National Basketball Association (NBA) Commissioner Adam Silver had no choice but to come down “hard” as some judged the punishment on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for his stellar racist performance, captured on audio tape.
I laughed at the punishment. “Banned for life” on an 80-year-old man? Maximum NBA fine of $2.5 million for a racist billionaire’s conduct is equally laughable. Nevertheless, I believe Commissioner Silver would have imposed a greater punishment if allowed under NBA rules.
Commissioner Silver’s press conference deserves no more than a C+ grade due to the lack of his leadership experience in the fight against corporate racism in American sports. However, the leadership from wealthy Blacks deserves an F minus for, being all too ready to pounce on the opportunity to line their pockets off of Donald Sterling’s racist diarrhea.
It is a who’s who list of Black celebrities standing in line to buy the LA Clippers. This embarrassing and sad reminder suggests many wealthy Blacks see no sin in making a buck off a known racist.
Former LA Lakers great Ervin “Magic” Johnson, who was the target of, Sterling’s racist rant against Blacks has a net worth of $700 million. This wealthy Black man was so hurt and offended by Sterling’s remarks did not have time to wipe away his tears before heading to the front of the line, as a potential buyer of the LA Clippers.
The queen of daytime TV, Oprah Winfrey has also expressed interest in making a bid for the team, to the point of being in talks with Oracle’s CEO Larry Ellison. The only thing Ellison needs from Oprah might be her fax machine with a working clock.
The billionaire Oracle CEO outbid the now owners, of the NBA Golden State Warriors franchise a few years ago. Ellison lost out due to the fact that his higher bid, was faxed late.
I believe in dreaming big but some limelight hawks can’t possibly think that the NBA is so desperate for minority inclusion that it would consider these famous minority boxers or Black rappers. Their sins make Donald Sterling look like Mother Teresa.
I am not aware of Magic Johnson, Oprah Winfrey, Rev. Jesse Jackson or even Rev. Al Sharpton offering to make a statement on behalf of all Blacks that does not appear to be self-serving.
American professional sports are playing a shell game with the racist behavior that continues to run many of its front offices because no one is willing to take a stand. Some view the May 1, 2014 unanimous (29 votes) decision by the other NBA owners to go forward with forcing Sterling to sale the Clippers as taking a stand against racism. I see this too as self-serving.
Meanwhile the MLB and NFL are quietly sitting on the sidelines hoping no one is paying attention to their self-serving ways.
Major League Baseball’s slick campaign suggests Jackie Robinson “broke” the color barrier. To break something takes force, Robinson was allowed to play.
If the National Football League was so concerned about the plight of Blacks, they would not be in San Francisco today. Planning for the 2016 Super Bowl hosted by The City right in the middle of a “San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce” boycott of the city’s travel and tourism industry speaks for itself.
If God asked any Black person to give a cup of water to Donald Sterling, the only question to Sterling should be, “Mr. Sterling, would you prefer a straw with your water?”
So one can only imagine that these, “Professional Blacks”, as coined by President Obama in his book; are only listening to media hawks offering life preserving devices for the Captain and his crew.
Donald Sterling is captain of his sinking ship. He will motor away in a billion dollar life boat as the ultimate punishment for being a racist forced to sale the NBA franchise he purchased in 1981 for a mere $12 million.
Meanwhile, a life raft provided by TMZ or the evening news team is awaiting Black leaders content with fighting racism, by pointing the finger at an 80-year-old man; oblivious to what is keeping them afloat.
Allen Jones is a prison reform activist living in San Francisco and author of Case Game-Activating the Activist. His autobiography of a black, crippled homosexual is in the San Francisco Public Library.