Posts Tagged ‘Adam Silver’

The Sterling Affair

Monday, April 28th, 2014

by B. Austin

Brad Blog

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo via BuschLeagueSports.com)

(Photo via BuschLeagueSports.com)

If people caught the conversations inside “the locker room of War Room Sports”, we would be banned, jailed, lynched, hung at the stake, and neutered.  My point being, as human beings we all can be insensitive in our conversations about other human beings.  Our prejudices can and do at times rear their ugly heads.  However, a consistent pattern of behavior towards others with certain malicious undertones indicates something more than prejudice or general ignorance.  Donald Sterling is the personification of something a little more heinous, and a line of thinking that has gone unchecked for far too long.

Through my travels on the world wide Web and interactions with the “internets”, there are a couple points I am putting out there in conversations regarding “The Donald Sterling Affair”: 1) We as black people ARE irate, as we should be, but we should remember it is not illegal to be racist.  It is not illegal to express racist beliefs.  Power behind any belief in this country comes from economic viability, exposure to to a mass audience, and support from that audience.  We have all supported Donald Sterling.  How you might ask?  By and large, passive inaction.  He has a history of this behavior that has gone unchecked and ignored.  He was already awarded an NAACP image award and was going to win a lifetime achievement award next month.  Due diligence was not done by us, or even more frightening,  was ignored as insignificant.  2) This point I will state facts and ask a question.  Donald Sterling purchased the Clippers for roughly $15 million.  They are presently worth $770MM.  When an owner or ownership team is selected and awarded a team by the league and the committee of other owners, VAST amounts of due diligence is done because that owner now represents the other owners and a larger global brand, with an audience of billions.  Even 30 years ago, due diligence was fairly stringent with David Stern.  Do you think the owners and NBA administration were not aware?  What is their culpability in this?  3) America turns a blind and cowardly eye to her current pathologies born from her past transgressions and trauma.  This perpetuates cowardice and weak character because we don’t inject responsibility, accountability,  and acknowledgement into our discussions about race, where we are, where we’ve been, and what is going on now.  4) Black people (and others); stop chastising and criticizing these players for not risking their financial livelihood by boycotting.  The vacuum in Black leadership can be blamed for their lack of “lay it on the line, John Carlos-like” actions.  They took adequate steps and may continue to protest.  At the end of the day, on any pro sports team, you play for the money, the love of the game, your teammates, your coach, and the fans…not ownership.  To expect them to risk $62 million (or any percentage of that salary number) is unfair.  If they did boycott, it would have been noble, honorable, and a beautiful thing, but not necessarily smart, as it would give Sterling an “out” of “non-performance” in any later legal proceedings or arbitration in an attempt to relieve him of ownership.  5) America; stop being so shocked and surprised at these racist feelings and circumstances rearing their ugly heads. We have not come that far and quite honestly we may have regressed due to societal and cultural declines in recent years.  Not to mention these are older white men who control and operate the socio-economic engines.  They grew up in the 40s, 50s, 60s.  They are direct descendants and/or participants in Jim Crow’s sons’ and grandsons’ views.  6) What is a 20-something woman of Black and Mexican decent doing dating Donald Sterling?  Does this remind you of the slave master’s relationship with Black female slaves?  He can hate pieces of you but exploit the things he wants?  7) Ultimately the true response and changing of the societal tides lie with the people, the fans. The players, the owners, etc are major stakeholders but nowhere near as powerful as the fan.  In today’s society where the culture of immediacy and sensationalism is prevalent,  how long will this remain an issue that the people are committed to?  WHAT WILL YOU DO?  NOT ANYONE ELSE.  Fight their power, become better people, and this goes away in generations and centuries.

Click here to watch the War Room Sports roundtable discussion on “The Sterling Affair”.

 

B. Austin of The War Room, for War Room Sports