By Darwin Campbell, African-American News&Issues
“LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s comments about African Americans are a black eye for the NBA.” – Magic Johnson
HOUSTON–The alleged words of NBA Clippers owner Don Sterling are words that will go down in infamy, but even worse are the multimillionaire Black players and coaches and Black America are the ones being punked.
“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?…How about your life everyday you can do whatever you want. You can sleep with [Black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it… and not to bring them to my games.”- Don Sterling
Black Clippers players made their decision to play and not boycott at least one playoff game amidst the racist comments made by owner Sterling.
This represents a missed opportunity for Powerful respected Black Athletes from Black America to make an active statement right off the top and make it clear for all Black people that racist and disparaging comments about Black people at any income or economic level will no longer be tolerated period.
The alleged recording of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling going on an agitated tirade toward his Black-Mexican girlfriend for “associating” with Black people. Even when that Black person has achieved Magic Johnson’s stature. On the recording, Sterling claims that racism is a “culture” that we all have to live with.
Black athletes are either playing with “small balls” or it demonstrates that despite their millions, they are nothing more than highly paid employees in lock step and dancing the entertainment “jig” for rich White owners who control their wallets and makes it clear that Blacks are not welcome.
President Obama said. “The United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation, that’s still there, the vestiges of discrimination.”
No need to be shocked or appalled by Cliven Bundy wanting us to return to cotton fields and slavery or Don Sterling’s comments that Blacks are not good enough to be around him.
Black America needs to know that Sterling is No Lone Ranger.
There are many White owners who feel the same way as Sterling and show it in so many other ways.
Look at the Black unemployment rate in America. It is twice that of White America and for those fortunate enough to land employment in a White company, you are not being paid the same as the White boys despite being better, smarter and more talented than they are. That is a fact!!!
Don Sterling represents the tip of the iceberg.
He only verbalized what so many in the all-White country clubs of America talk about all the time.
It was Jesus who said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh”. It is in the heart of many Whites in corporate America to put a foot on the necks of African-American males.
If we can make them money dunking or shooting balls, hitting home runs, running a football, catching passes or sacking quarterbacks, then we have market value.
Black Athletes from LeBron James to Chris Paul have an obligation to be a voice for Black America.
On the issue, James was clear. “There is no room for Donald Sterling in our league. There is no room for him.” — LeBron James, Miami Heat forward.
With the kind of respect some NBA players command, if the Don Sterlings of the NBA and corporate America don’t respect them and consider them just Ni*g!rs making billions for them , it would be interesting to know how they really feel about hourly Black employees paid only $8.00 an hour.
In other words, if they do not respect you, they certainly don’t respect Black fans and Black workers who support the NBA at games.
Today, Blacks face attacks on Voting rights under fire, an unfriendly Supreme Court, Affirmative Action under fire and now some corporate leaders and owners of NBA teams and White America are “coming out” expressing how they really feel about Black people.
“As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views,” Charlotte Bobcat Owner Michael Jordan said in a statement. “I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly.
“As a former player, I’m completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA — or anywhere else — for the kind of racism … I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport. In a league where the majority of players are African-American, we cannot & must not tolerate discrimination at any level.”
Black NBA athletes missed a great opportunity to demand respect for themselves and for Black people.
When will these rich multimillionaire athletes understand that what affects one affects us all as Black people living in a “hostile” nation.
“The reported comments made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling are reprehensible and unacceptable. The National Basketball Players Association must and will play a very active role in determining how this issue is addressed. There needs to be an immediate investigation and if the reports are true, there needs to be strong and swift action taken.” — Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA player.
The only way to get the racist rich White power structure in America to hear the Black voice is to do what some activists and some parents in Houston Independent School District are doing and that is for Black NBA players to unite and send a strong message and do a swift boycott and show those people who really controls their “purse”.
Black NBA Players Stop “Soft Shoeing” this issue and GROW A PAIR!!!!
We will be waiting….
MORE TO COME