In the midst of the 2014 NBA playoffs, you’d expect all of the hype and attention to surround the intensity of the games, legendary performances, and witnessing history in the making.
Unfortunately, due to the leaked conversation between an 80-something year old close-minded imbecile and his gold-digging girlfriend, the attention lies on a much larger underlying issue: Racism.
For those of you who have not yet heard the situation, yesterday evening TMZ Sports leaked a conversation that took place on April 9th between Donald Sterling (owner of the Los Angeles Clippers) and his girlfriend after she uploaded an Instagram picture of herself posing next to basketball legend, Magic Johnson.
A heated discussion ensued, where Sterling revealed his true thoughts towards African Americans, along with his strong feelings for his girlfriend’s attitude.
Here are some of the most interesting quotes from the argument:
“Yeah, it bothers me a lot that you want to promo… broadcast that you are associating with black people. Do you have to?”
“I feel that way so strongly, and it may cause our relationship to just break apart. If it does, it does.”
“… You can sleep with them, you can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that and not to bring them to my games.”
Where do I begin?
Mr. Sterling, I actually somewhat sympathize with you. Not because you are in any way right or justified in your ideology, but because I genuinely believe you are too bone-headed to understand just how idiotic you truly are. Lets put your sweet, legitimate, and romantic feelings toward your girlfriend to the side for a second and lets dissect this from a PR/business perspective, shall we?
What exactly do you gain by blindly shutting out a huge portion of the NBA fan base? As if “black people” as a population did anything wrong to anyone to begin with, they are an overwhelming portion of the NBA’s market and blindly wishing to remove them from “your” games does nothing other than decrease the total amount of revenue in your pocket, right? Does not seem like a wise business move.
Also, the Clippers- after years of disappointment and perennial mediocrity, finally sit perfectly poised for the future. Their roster is loaded, they have a top-tier coach in Doc Rivers, and they are legitimate contenders to win an NBA championship within the next several seasons. However, that can all change very quickly.
I’m not sure whether or not you are aware of this, Donnie, but the NBA is filled with a very high number of extremely talented black players. To win an NBA title, you need talent through acquisitions and free agency. What’s going to happen next time you are in the position to land the next big-name free agent or you have to re-sign one of your own talent black players. Will they be quick to sign with you, or will they look to play on a team without a racist bigot as the owner?
Tough call, but you did not do yourself any favors.
During a historic season for the Clippers, this was just about the stupidest thing Donald Sterling could have said. Sure, it was within the privacy of a conversation held between himself and his girlfriend, who is truthfully young enough to be his granddaughter- but still, blind discrimination to a major demographic market of your product doesn’t make very much sense if you ask me.
After the public backlash and negative response, hopefully this situation opens up Donald Sterling’s awareness to racial sensitivity and he can take steps toward recovering his image- though at this stage in his life I doubt he will ever be able to recover from it.
From my perspective, it is simply deflating and disappointing to see that this level of racism still actually exists within the realm of professional sports.