfriend taking photos with black people shouldn't really surprise you if you've been paying any attention. And yet, the audio is shocking—maybe because it's 2014, and this man is still allowed to own an NBA team. 

Still allowed.  Sterling has owned the Clippers since 1981 and has been a cancer in the NBA ever since.

According to then-GM Paul Phipps, during an airport meeting with Rollie Massimino—a potential candidate to replace the fired Paul Silas as head coach—Donald Sterling asked the Villanova coach: "I wanna know why you think you can coach these niggers."

Our latest chapter in Donald Sterling Is a Racist comes courtesy of Jeff Pearlman. In interviews with Phipps for a book about the NBA in the 80s, Pearlman learned that Massimino later told Phipps he would be passing on the job in an angry early-morning phone call.

Phipps, half asleep, sat up on his bed and asked what went wrong. “Here’s this guy,” Massimino said, “and he has this blonde bimbo with him, they have a bottle of champagne, they’re tanked. And Don looks at me and he says, ‘I wanna know why you think you can coach these niggers.’”

Massimino told Phipps he began screaming at Sterling and swore he’d rather die than become coach of the Clippers. “That,” said Phipps, “was life with Donald Sterling.”

Things worked out just fine for Massimino, though.

 Now it seems a fight with his girlfriend (Sterling is married, btw) has prompted the release of this 15 minute highlight reel of Sterling's most awesome, racist rants after the jump.

In this audio, Sterling expresses ideas similar to the ones he did in the original: The world will think certain things if you're seen with black people, he tells his mistress, so you should not be seen with them in public, and under no circumstances should you bring them to Clippers games. How does he square his dim view of black people with the fact that he has an NBA team full of black players? Sterling responds with a breathtaking non-sequitur.

V: I don't understand, I don't see your views. I wasn't raised the way you were raised.

DS: Well then, if you don't feel—don't come to my games. Don't bring black people, and don't come.

V: Do you know that you have a whole team that's black, that plays for you?

DS: You just, do I know? I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them?Do I know that I have—Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners, that created the league?

 New NBA league commissioner Adam Silver's response to all this is just ridiculous.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver finally spoke about the racist remarks made by Donald Sterling and uncovered by TMZ, but he is not prepared to discuss or levy any sanctions against Sterling. He did note that Sterling has agreed not to attend the playoff game in Golden State tomorrow. The league will investigate the matter ("extraordinarily quickly") and use any and all of the broad powers available under the league's constitution and bylaws.

NBA star LeBron James's response was heartfelt and very much on point.

"If the reports are true, it's unacceptable. It's unacceptable in our league. It doesn't matter if you're white, black, Hispanic, whatever, all across the races. It's unacceptable and as a commissioner in our league, they have to make a stand, and they have to be very aggressive with it. I don't know what it's going to be, but you just can't have that in our league."

And President Obama made it very clear that Sterling is a horrible person.

"When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything, you just let them talk. That's what happened here," the President said.

The question now is what does Adam Silver do?  What do the players on the Clippers do?  What about the rest of the league's players?

This just blew up in 24 hours or so.  Where it goes from here with the Clippers taking the court for a playoff game later today, well who knows?

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