Can We Please Oust Sterling?

I’ll tell you what, this Donald Sterling business is essentially just business.

Now is the time to leave if you were hoping for something positive to come from this post. 

There’s heaps of aspects to discuss within a story such as this and my hope is to at least open some eyes to outrageousness we are still dealing with today.

If you’ve been living under a rock (or simply don’t care enough to find out) National Basketball Association franchise Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has come under fire for comments he made in a recorded conversation with his girlfriend. Tapes have been released and the comments are more than disturbing.

A link to nine minutes of this conversation, if thats what we are calling it, can be found at tmz.com 

Now getting back to my first line. This is essentially business as usual.

Sterling has owned this franchise since 1981 for $12.5 million. And up until just recently, Sterling ran the team with basically the most minimal amount of effort. While, the Clippers were the laughing stock of the NBA for quite some time, the joke was really on all of us. 

Because, this man, Sterling was racking up shared revenue, TV money, etc, etc that go into owning a franchise regardless of success. Today, the Clippers valuation is nearly $600 million. 

And as we see with most people in power, a lot of what they do that negatively affects those with less than them goes without any real consequence. 

Exhibit A, Sterling made his money in real estate. In 2006, he was sued by the Department of Justice for not allowing blacks and Hispanics to rent his properties in LA. Oh fun addition, he didn’t want people with children there either, but that’s just one of those unsurprising facts that gets piled onto the stack. Essentially, Sterling didn’t rent to these peoples because they were not “desirable tenants.” 

And this wasn’t his first go around with a case such as this. Only three years earlier in 2003, Sterling settled a similar case in which the terms were not disclosed it was released that Sterling paid $5 million alone for the plaintiff’s lawyer fees. And clearly $5 million plus whatever was paid in the full settlement was nothing more than a “cost” for Sterling as he continued his ways only three years later.

Back to the tape. If you’ve listened to it already, the most disturbing parts are of course his comments. But so quickly overlooked are the fact that this is a conversation he is having with a “girlfriend.” Hello, the dude is married. The rich part was his wife’s response to the comments on the tape. “I do not condone the comments made,” said Rochelle Sterling. Apparently, you’re cool with adultery though. Money, man. 

Looking back to the NBA, the demographics show more than 70 percent are African American. One could argue, the millions he pays his athletes are just “costs” to run his plantation of a franchise. Baron Davis, retired NBA player, was a member of the Clippers only just four years ago and commented in a podcast for Grantland.com that Sterling would heckle him at games. “Yeah, he would call me a bastard,” said Davis. This kind of workplace harassment would lead to Davis questioning his love for the game. “I would be fine at shootaround and then I would see him come in…” said Davis.

As writer and TV host of ESPN Bomani Jones wrote in 2006 in his column concerning Sterling’s case, and apparent racism, “You gotta love racism, the only force in the world powerful enough to interfere with money-making.” 

But even then, Sterling makes so much money, whilst others with the power to make change turned away. The general consensus was as long as its not messing with my money there’s nothing I need to do about it. So Sterling went unchecked. 

Now we have a shot as a people, one that should seriously been done with all of this nonsense in 2014 to pressure those more affluent than us to make a change.

We have no place for a Donald Sterling.

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A Second Look at Michael Vick

Today, on First Take a TV show on ESPN there was a debate over a report that Michael Vick’s presence was being protested for training camp with his new team the New York Jets.

The fact that these things are still happening in America blows my mind.

And this is coming from a guy that absolutely slammed Vick in a column nearly eight years ago.

As a diehard Atlanta sports fan and dog lover (my parents have four, yes four), the Falcons have always been dear to my heart and I was completely distraught over Vick’s actions from 2001-2006, ultimately pleading guilty in 2007 and serving 19 months in prison.

Did you miss that people? Prison.

Vick paid his debt to society. 

Did we forget that’s how it works in our country? 

Yes, he was essentially responsible for killing countless dogs either directly or indirectly.

Yes, he left a franchise (the Falcons) in shambles and embarrassed an owner (Arthur Blank) that made him the richest player in pro football at that time with a contract north of $100 million. 

However, however, however, Vick has made good. 

We are over five years removed from his prison sentence ending and even further past any acts he committed. 

And not only did he serve a prison sentence essentially “paying his debt to society” his wallet paid as well.

Upon returning to the NFL, Vick’s first contract with the Philadelphia Eagles while certainly generous, went to multiple places at much higher percentages than anything Vick would see.

Vick owed approximately $19 million to creditors and whilst over the life of that contract only earned between 10 percent and 30 percent of the actual contract.

Most went to the Atlanta Falcons, various creditors, agents and other bankruptcy concerns. 

