Whose Business Is It?


Donald Sterling surely seems to be a mean man. I don’t particularly like mean men. From what I’ve read in the media, a few choice adjectives come to mind, such as hateful, bigoted, prejudiced, and, well, mean.

I would add the word hypocritical to that list.

Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, employed a 2013-2014 roster of 14 players. Of those 14 players, 12 look to be black, one looks lily white, and one is from Turkey. This makes it seem that Mr. Sterling really doesn’t like white people, or people from Turkey, or he would employ more of them. I would assume the token white guy, J.J. Redick, who matriculated at Duke, to be from a privileged background, simply because he’s from Duke. That’s my own prejudice showing. I know nothing of players from Turkey.

The problem is not that he employs so many black players. He is free as an employer to hire whomever he pleases. At least, I think he is. Recent court challenges make me wonder. I don’t see any LGBT players on the team, nor do I see any midgets, or little people, as they prefer to be called. I also don’t see any Mexicans, or Hispanics, or Latinos. Again, the shifting preferred terminology eludes me. Nor do I see any Native Americans… err…. First Nations people.

Why does Mr. Sterling hate so many different races, including his own?

Evidently, Mr. Sterling told his girlfriend – the woman young enough to be his granddaughter (I wonder what she sees in him?) – that he didn’t mind her associating with black people on her own time. Indeed, he allowed that he didn’t even mind if she procreated with black people (they must really be committed to each other). The problem he had was her publicly displaying her associations with black people through social media. He also didn’t like her bringing black people to the basketball games. At least, this is all that I have gathered from a cursory review of headlines and such.

If the charges are true, I would say the terms of prejudiced and bigoted apply, wouldn’t you? I also add the hypocritical moniker, as it seems that he is fine with making money from the labors of black men on the court, but he just doesn’t want them as spectators. Of course, not many have come to his defense that it is well within his first amendment rights to spout off these ideas. They are, after all, simply ideas of this one man.

I wonder about the initial response of the players when they first heard the news. I can hear it now, “Say, fellow player, did you happen to hear the remarks of Mr. Sterling? What an egregious thing to say about the spectators in attendance at our sporting contests! Wouldn’t you agree?” To which, in replay, “I did hear that! I wonder perchance if being Caucasian has caused such a propensity to utter such obliquities?”

Now, I have no idea if that’s reflective of the conversation amongst the players and other black luminaries. From what I read, I doubt it. I imagine the word “cracker” came into play, but I don’t know that. Isn’t everyone prejudiced?

I do know that the players did wear their warm up suits turned inside out so that the Clippers logo could not be seen. I imagine many of the fans in attendance at that night’s game really took that to heart… maybe all 20 of them, for that matter.

I doubt that any of the players refuse to take their pay from Mr. Sterling. Perhaps they do, or will. That would speak more to their disquiet than clothing choices, in my mind.

Are any of us tired of charges of racism? The Russians are about to expand their claimed sovereignty, babies are being slaughtered legally, everyday, and we as a nation are spiraling into unsustainable debt. Plus, the progressives are winning the culture war of ideas, to our own demise.

I do not think it is okay for Mr. Sterling to think as he does, or to say what he said, but I think it is legal. If he wants to limit his spectatorship to certain races, I’m sure the free market will straighten him out.

I find the puffed up anger and disgust spewed in the media to be a little humorous, but mostly tiresome. I believe all men are created equal (of equal value), but certainly not equally talented. Where was all the hubris years back when “White Men Can’t Jump” aired? Is that not a racist statement?

Most of us are prejudiced to one degree or another, and most of us are most comfortable when surrounded by similarly pigmented people. I have lived in the Deep South; I taught school in a 90% black public school. Racism goes both ways, believe me.


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One Response to Whose Business Is It?

  1. Terry says:

    Thank you for that very thoughtful essay!



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