Donald Sterling is rich. He’s crass. He’s old school. He’s into younger chicks. You can’t blame him for these things. It’s just what he is. There’s just one more thing that the man is.
When you are young, parents and teachers ask you what you want to be when you grow up. An astronaut, a fireman, a doctor- those are accepted answers. “Backward-thinking bigoted racist” is not what anyone aspires to be. There are many factors that have led to Sterling’s way of thinking, but none of which make it acceptable at all, especially in 2014. This is a time where social media rules all, and it was never more evident than yesterday. It began with people reminding everyone about this 2009 ESPN piece on Sterling’s sketchy ways.
Up until the last few years, Sterling's biggest crime was being one of the worst owners in sports. He was the head of a franchise that seemed cursed at times, drafting and whiffing on so many highly-rated lottery picks it became passe. The culture of losing cultivated bad attitudes by many a player, and then it changed. Blake Griffin was drafted in 2009, and Chris Paul made his way to the Clippers in 2011. Since then the team has been molded into a contender, and this year finished with the team's best record in its entire history.
But Sterling hadn't changed- and that might have been his biggest crime of all.
The piece by Peter Keating is damning to say the least and an eye opener. If you knew anything about Sterling, this revelation was not very surprising. It's just the simple fact that he actually had this discussion with his girlfriend in 2014 was surprising. It's not even a quick quote, or one word- or anything that can be misconstrued. It's a nine minute and twenty-six second noose that goes in circles. Sterling says his girlfriend has every right to be around people of African-American ethnicity all day and all night. He brings up Instagram, causing her to reference Magic Johnson who she had taken a picture with. He tells her she can feed him -and in gentler words- sleep with him. She just can't take African American people with her to Clippers' games.
It's not like Sterling is an owner in a league that is made up predominantly of black men. Oh wait- he is.
What is infuriating is not only what he says, but how much conviction lies behind each and every nonsensical word. They go back and forth, with the problem apparently being his girlfriend's need to "broadcast" her association with people of color:
"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?"