After you’ve been through all of that would you hope people would forgive?

I have. He’s good in my book. 

Can we get back on board with forgiving others especially after they have done their part?

Words

The last time I posted a poem it was a pretty sad effort.

Due to that, I had written this months ago, but never felt like sharing.

I recently watched some of my buddy’s work in poetry and was inspired to put this out there.

We want to find, so we seek
And while the future can be bleak
We press on
And get stronger, go harder until everything that’s left is gone.
Potential is now.
We can’t take it with us
And while this world can be malicious
God created “Wow”
Awestruck before Him
And He calls us His child
How much better can it be?
Lord, You complete me.
We want to love, so we trust
And though it’s a fuss
We’ve got to wade through the lust
And all of that other fuss
To find truth
And it’s stuck to You
King, Almighty
Truer than true.
So before we ascend
We’ve got to work on this blend
Our hearts on mend
Our Savior, The Christ.
For us, He paid the price.
Amen.

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Fear Being Conquered

I know. It’s been a while.

And really, I was going to go even longer without writing.

I think it’s because of a lot of reasons, but if I could pinpoint one it would be fear.

I just read this.

And it’s everything. It’s every single bit of what I deal with whenever I sit down to do this. 

Quick shoutout though to a few friends that this week, for whatever reason, mentioned my blog and asked what the deal was and why I hadn’t been writing. This is for y’all, and me too I suppose. 

I say that I write for my readers but y’all get from this just ends up as the byproduct.

I learn and grow from my writing and thankfully others draw something from it occasionally and for that I am incredibly grateful. It honestly blows my mind every time someone just mentions the blog in passing.

But back to the issue at hand. This fear thing.

It’s truly frightening. Honestly, a lot of times I get thoughts here and there on something I’d like to write about and I just can’t make it around to putting it out there.

Sometimes it’s controversial or too personal. But when I think about it, why am I holding back? If there’s something that should be said who am I to decide that it shouldn’t be?

So my hope is to fix that. 

I’ve been incredibly transparent here and I don’t plan on stopping that any time soon. 

I mean, the scariest thing I ever did was tell the world about my divorce. Easily the darkest time of my life, no joke. 

So, nothing too serious today, but I wanted to take the time to say I’m back and I’m ready.

No holding back.

Because really how much time do we truly have and what kind of impact are you trying to make?

 

 

 

Why I Chose To Go

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything for this blog.

I’ve been blaming it on school mainly and while there’s some truth to that I honestly just lost sight of why I started it in the first place..

As a means to bring healing.

That was my real reason anyway.

God used it mightily and it became somewhat of a resource or inspiration for others, but I benefitted as well from having an outlet to express what’s going on in my head.

And there’s a lot going on in there.

Lately I’ve switched up a few things school-wise and it’s brought about a renewed focus on moving to Sydney.

I plan to graduate this December and as soon as I can get to Australia the better.

Many have asked me what the draw is for me to Sydney and I usually say family, the excitement of living abroad, the beauty of the city/country, etc.

And to be fair that is all absolutely true.

But if I’m being real, which is always the case if you’re reading this blog, Sydney is my fresh start.

I’m not naive and I know it won’t fix everything, but being here, especially in Georgia, carries way too many memories.

Sydney offers a chance to hit reset like nothing else while still offering a support system via family and a new culture to immerse myself within and the ability to create new memories.

The weird thing that I keep running into here is while I’ve moved on some things just won’t let me go and I’ve concluded it’s just this place.

While I love it so, I need a break.

I don’t know how long that will be, but while I’ve got the chance, Sydney it is.

I’m not running from anything here or anyone for that matter, but I feel that I just need to take the chance to do something for me.

I’ve decided it’s my best plan of action.

Why Dating As A Christian Can Be So Difficult

I haven’t written in a week and it seems like an eternity.

I don’t like that.

However, I will say it’s seriously awesome when a friend asks me, “Hey, so uhh, what’s the next blog post going to be?”

I’m still not used to it.

But here we are, my next blog post, and an idea I’ve essentially always had to deal with: Dating as a Christian.

It’s difficult.

But do not dismay, because if you know me, I’m hardly a pessimist. I’m about to attempt to drop some hope, encouragement and maybe wisdom. (That might be a stretch.)

So here I’ll put a few ideas out there about what I find difficult in dating as a Christian and then destroy it with God’s truth & promises.

Are you ready?

The biggest issue is the whole argument of “Why wait?”

I’m talking about sex here and honestly any sexual immorality. It’s so much easier essentially, to just go with today’s view of relationships where the question is more often, “After which date do we sleep together?” opposed to “Can I see myself marrying this person?”

