The LA Clippers Could Have Stood Taller By Sitting Down

Black people are weak.

It wasn't always that way. In fact, African Americans used to fight and sacrifice any and all they had in the name of pride.

Now, all we worry about is playing ball, not stopping the money train and worst of all, not making The Man mad.

What a damn shame.

That's the best way to describe what didn't happen on Sunday. In the wake of a recording that is believed to be Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in a racist rant caught on tape, there was an NBA playoff game in Oakland.

There should not have been.

In the recording, Sterling, a longtime owner, basically ripped black people, openly said he hates people of color and that black people are "the enemy."


The Clippers' response? Wearing their warm-ups inside out when they came out to the court.

Yes, it was weak.

The players should have boycotted the game against the Golden State Warriors and forced new NBA commissioner Adam Silver to react and respond with swiftness and severe action like never seen before.

This is a defining moment in the NBA, one players should have taken the lead role. This wasn't one of those moments to sit back and let the league handle it, especially since the league has turned a blind-eye to Sterling's horrible racist behavior for decades.

It's clear Sterling – who at one point in the tape told his girlfriend not to bring black people to his games – has no use for black people; unless, of course, we put on costumes and entertain the white folks from coast to coast.

Praise to Magic Johnson, a target in Sterling's racist rant, who said he would never attend another Clippers game as one as Sterling is the owner. That's powerful, swift.

Also LeBron James, Charles Barkley and Jalen Rose all denounced Sterling. James said there's no place in the NBA for such a man.

President Obama even weighed in. This wasn't a sports matter. It cut us to the core of who we are.

It didn't matter about the talent and hard work of black people or the fact that Sterling paid these black people – those that he allegedly can't stand – millions of dollars to play basketball.

All that mattered was the color of a person's skin. And apparently, in Sterling's eye, brown skin was reason enough to hate.

This is the same hate black people have endured ever since arriving on America’s shores in slave ships. For some, the success and achievements black people have made just don't mean a thing.

There comes a time when a game just doesn't matter, when you have to take a stand and stop allowing people to disrespect and you and your people.

The sad part is that many knew of Sterling's disdain for African Americans. He's been involved in many lawsuits, including one of racial discrimination in which he agreed to a $2.7 million settlement.

Yet, the black players kept on playing. No one stopped to read the news of this man and say anything.
Enter now former NBA commissioner David Stern, who was lauded as he retired after 30 years at the helm.

Stern has to get plenty of blame for this mess. He never disciplined Sterling despite countless situations that called for punishment. For sure, had it been a player, Stern would have been quick to act.

That's why a boycott, a stop in action, was a way to let the NBA — and corporate America, for that matter – know it's no longer business as usual and that black people aren't just going to take the money and continue to be disrespected.

And all the other owners should be called out as well. They allowed a rat to live amongst them. They turned their heads, took the money and played along.

And shame on all the free agents and coach Doc Rivers. They knew this man's history because it has spanned decades. Yet, they took his money and went to work for a man who hates them and their people.

Yet, they just keep playing because many don't get it. Many African Americans gave up a lot more than just a lost basketball game to make sure we were treated the same as everyone else, regardless of a person's skin color.

But it's the playoffs! That's what the blind kept saying in defense of playing on.

And the notion that the team is playing for each other and not Sterling just isn't true. It's his team, his money and ultimately, if they won the title, Sterling's championship trophy.

That would be weak, indeed.

Back to top