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What To Take Away From The Donald Sterling Scandal Reviewed by Momizat on . Obviously, the recording of Donald Sterling's conversation with his alleged girlfriend was horribly disturbing. (Here's the audio, if you haven't heard it yet.) Obviously, the recording of Donald Sterling's conversation with his alleged girlfriend was horribly disturbing. (Here's the audio, if you haven't heard it yet.) Rating: 0
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What To Take Away From The Donald Sterling Scandal

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Obviously, the recording of Donald Sterling’s conversation with his alleged girlfriend was horribly disturbing. (Here’s the audio, if you haven’t heard it yet.) Not only that his viewpoints reflected those of someone living in a different time, but the fact that this was an “educated” man who was in a position of power and great influence by being a lawyer, a real estate tycoon, and an NBA owner, made this even more appalling.

That is, for those who are unfamiliar with Donald Sterling.

Anyone familiar with the Clippers and its owner, however, has heard the stories before, and/or read the discriminatory litigation filed against Sterling as a landlord. But, to hear the actual viewpoints spewed from his mouth in his own words was quite repulsive, to say the least.

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The fact that he kept referring to “them” and “they” as people who were calling him — those apparently upset that the woman in the conversation was publicly associating with African-Americans — begs the question: Just how many more like Sterling who are in similar positions of power are out there?

That’s a question I don’t think I want the answer to.

Some people I’ve come across have actually said they don’t really think what Sterling said was that bad, and that he doesn’t necessarily come off as a racist in the recordings. Now, to be fair, he didn’t necessarily spew out racial epithets or come off as a man full of hate who wants to cause harm to African Americans, but he clearly sees black people as inferior and as different from himself — which is the definition of racism and discrimination.

In this day and age, especially in the NBA, those kinds of views simply could not be tolerated.

MagicJohnsonFortunately, powerful influences — both from within the league and from outside — voiced their intolerance for such views. The likes of Magic Johnson (who was the main subject of the conversation), NBA legend and current Bobcats’ owner Michael Jordan, current superstars Kobe Bryant & LeBron James, President Barack Obama, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jeanie Buss, former NBA All-Star and current Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, among many, many others, all strongly disapproved of Sterling’s views and were adamant that he has no place in the NBA.

Following a swift investigation, newly appointed NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, banned Sterling from the Clippers and the NBA for life and imposed a maximum $2.5 million fine. Directly afterwards, Mayors Johnson (Sacramento) and Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles) praised the move, along with Abdul-Jabbar and Steve Nash, who spoke on behalf of current players (Magic Johnson, who was not in L.A., also voiced his approval via Twitter).

The decision was widely accepted and praised around the league, and well received around the country as well.

However, the fact that this has come to light just reminds us that racism is ever-present in our society, and is still a huge problem in various different institutions — whether subtle or blatant. Many associate ignorance with those who are uneducated and perhaps not as exposed to other individual’s ways of life, but this disproves all of that. Here’s a man who lives in Los Angeles — one of the biggest melting pots in the world — and who is an (academically) educated person in a position of great power, who clearly has a view from an ancient age and does not see all races as equal. He’s certainly not the first case of this and won’t be the last.

AdamSilverThe positive to take away from all of this was the swift disapproval and condemnation that Sterling’s comments received from others in various different positions of power — regardless of racial background. From those who spoke out, the disgust was unanimous and it was made clear that this type of behavior would not only be unacceptable for a league predominantly consisting of African-Americans, but for our society in general.

The discussion of race — and all equality, for that matter — needs to be consistent and continuous in order to make progress, and hopefully this ugly incident reminds us of that. I say “incident,” but clearly this has been decades of despicable behavior, which has been proverbially swept under the rug or at least ignored for much too long. That is why, hopefully, we can all learn from this and learn to attack discrimination at its first sign, rather than waiting for decades before action is finally taken against it. Sterling was an easy target because of his history and the fact that his conversation leaked into the media and social media. Everyone had an opinion on it, and that opinion was virtually unanimous and the “correct” one: In one way or another, regardless of the degree people felt Sterling was guilty, he was guilty of something.

The challenge now, for all of us, is to take those views we felt so strongly about and implement them into our daily lives. This means speaking up or letting our feelings be known when we see something we don’t think of as “right.” This means voicing our displeasure with injustice in person, rather than behind 140 characters on the internet. As NBA fans, our idols and role models — past and present — found the courage to do it, even though some had spoken up long before this ugly instance (Elgin Baylor and Baron Davis, in particular).

The way in which this “black eye” for the league was handled is quite remarkable, and should serve as precedence for the eradication of all discrimination. In that sense, this embarrassing instance can be seen as a “blessing in disguise” and a learning experience for all. The way in which individuals widely banded together to protest a belief they strongly disagreed with was incredibly empowering and sent the message that, “We will not stand for this. We will stand together. As one.”

Now, it’s on all of us to do it in our daily lives, without the world watching.
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Kobe Bryant Responds To Sterling’s Racist Comments, ‘Should Not’ Own The Clippers


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About The Author

Suki is a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona and an unsigned contributing writer for Lakers Nation. Follow Suki on Twitter @TheRealSuki and Facebook. You can check out the rest of his work here.

