It is pretty much a given in this day and age of huge media that some public figure will slip up and say something very controversial. When those comments come out, they spread like wildfire and the accused is stuck with some serious damage control. It could be a simple little joke that gets totally blown out of proportion. Careers have been ruined by a simple slip of the tongue. Any racial comment is especially toxic; they are not forgivable. You will be branded as a racist for the rest of your life. Of all the controversial comment that I have ever heard from a public figure, the alleged comments made by the owner of the LA Clippers NBA team, Donald Sterling are among the most disturbing ever. lf those comments about not wanting black people to attend your games are true, then Sterling might go down as one of the biggest high-profile racists ever.
Imagine for a minute what the players of the Clippers must be thinking. A majority of them are black. If the owner of the company that I work for is black and he told someone that he does not want any white people to buy our products, I would be greatly offended. Why would I want to put forth any effort to make this guy look good as an owner? He just insulted my race for crying out loud!! I don’t want to work for this knucklehead. I cannot imagine that the moral on the Clippers is very good right now. That is very unfortunate because they are one of the most exciting and best teams in the NBA right now. After those comments became known yesterday, one has to wonder how this will affect them for the rest of the playoffs. I doubt very few free agents would want to play there in the future if Sterling is still the owner.
What makes Sterling’s alleged comments even more ridiculous is the fact that these black fans buy tickets to see his product. Why would you want to insult them like that? They are some of your customers. Many of them probably bust their butts off at a 9-5 job just so they can attend a game and help line your pockets with cash. Making comments like that are extremely degrading to those fans. In the process, you are insulting about 70-80 percent of the players in the league who are African-American. They are very much responsible for how an owner does financially. If the players perform well and the team wins, then more people attend the games and more money flows the owner’s way. The value of the franchise goes up and the owner does better. The players are their customers as well. Does Sterling not know this? Is he that stupid and ignorant to realize that those comments could potentially cost him millions of dollars?
If the voice on that tape is indeed Sterling, then the only honorable thing for him to do is to step down. I am not sure what the NBA can do at this point. They can fine him, but I don’t know if they can force him out. He should do the honorable thing and just resign. An owner who says racist comments about people, who make up about 75 percent of the league, should not even be considered to be an owner.
I hope other owners in the league band together and condemn these foolish remarks. The league suffers greatly when people make offensive remarks like that. The league likes to speak about diversity and how they are accepting to all types of people. Here is a great chance for the commissioner Adam Silver and his executives to show that they are really serious about these issues. Insulting fans and players have absolutely no place in the league and should be dealt with quickly and harshly.