I would rather talk about something pertaining to sports and the action happening on the court, ice or field of play. I can’t do that yet as there is another story that is dominating the sports world. Before I proceed with my opinion of Donald Sterling I want to state that this is of Mr. Sterling’s own doing and he will have to live with it and has probably been living with it for a long time. It can best be summed up with a quote from Forrest Gump, “stupid is as stupid does.”
I returned to California from an Easter vacation to find that the Los Angeles Clippers owner was in hot water. Little did I know at first that he had said some pretty idiotic and racist things. Sure, we had to wait and see if that was actually his voice on the tape. I couldn’t tell you since I’ve never actually heard the man speak before. For a billionaire he does a pretty good job of staying out of the spotlight until now.
Now that it is proven to be him, what are we to think of this man? Yes, he has no place in the NBA anymore. Yes, he must pay a massive fine. I’m willing to say the NBA and the other 29 owners have a say as to whether or not they should take the Clippers away from him, but that’s a discussion for another day. For now this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to those that know what this man is all about.
Besides his federal lawsuits and settlements for discrimination against minority tenants for properties he owned, Sterling was also being sued by former Clippers GM Elgin Baylor for discrimination. That suit was shot down by a jury for lack of evidence, but with all of that no one seemed to bat an eye.
Now I’m only pointing this out because the amount of hypocrisy is astounding to me. Al Sharpton never spoke a word of this before. Neither did the NAACP who gave him an award a few years ago and they were about to give him another one this year. Money talks apparently and that’s the only explanation I can come up with for that last one. As for Sharpton he is only in it for himself and his own self worth.
The players, coaches and fans certainly voiced their opinions and the NBA’s commissioner, Adam Silver listened and did the right thing. Sterling had to go. There is no place for this in any league let alone one that employs a huge majority of black players. I have never had any good things to say about Sterling before and won’t ever. He is a person who for the majority of his years as the owner of the Clippers worried about the bottom line and not the product on the court.
When Staples Center was being built the Clippers had the opportunity to have their own arena. It was in Anaheim at what is now called the Honda Center. The Clippers were playing at the LA Sports Arena and a few games at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim as it was called back in the ’90s. The games at the Pond were mostly sold out every season and it made sense to have their own identity separate from the shadow of the crosstown Lakers.
Donald turned it down because he didn’t want to be stuck in a limo for 30+ minutes on the freeway both ways traveling to the games. From a business side I understand why you would rather play in the Staples Center, but that arena will ALWAYS be known for the Lakers. That proved to me that Sterling never cared about the team in any way shape or form. Only reason why the Clippers are competing now is because of the bottom line. He is making money when they win. That’s not to say the front office hasn’t done a great job building a winner, but they needed Sterling’s blessing.
Donald Sterling did this to himself and he will have to live with it. Whether he will or won’t fight the impending sale of the Clippers is still to be determined. The NBA did the only thing they could do by banishing him. It wasn’t a hard decision to make. Goodbye Mr. Sterling.