Every week I have the same dilemma—that is, what should I write about in this week’s paper? This predicament stems from different sources. Near the end of winter, there wasn’t too much going on in sports so it was difficult to find something worth writing about. Now, however, the opposite problem exists; there is so much going on—the NBA Playoffs, NHL Playoffs, start of the MLB season and the NFL Draft coming up—that it is hard to pick just one topic to write about. I could fill up the entire Crusader with articles and still end up leaving important sporting news out. Plus, as I have mentioned in the past, the time sensitive nature of many of these topics make them hard to write about because by the time the paper gets published, what was new news has already become old news and so much has changed. For example, I could write an article about Vince Carter’s buzzer-beater three yesterday, but by the time you would read it, it would have happened six days ago and you will have seen the replay approximately 173 times already (this whole issue of time with papers could shed some light on the rise of the up to the minute internet and subsequent fall of newspapers. Then again, I probably shouldn’t say that. Nothing beats the feeling of reading the news while holding a newspaper!). Therefore, I always strive to find a topic that is as timeless as possible so I don’t run into the problem of publishing “old news” that people won’t be interested in anymore.
This week, with it being the last issue, I especially wanted to find such a topic to send the readers off with a good article (not that I don’t try to make my other articles good). Unfortunately, the topic of which I will now write about after 300 somewhat related words (I’m right to the point, as you can tell)will likely turn out to be timeless. Now, I know what you’re thinking “oh my gosh, I can’t believe he accidentally typed ‘unfortunately’ instead of ‘fortunately’ that is so embarrassing. What an amateur.”  But I get the last laugh because it wasn’t a typo; I meant to write unfortunately because the news I am referring to—Donald Sterling’s unseemly and racist comments—is unfortunate.
If you haven’t heard, a ten minute long cellphone conversation—filled with bigoted statements—between the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers Donald Sterling and his girlfriend V. Stiviano was released on the internet. To my untrained ear, the recording sounds authentic. A more comprehensive investigation by the NBA will uncover if it is a true recording, but Sterling, at least at this point, is not denying anything.
The conversation is, at least to me, quite disturbing. In it, Sterling is berating his girlfriend (he is also married, mind you, but at this point, his unfaithfulness is pretty far down on my list of qualms with him) for taking a picture with Magic Johnson and posting it on “the Instagram” as he called it. The conversation escalated to the point where he told Stiviano “don’t come to my games. Don’t bring black people, and don’t come.”
For me, someone who has grown up in the Northeast in the late 20th and early 21st century with little exposure to any type of intolerance, I cannot fathom the racism on display here. There are so many problems with what he said during the recording that I don’t even know where to start. Let’s go over the obvious problems first.
Problem 1: She took a picture with Magic Johnson. How can you get mad at someone for taking a picture with Magic Johnson? It’s Magic Johnson! Yeah, I get he’s a racist, but as an NBA owner, he should realize that—race notwithstanding—Magic is the greatest point guard to ever live. Similar to the wise words of Will Ferrell in Step Brothers, “you’re not gonna not get Randy Jackson’s autograph”, you’re not gonna not get a picture with Magic Johnson.
I loved Stiviano’s response too, as she asked him, “If it was Larry Bird, would it make a difference?” Sterling had no response. Stiviano-1, Sterling-0.
Problem 2: His girlfriend, Stiviano, is, as she says during the recording, both black and Latina. So by that logic, Sterling is not only a foolish racist, but also a hypocrite. He takes Stiviano to games and, I’m sure, takes pictures with her as well. I guess he’s only a racist when it’s convenient for him.
Problem 3: Sterling clearly has a problem with minorities. However, in his own field, the NBA, he is the minority. As of 2011, the league was 78% black, 17% white, 4% Latino and one percent Asian. Not only does he not know (or care) about the people in his business, but he also doesn’t seem to understand that minority is a relative term. In this case, Donald Sterling is in the minority and you know what, I don’t want him coming to my intramural games.
Problem 4: Racism is one thing. Stupidity is another thing. The combination of the two is just the worst. As a person in power, Sterling needs to realize that he is setting an example and that everything he says—whether he thinks it is private or not—could be made public (hopefully, now he knows). It was the same situation with Riley Cooper last year. Famous people should be read their Miranda Rights upon entering the spotlight: “Anything you say can and will be used against you”.
Then again, it is still no excuse. Sterling knew what he was saying and was dumb to say it for more reasons than just that people would hear it. Commissioner Adam Silver should inform Donald Sterling that “racist, close-minded, and stupid is no way to go through life.”
Problem 5: Donald Sterling was set to receive a second lifetime achievement award from the NAACP (he will not be getting that anymore, I imagine). Putting the fact that the NAACP thought he deserved two lifetime achievement awards (two in one lifetime seems excessive for anyone, no?) aside, how can Sterling, in his right mind, accept that award and still sleep at night? Maybe he never thought he was a racist himself or maybe he knew he was putting one over on everybody. Either way, there is something not right going on up in his head, which I guess we have already established.
In the end, it boils down to this: Donald Sterling is close-minded, hypocritical, foolish, and, worst of all, racist. (I would quote the wise Snoop Dogg here as well, but I don’t think that would be in line with the content standards here. Let’s just say, Snoop Dogg did not mince words. If you are interested and not opposed to hearing one or two or 83 curse words, watch Snoop Dogg’s response on “the Instagram”.)
This is 2014; there is no room for racism, especially from influential people. Sterling is of the belief that “we don’t evaluate what’s right and wrong, we live in a society. We live in a culture. We have to live within that culture.” In his mind, there is hatred toward minorities and there is nothing we can do to change that so we might as well live with it.
And you know what? I agree with him (somewhat), not that we have to live within a culture of racism and accept it without trying to change that. If that were the case, we would be perpetually stuck in the antebellum South. But I agree that we should live with the hatred of minorities. Not racial minorities. Idealistically close-minded minorities. The small part of our society who have racially motivated hate in their hearts. They should be cast out, berated, and hated.
Right now, Donald Sterling has “to live within that culture”. No one wants him at their basketball games, not even his own team. And certainly no one wants to take pictures for “the Instagram” with him. His hatred from his statements will soon wear off on those affected by it, but the hatred for him as a person will never fade. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.