Number of Entries : 180
  • LakersHeatBeef

    Well for me after this Donald Sterling serious racism case i have a whole new outlook on the NBA and life in general and it has made me a lot more cold towards the NBA a lot more less caring of the NBA.It has made me feel different as a human being and i no longer care about the NBA as much in fact i went to sleep last night during the 3rd quarter of the game between the Clippers and Warriors.I just lost a ton of interest in the NBA product as a whole and i feel much different deep down inside.Something is just not right about what is going on with Donald Sterling and the Clippers it’s seems like a hopeless feeling regarding the horrible racism issue that has come full circle regarding Clippers Owner Donald Sterling.So many people are outraged at Racist Bigot Sterling as they should be.Adam Silver is cracked the whip on Sterling with a lifetime ban.

    I honestly can never cheer for the Clippers as long as Donald Sterling is their owner,i never liked them anyways though.Also i have been a Lakers fan since the Magic Johnson Showtime Lakers and i would stop being a Lakers fan if i ever found out Jerry Buss was a racist back when he was alive or if i ever found out his son Jim Buss is a racist and thought of his players as slave in the cotton fields and he promoted slavery in his views and thoughts.No way i would hate that and stop being a Lakers fan right away.

    Their is no place for that crap in society.Just my overall thoughts.Yes Adam Silver is very serious about knocking down Donald Sterling and that’s great but it will take the other owners and a few more things to bring full justice of what must happen.Donald Sterling must step down as owner or he must be removed as owner.The judicial system will laugh Donald Sterling right out of court.The NBA has set rules and laws in their owner and CBA agreement.Sterling broke the law of ethics code.It’s over for him.Bravo Silver.

  • ersliva

    THE NBA BETTER BEWARE OF DONNY AND HIS ATTORNEYS NOW….SINCE THE NBA USED AN ILLEGALLY GATHERED TAPING AGAINST HIM HE AND HIS ATTORNEYS CAN USE THE DEFENSE OF(FRUITS OF A POSIONOUS TREE)TO SEEK COMPENSATION AGAINST ALL INVOLVED….AND THE TERM CONSPIRACY ALSO CAN BE USED SINCE ITS DEFINDED AS SUCH(KNOWINGLY OR NOT KNOWINGLY KNOWING THE OTHER PARTIES ENVOLVED ALL PARTIES ARWE AS GUILTY AS THE INITIAL PARTY IF SOMETHING IS DONE ILLEGALLY TO RUIN,PUNISH OR TAKE SOMETHING AWAY FROM ANOTHER)THE TAPING WAS ILLEGALLY DONE BY CALIFORNIA LAW PERIOD….THE LEAGUE BETTER PRAY HE DOESNT COME AFTER THEM FULL BORE WITH HIS BILLIONS TO RUIN THE NBA FOR THIS ACTION….BECAUSE HE HAS A LEGAL RIGHT TO DO SUCH AND WIN….EVEN THOUGH HES SSHOLE…ITS HIS RIGHT AS AN AMERICAN TO BE JUST THAT…..SO BEWARE OF DONNY

    • Don’t be naive

      Not entirely correct. The “illegally obtained evidence” wasn’t obtained illegally by the NBA. Fruit of the poisonous tree laws are relating specifically to evidence gathered illegally by police in criminal investigations. If a child molester keeps videos of him or her molesting a child, and the mollestors’ partner makes the tape public, the police can still act. Obviously the offender did not concent to the tape being released, but as the police didn’t obtain it illegally it can be used as evidence. Furthermore, the tape led to an investigation by the NBA, and Sterling acknowledged in interview that he made those remarks. The NBA has the right to remove him as owner, and force the sale of the team (pending a vote of owners). Sterling’s only legal recourse will be to sue the NBA after this is done and he is no longer an NBA owner. This is because he has signed a clause stating he cannot sue the NBA or another owner, while owning a team. The league obviously obtained legal advice on the likelihood of a lawsuit from Sterling, and decided this was the best action to take. Fear his lawyers?
      Hardly. The NBA has done nothing illegal. At all.

  • quickster

    Really, Spike Lee says some racial remarks how come his not in trouble. How come he never gets in trouble There is always a double standard when it comes to racism. It’s alright for blacks to say racial remarks and never get in trouble. Donald Sterling is racist. This time it sounds like he was set up with gold digger and a certain NBA player who really wanted to purchase an NBA franchise. What better way to ask gold digger to have Sterling say some racial remarks. Sterling is already a repeat offender. Bam! he did and the NBA commissioner handed him a ban for life and he has to sell the Clippers. It’s excessive cause Sterling looks like he might not live past 3 to 5 years. Give or take 2 years. Now, the NBA have a lot of buyers trying to get the Clippers. Magic Johnson and your partners have a chance to own the Clippers. You got your wish. Hopefully, You and your partner will be the owner of both the Clippers and the Dodgers. I hope Donald doesn’t go ballistic and sue the league and win.

    • gg

      Because NBA owns Donald Sterling and Donald Sterling hurt the brand image of the NBA brand.

  • K page

    Kareem had it right, Saturday the tape comes out five days later u loses his team. Magic shouldn’t be taking pictures with gold diggers that’s why he was so mad cookie his wife. Kick his butt. Kobe has something to say. If any women in the future, claims Kobe attacked them he should be band for life with in five days of the allegation. Period.

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