By DYLAN MALONE
Let me break my month-long hiatus from writing to spill my thoughts on the recent NBA controversy. Yes, I know. “Another NBA column?! Seriously?”
This one is worth the conversation, though.
It’s a funny world we find ourselves in with social media and opinions looming large. Donald Sterling found that out the hard way when he opened his mouth about his opinion on the black community.
Let me start with the facts about Sterling. He’s always been a scumbag.
That’s not an opinion. He has literally had racist and disgusting behavior in his demeanor for as long as he has owned the Clippers. As noted by Kareem Abdul Jabbar in a recent interview, Sterling used to deny room and board for black players once upon a time stating that they attract diseases and are unclean.
But the NAACP wanted to give this man a Lifetime Achievement Award...
They have already given him honors before and have used his name on scholarship funds and grants KNOWING these facts but turning a blind eye to them.
Now the soon-to-be former Clippers owner is on the hot-seat for his racist comments about African Americans and suddenly they are up in arms about it demanding a change? Fast forwarding to the present time, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are among the primary reasons we are talking about this...oh yeah, and TMZ for “breaking” this news story.
The media, on a slow day in sports, jumped all over this story once it went viral ignoring the despicable way that it went viral in the first place.
Don’t get me wrong, Sterling is a pig. He doesn’t deserve to have an NBA team. But consider for a moment the way we are mobbing this man for words he said in the privacy of his own home.
We all have freedom of speech but that only protects him from serving jail time for his nasty opinions. What is fully legal and under the laws of the NBA is the ability and sometimes the need to rid the league of people like Sterling.
This is not one of those cases of innocent until proven guilty. He’s guilty. We should all feel a little ashamed about the way this has come about, though.
It’s like when a cop stumbles upon a car they’ve pulled over for speeding and finding a bag of drugs in the back seat. Sure the information may not have been freely given, but now that it’s out in the open the officer has to act. So does the NBA.
What’s funny about this is that I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt this man is not the only racist, pig owner in the NBA. Rest assured the remaining 29 owners in the league are now checking under their couches and tables for recording devices.
That’s the world we have created with social media. A tid-bit of information here or there (truth optional) can ruin a player/coach/owner’s career if put on the web or social media sphere for all to see. It’s happening every day. You’re reading about things that players are doing and saying that you would have never known about 15 years ago.
Is that such a bad thing? Never has our world been so connected at the hip with each other...and yet so far away. I think sometimes we all forget to look up from our phones and actually say hello to the person walking past us. That’s a conversation for another day, however...
Like most things that become polarizing in this country in the news, the story has two ways of looking at it. Firstly, Sterling got what he deserved for stating his opinions so brashly, even in his own home. As a man with a twitter account and a following of the Clipper masses he has to realize his every word can be dissected by the media, and was.
The other side is that the woman who taped him and sold it to TMZ is just as despicable if not lower than Sterling himself. Everyone wants a pay day and this girl got one. She may not have foreseen the controversy at its full scale but she knew what she was getting into when she brought the recorder with her and led Sterling into a loaded conversation.
This will continue to happen as long as social media drives our world, which for the foreseeable future, will be quite a long time.
The hilarious/most disgraceful part of all of this? We need not weep for Sterling. His punishment for all of this is to cash in on his investment. He will sell the Clippers for a ridiculous sum of money and sleep well at night doing it.