HOUSTON-Members of the National Black United Front (NBUF), not only have a stern statement condemning the alleged recent tape recorded comments of Los Angeles Clippers Owner Donald Sterling but also are calling for NBA and other professional players to do a complete identity “heart and gut” check.
In a open letter to the NBA Commissioner, Owners and Players Association, NBUF spells out clearly that the line has been drawn in the sand on racism in this country.
“This issues strikes a huge chord and signals that there are larger issues that need attention,” said Kofi Taharka, NBUF National Chairman who is based in Houston. “We are making a public statement with real solutions because it is not the time to do damage control. We must get down to the roots (or racism) and deal with it.”
NBUF believes that Mr. Sterling’s thoughts, comments and actions are not isolated and maybe a reflection of other owners, front office personnel and some players that are associated with the NBA.
According to Taharka, the situation with Sterling and Black NBA players and owners fits into the historical and contemporary paradigm which promulgates the global system of White Supremacy and Racism.
“The National Basketball Association (NBA) has an opportunity to address this prevalent system structurally, and not on a surface level,” he said. “No amount of damage control or spin doctors, can dispel the undergirding foundation of America, i.e. White Supremacy/Racism.”
“This mentality spoken and unspoken is pervasive in our society,” Taharka said. “From the world of sports to entertainment and in government, there is no denial. It exists.”
Consequently, we believe that it would behoove the NBA to use this time as a “teachable moment” and institute training to educate all of its personnel about the plight and difficulties of people of African descent, as well as other people of color, he said.
One highly recommended resource to help understand the issue is called “40 Million Dollar Slave” written by William C. Rhoden and “The Isis Papers” by Dr. Francess Cress Welsing.
Taharka said the NBA players and coaches many of which are people of African descent, must take a meaningful stance against this system structurally designed to “subjugate our humanity in the tradition of Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Jim Brown, Bill Russell, Curt Flood and many others.”
NBUF suggests that the NBA Owners and all professional sports owners come forward now and publicly condemn the alleged statements of Mr. Sterling.
“These brothers do not understand the power they have,” he said. “This was a historical moment and in that moment they could have sent shock waves across the economy and the country with a strong stand.”
In addition NBUF is calling for a public scrubbing or vetting of sports organizations for racist behaviors and practices and being public, transparent and forthcoming about all findings.
Taxpayers are often unaware that because many of these stadiums and franchises are often supported in some form by taxpayer dollars.
NBUF is clear that it wants to see a national discourse on the global system of WhiteSupremacy/Racism centered around, structural changes and should be ongoing discussion a on national level.
“Finally, the many fans of and advertisers with the L.A. Clippers, should look very closely at withdrawing your economic support of these franchises until such time the aforementioned foundational issues are satisfactorily addressed,” he said.