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.