I am disturbed, both as an American, and as a human being, by the fiasco involving the NBA, the LA Clippers owner, Robert Sterling, and Robert Sterling's disgruntled, spoiled whore of a mistress. The NBA has banned Robert Sterling from all NBA activity for life and will demand that he sell his team; his property.
I do not agree with or share Sterling's beliefs, but I argue that he has the right to them. Under the First Amendment, NONE of us should be prosecuted for our beliefs, but only for our actions when they are criminal, and not by public opinion.
No evidence has been presented that Clippers players are paid less than others in the NBA or that Sterling discriminates against them otherwise. His record of racial discrimination is public, yet everyone of these players made the decision to join his team and take his money. Ridiculously insane amounts of his money for skills that do nothing but provide entertainment in one of the least dangerous professional sports there is.
Mr. Sterling is being figuratively tarred and feathered by the press and the NBA for expressing his opinions as a party involved in a conversation in which he should have had a legal, reasonable expectation of privacy.
I think it is absolutely ludicrous that Al Sharpton should be speaking about racism with anyone. Anyone willing to speak on the same platform as him about race is questionable at best. He is a hatemonger.
Does Sterling's right to own property take a backseat to his obligations as a sports team owner and to the NBA?
The sound clips I heard seem to mark Sterling as a white separatist, not a white supremacist, but his mistress is part black and part Hispanic.
We have Black Miss America, black churches, BET (Black Entertainment Television), and People talking about forming a black basket ball league. Any disagreement with any of these brands one a racist in today's society.
I fully support Clippers advertisers' right to end their sponsorship because of the bad publicity. They, like any sports team is a business. There are a lot of glass houses out here. Do they ban NBA players for life and cancel their contracts for using the "N" word (which I didn't hear Stirling do) in private conversations?
We will never eradicate racism entirely as long as we remain human. We are wired for tribalism and to be wary of those who are different from us. Worshipping our sports teams is just one example of that tribalism run rampant. Spending $300 for a team jersey is a great example of the brainwashing many sports fans submit to.
It seems like it is "okay" to discriminate in America if you are in the majority, like Baptist parents prohibiting their daughter from bringing home for dinner her atheist boyfriend. Is it okay for an employer to fire a Baptist after finding out he told his daughter (outside of the workplace) he'd rather she didn't broadcast her relationship with an atheist at his workplace? What if the father is an atheist and the boyfriend is a Baptist?
I for one am boycotting the NBA for infringing on a team owner's right to freedom of speech, no matter how ignorant or misguided some of us might find his beliefs to be.
Wake Up, America!