Although I am not a sports fan, I find myself knowing more about sports because my husband watches ESPN morning, noon, and night (lol). But the latest news regarding the recent audio tape circulating accusing LA clippers owner, Donald Sterling, of making racist comments about him not wanting his girlfriend to associate with black people… caught my attention. How do you think the NBA should handle this situation? Listen to the tape here. If these accusations are true I don’t believe it’s the first time and Sterling is not the only one who feels this way. I do believe this “questions” the integrity of the NBA brand. The NBA is composed of more than 75% of African-American players. As an African-American woman I have dealt with racism in the workplace and even though it is demeaning and hurtful, many times it’s hard to prove and becomes “you say” “they say”. Making you feel “powerless” because the individuals you are dealing with are in a high ranking positions. Unfortunately this is not an NBA problem but a society problem, a cultural problem.
If I were one of the basketball players or coaches I can’t say what I would do…it’s a challenging situation, we see them as basketball players but this is their job, their livelihood, the way they support their families. Not to mention they signed a contract and if they broke it what would that cost them? But if you can’t make a stand on something so blatantly wrong and you know for a fact that your employer has no respect for you, what else needs to happen for you to make a stand?
As a parent I try to instill in my daughter values of respect for all people. Unfortunately, there will never be a time when EVERYONE loves and respects you even if you are a famous celebrity. But at the end of the day you can’t control how people treat you but you can control how you respond to them.
What would you do if you were Adam Silver or one of the LA Clippers players or coaches?
UPDATE (April 30, 2014) Adam Silver has BANNED Donald Sterling for LIFE from the NBA and fined him with 2.5 million dollar fine. Additionally he stated he will strongly encourage the other NBA owners to force Sterling to sell the LA Clippers.
Do you think this is an appropriate call? What does it say about the NBA’s leadership? What if it was a coach or one the basketball players, should they be punished in the same manner?
Please feel free to leave any thoughts you have in the comment area below