There’s a famous line by Al Pacino from the Godfather III movie “just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in”. That’s the feeling that not only African Americans but most Americans felt when the comments from Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling went public recently.
After I listened to the audio footage I really didn’t know what to think other than to be in somewhat shock that he would be stupid enough to let his foolish thinking go public. Then again from the sound of it this appears to be a clandestine operation to let the world into the Jim Crow Plantation mindset that exists in Donald Sterling’s head.
We all want to believe that in 2014 we live in a world where our fellowman and women get judged by their merits and character. Ultimately, at the end of the day the fact of the matter is that a person’s actions good or bad should be the determining factor on the type of person they are perceived to be.
Unfortunately we live in the “real” world and comments like Sterling’s to his surprisingly minority mixed girlfriend show that some people are stuck in a very repugnant and archaic frame of mind. I think what makes it even worse is that Sterling himself being Jewish is also a minority and it’s no secret the tremendous discrimination his people have suffered through so to take his approach against other minorities is just flat out asinine.
This racist volcano has been bubbling for quite some time never really reaching full on Mt. Vesuvius to Pompeii proportions publicly but from his discrimination against minorities in his housing establishments, to the highly publicized fall out and comments from former GM and NBA Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor to now it’s safe to say this volcano is in full eruption.
The timing couldn’t be worse for his own Clippers team who are in a middle of a push to win the Western Conference Finals to compete for a championship. The team is muddled in a scandal of the ugliest kind. A team who’s players are predominantly African American and are all led by an African American coach for them to be answering questions in the media about the team owners plantation state of mind instead of focusing on basketball is flat out unacceptable.
It was hard watching a clearly distracted and befuddled Clippers team come out flat from the first quarter Sunday and never really get into this game. Can you blame them though? Yes Steph Curry was amazing and the Warriors played exceptional Sunday, that can’t be challenged. What can be challenged though is had this despicable news not been true and the Clippers were totally focused on the task at hand and not thinking that their owner felt that the Black players were no more than prized cattle would they have been more competitive? That’s something we won’t know but those of us who think people should all be treated fairly know this must be addressed expeditiously.
Adam Silver has made a statement for the NBA, Chris Paul (Ironically a Los Angeles Clipper) has made a statement for the Players Association, current and former greats have made statements to coincide with public outrage. So what’s next? How do you hurt a billionaire? Whatever the punishment is once it is confirmed that those comments are in fact Donald Sterling’s his punishment must be swift, harsh and set standard for what is no longer acceptable in the NBA or this modern world that we all have to live in together.
Hezzie McCaleb founded the Barbershop Sports brand in 2010 and has since been working tirelessly to establish it as the source of the most entertaining sports coverage around. He currently serves as Moderator and Executive Producer of the weekly nationally distributed radio show ‘Inside The Barbershop’, is Editor In Chief of the Barbershop Sports website, and is also a primary columnist with the nationally distributed Barbershop Sports blog. Hezzie is a self proclaimed pop culture fanatic and sports nut who is quoted as saying “Sports can’t thrive without Pop Culture otherwise, it’s not truly entertainment.” He thoroughly enjoys working with his team to educate, entertain and have fun while interfacing with our fans working to deliver simply the best in sports and pop culture content creation around. Any questions or comments Hezzie can be reached on twitter at @HezTheGreatOne or also by email at firstname.lastname@example.org