Courtesy of WikiMediaCommons.
As Iman reported, the Los Angeles Clippers are now in an interesting predicament. The organization has become international news headlined by its owner’s racist remarks. As Deadspin reported, the full audio conversation between Clippers owner Don Sterling and his girlfriend at-the-time Vanessa Perez / V. Stiviano shows a “dark” side of the owner that no one wants to hear. Rochelle “Shelly” Sterling, Donald‘s wife, had some strong words about Perez / Stiviano and plans to take action against her.
Don Sterling‘s comments gained international attention and the comments were addressed by numerous figures. Those who have commented on these words of shame are Michael Jordan, long-time player and current owner, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, who has stated he may leave the team if the proper action is not taken, Golden State Warriors, the Clippers round 1 opponent, head coach Mark Jackson, the Players’ Union, United States President Barack Obama, and other notable names. Doc Rivers‘ son Jeremiah responds to the Sterling comments in a very mature manner.
The NBA‘s reach has been international for quite some time and these comments will deter players from wanting to play under Sterling. Sterling may have lost the Clippers their season and their head coach. Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, has also commented on these comments and will conduct an investigation.
Whoever is included in the “culture” Don Sterling refers to in the audio will be accountable for their involvement in these racist actions. In a country with racist actions to be ashamed of, the United States has become more sensitive to these kinds of words and in any other workplace would be immediately deemed as “unacceptable”, which they are in this context as well.
The Clippers players expressed their disgust and disagreement with their owner’s comments by not showing the word “Clippers” on their practice jerseys, as reported by Courtney. The team wore their dark blue “Los Angeles” jerseys against Golden State in Game 4’s 21 point loss, and plan to make a “stronger statement” for Game 5.
The Clippers have had a long history of mediocrity on the court, but their recent successes on the court are being overshadowed by a mediocre owner’s ignorance to societal changes. To many, including current Los Angeles Clippers players and the Players Union, the banishment of Donald Sterling may be the only option in this kind of international situation. Chris Paul is the player-representative for the Players Union. Professional sports do not need this kind of hate and negativity, and the NBA must handle this investigation in a timely, correct manner or the public will not be pleased.