I am not a fan of basketball, nor do I watch, follow or cover it, however, something disturbing happened within the NBA world that is a collective problem plaguing countless organizations including the NFL.
As you may already know, Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, had an unsettling conversation made public. The conversation, supposedly held between him and his young supermodel ex-girlfriend, who herself is half-African-American, half-Mexican, lasted all but 9 minutes, and he goes on to chastise her for posting a photo of herself alongside basketball legend Ervin “Magic” Johnson, Jr. on the social networking site Instagram. His problem with her was that she was “publicly admiring and associating with minorities”, highlighting that Magic Johnson is an African-American.
The conversation is especially disturbing because of who he is. Had Donald Sterling been a cashier at “2 Dollars & Below”, it’d be much easier to pass him off as a fearful, old, close-minded, misfortunate, slave to the primitive ways of yesterday. However, Donald Sterling is the owner of a $575 million dollar professional sport team, located in the second most populated city within the most powerful country in the world, the United States of America.
Bigotry is the clearest from of ignorance, a sure indication of a person renouncing his/her natural born humanity. If ever there was a study on the illogical, idiocy of racism, which requires hard, factual evidence; his now public conversation should receive the heaviest consideration. What you would hear is a bigot, expressing anger and grief towards a biracial woman that he claims to be in love with, for publicly associating herself with the very ethnicities that make up her DNA. He screamed, whispered, cried, demeaned her, and then pleaded with her to be left alone.
To me, what is most striking is not that he lacks a basic ability to rationally think – one would hope that he is the last of a dying breed, right – but that he repeatedly cried that people “call him” to inform him of her taking pictures with a black man and posting it online. Who are these people? Stereotypically, the wealthy only mingle with the wealthy. I doubt a blue-collar person could just call Donald Sterling up. Whoever was doing the calling undoubtedly had more money than you, I, and everyone we know combined. Could this person own a few lucrative businesses? More than likely. May this person also own a professional sports team? Perhaps. Nevertheless, Donald Sterling inadvertently admitted that, he is not the only one of his kind out there. Will these other people ever become known, the world may never know, but Donald Sterling must now face the very public he anxiously wanted to avoid. And the response has been of outrage and uproar.