As a Christian it should always be the latter. Those first few dates should be about getting to know that other person. Compatibility should be based on whether or not this person is someone you enjoy being around, adds to the constantly changing & growing thing I like to call your life and shares the values & morals you possess.

Waiting is tough. I know, because I didn’t, but I can tell you as someone looking at this from the other side, you know, that place you can’t go until you’re there, I wish I had waited.

The foundation of a relationship is so much stronger when you allow commitment to lead to intimacy. There’s nothing to be worried about when that’s the approach we take.

Sometimes though, as Christians we do a pretty decent job, thanks to God’s grace, at putting together a fairly solid relationship. At that point, watch out. The enemy would much rather wreck something viewed as successful than something that never really seemed to get off the ground.

And even after you may say,”There’s too much required of this”

It can seem that way. Dating as a Christian can seem like there’s so many more rules to follow than dating outside of a Christian’s world view. Of course the most common has already been discussed , but on a broader level Christians hear all the time, “guard their heart.”

This is absolutely crucial to dating as a Christian because I’m going to be honest with you, just because you’re both Christian and things are going well doesn’t mean that person is going to be the one. When that comes to pass, you have held the responsibility during that entire relationship of leaving the least amount of scars possible on that person so they can be in the best shape for their future spouse and likewise for you.

That’s a lot to take in. This isn’t a game. I like to write about selfishness a lot because I feel it’s so crucial not just in relationships, but life in general. When selfishness isn’t curbed it births these scars. We all fall, I get that, but where we are called as Christians is to seek God’s grace and walk in the righteousness He offers in salvation.

Something as simple as committing to not cuddling, while may seem legalistic, can show that you care more about healthier ways of expressing affection and that you respect your partner by not opening doors towards crossing boundaries much bigger.

And that’s why this can be difficult. There’s more to deal with than is realized and it can become frustrating even at times, but we are called to be more. To be set apart. Patience & selflessness can help you get there with a daily helping of God’s grace.

Thank you for reading and I hope you all have a blessed day.

Take care.

5 Things Guys & Girls Need To Know (In A Relationship)

No matter what I do I keep coming back to writing about relationships.

I’m hardly that guy, but honestly every time someone says they read my blog they mention the relationship posts.

So here we are. All the thoughts bouncing around my head concerning relationships.

And this time, since I’ve written mainly to guys about what they need to be doing and what they need to stop doing in dating, I’m taking the next step.

Here’s 5 things guys & girls need to know in a relationship.

1. They Are Their Own Person

Space is important. And no, I don’t mean the whole “I need space we’re not breaking up  space” that freaks everyone out. Those comments come from not establishing the boundaries in the first place. Yes, y’all are a couple, but you don’t need to be together all of the time.

We’ve heard distance makes the heart grow fonder. Allow that to happen in the relationship. Don’t try to do everything you can to somehow be included in that “family” vacation.

2. There Should Always Be Growth

And that leads to this. You’re always going to need to grow. And a lot of that can be done together, but not all of it. Talk to each other about goals and constantly assess those. If you’re getting more serious you can talk about what those may look like together, but don’t overextend your current agreed upon commitment level.

3. Words Matter

This thought was actually the inspiration for this entire post. Words are so crucial.

Incredibly important.

For guys: Women will remember every promise. Therefore, your words cannot be empty. There’s a lot of power in what you say and that’s why she will usually react positively to promises you make. Just know, you better follow through or don’t say it at all.

Ladies: Men need encouragement and support. Therefore, any of the opposite can really tear us down. Tell us enough times something negative about ourselves and it’s more than likely that we’ll start to believe it.
4. Memories Are Important But…

Don’t force anything. The best times you will have together are the ones where you didn’t try to take a picture of every single moment. Social media has caused this as we want others to share in what we have going on. Novel idea here, let those memories stay between the two of you and they’ll be special to each of you.

5. Always Respect Each Other

This cannot be stressed enough. And it’s pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised what form this can take. I’ve written before about this before and it mainly concerns selfishness. Once you’ve entered into a relationship there’s a shift from working who you are (but still work on that) into helping add to that person. If you’re still predominantly worried about yourself you will do things that can hurt your partner.

Another thing on this though, pointed out by my roommate (and faux editor of this blog) concerning boundaries. He agrees respecting the other is crucial, but the way he says to approach it is to not allow the other to overstep your bounds. And don’t be afraid to hurt the others feelings in a way (as in talk about it, bluntly) to get those points across.

So here’s some thoughts. Nothing heavy. Nothing amazing.

Hopefully this helps out and serves as somewhat of a guide of a few things to remember. I hope all is well and that God blesses you all as we tread into 2014.

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