Will we ever truly escape Racism? Even in modern melting pot America, an episode occurs that is so illogical and mind boggling that it reminds us that race is still a pressing topic in this nation. Today’s bigot is Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Sterling made headlines Sunday when a conversation between him and his girlfriend was made public by TMZ. In the recording Sterling makes several racist remarks regarding African Americans and their existence in modern society. Sterling berates his half black half Latina girlfriend, a woman identified as V. Stivia, for broadcasting herself in the presence of African Americans. Sterling specifically identifies a post from Stivia’s Instagram in which she is pictured with Hall of famer Magic Johnson. Sterling also asks that she not bring African Americans to Clippers games.
These comments are appalling, especially from someone who owns a franchise in a league in which 80% are African American players. It’s not surprising to learn that Sterling has a history of racism that predates his ownership of the Clippers. Sterling, a real estate mogul with a net worth of almost two billion, has refused to rent out apartments to African American and Latino tenants. More curiously, Sterling was set to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP.
Sterling has proven himself unworthy of NBA ownership, but what can the league do to discipline him? The league cannot forcibly remove him from the team and will most likely deal out a substantial fine and push him to sell the team. Sterling’s remarks put the Los Angeles Clippers in a compromising position. How could a team, mostly comprised of black athletes, compete for a championship under the regime of a man who is a racist. Sterling is the latest racist ingrate to surface and he surely won’t be the last. The NBA must take a stand and ensure its players, coaches and fans that it will not tolerate racism on any level.