By now we’ve heard the disparaging racist remarks by Donald Sterling. If you haven’t, then I’m sure you at least have a gist of the story. Just to bring you up to speed, check this out:
Now the title of this post might come off as me painting with a broad brush. As a matter of fact both white and black and whites have brought some shame to the NBA in the past. It’s something that is bound to go on forever. We are human and will continue to make mistakes. At the same token, those who do bring shame to the league also are dealt consequence.
Now here we are in the shadows of the month of May.
It’s the first round of the NBA playoffs. We get an extremely racist leaked phone call. Donald Sterling is the owner of a top playoff contender namely the Los Angeles Clippers. The majority of his team is black. Everyone has their ideas on what the team should do in light of all that’s happened. Some people think that the team should throw games. Some others feel that the Clippers shouldn’t play at all. I agree that some sort of protest should occur. I also recognize that I am not in the playoffs currently. I also do not have any chance of winning an NBA title this year.
What I’m inching towards is that Donald Sterling has put his team in arguably the most compromising position ever. Now my lifetime hasn’t been too long, but I’ve never seen a scenario like this.
Imagine that you play a competitive sport for a living.
You’ve played this sport for the majority of your life. Your driving force daily is to be apart of the absolute best ensemble of talent there is. You want to play for a winning team. You end your season with a damn good record. With a couple tweaks here and there you can be a legitimate title contender. EVERYTHING seems to be going to plan. Then the guy who signs your checks basically says that you’re good enough to generate money for me, but not good enough to have a beer with in public.
There’s no question that these guys no longer want to play for a Donald Sterling.
But at the same token, these fellas want to play for a championship. They want to play for something they worked their whole life to attain. They want to play for their own legacy. Now if these remarks were made during the regular season, I am pretty sure the Clippers starters might’ve sat out a few games. Maybe the team would’ve thrown a couple of games. The sheer fact that we can drum up these scenarios compromises the integrity of basketball. The reality that this Donald Sterling situation certainly affected Clippers continuity during their game Sunday afternoon compromises the game’s integrity. Telling someone to no longer do what they love compromises integrity. Make no bones about it though, all reasoning for them to not play makes sense to me. I only want people to understand why they will continue to play. It isn’t for the Sterling Legacy. It’s truly for their own. I can’t blame them.
This is a real cheap band aid on the issue.
As this story develops we’ll likely see more acts of solidarity throughout the league. I encourage all of us fans to continue to enjoy this year’s playoffs. For us it’s Christmas every night. I give the Clippers a whole heap of support for the remainder of the season. It can’t possibly be easy. But if nothing changes with ownership, next year’s Clippers might damn well be this year’s Lakers.
How do you all feel about this whole Donald Sterling business? Should the Clippers continue to play?
These are my words and I make no apologies.
DamnPops is a writer on the staff at SBM: “I’m not a biter, I’m a writer for myself and others. ” Brooklyn born dude trying to figure out this life just like you. Come on this journey with me. Follow me on Twitter @DamnPOPS – Damn He Got A Point” (My Column) on Viral Status