“Why would a man turn down $144 million at the peak of his career? That’s the question Albert Chen asked Max Scherzer, who rejected a lucrative multi-year extension offer from the Detroit Tigers before the start of the season.” That’s Sports Illustrated’s sales pitch for their current issue, one in which Tigers starter Sherzer is featured on the magazine cover featuring a headline reading, “Mad Max’s $
(via Anaorak.co.uk. I’m pretty sure he could beat me, either way)
While NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s decision earlier today to issue a lifetime ban against Clippers owner Donald Sterling is being widely hailed, Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski points out that while Sterling has long held white players in low esteem, said POV, “cut to the heart of his stereotypical stances on athleticism and strength and talent.”
Mostly, he’s never loved paying white players. In that way, he has an absolute plantation prism with which he sees players: He always preferred long, strong, physical players. To him, that’s a basketball player: Big, black and strong.
When Sterling became reluctant to honor Rivers’ sign-and-trade agreement for J.J. Redick, there was a belief race played a factor. As one league source said, “He thought it was too much to pay for a white player.”
Yes, Sterling didn’t want to so easily part with Eric Bledsoe, despite Rivers telling him they could never afford to pay Bledsoe in restricted free agency next summer. That was part of it, yes, but those who knew Sterling – who had history with him – believed largely that his disdain for paying $7 million per year for a white player caused him pause.
OK, “random” is just code for “stolen from Nate Knabel’s status update”. Either way, FUCK THE KINDLE VERSION. This one’s getting droned to my doorstep no matter what.
Make no mistake, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (above, far left) has little sympathy for pathetic Clippers owner Donald Sterling, but writing for Time, the former Roger Murdock likens the actions of Sterling’s paramour V. Stiviano to that of “a sexy nanny playing ‘pin the fried chicken on the Sambo.'”) (“She blindfolded him and spun him around until he was just blathering all sorts of incoherent racist sound bites that had the news media peeing themselves with glee”).
Didn’t we just call to task the NSA for intruding into American citizen’s privacy in such an un-American way? Although the impact is similar to Mitt Romney’s comments that were secretly taped, the difference is that Romney was giving a public speech. The making and release of this tape is so sleazy that just listening to it makes me feel like an accomplice to the crime. We didn’t steal the cake but we’re all gorging ourselves on it.
Let’s be outraged that we weren’t more outraged when his racism was first evident. Let’s be outraged that private conversations between people in an intimate relationship are recorded and publicly played. Let’s be outraged that whoever did the betraying will probably get a book deal, a sitcom, trade recipes with Hoda and Kathie Lee, and soon appear on Celebrity Apprentice and Dancing with the Stars.
The big question is “What should be done next?” I hope Sterling loses his franchise. I hope whoever made this illegal tape is sent to prison.
While praising Michael Jordan for the Charlotte owner speaking out against the uber-creepy Donald Sterling, The Nation’s Dave Zirin adds, “it is impossible to take any owner seriously that they are ‘shocked’ or ‘outraged’ by Sterling’s surreptitiously recorded statement, because ‘news’that Donald Sterling is racist qualifies as news only if you’ve been living on a hermetically sealed space station for the last decade.” Or more likely, you simply don’t follow sports very closely.
Even Clippers coach Doc Rivers’s comment that when he took the job last year—he didn’t know that Sterling was a bigot but “probably should have”—strains credulity. Sterling, with a great deal of attendant publicity, has been a racist in both word and deed for some time. His statements about African-Americans, Latinos and Asians—not to mention his misogyny—are exceeded only by his much-protested practices as a discriminatory slumlord.
Many people have not only expressed “shock” at Sterling’s words but also have said variations of “I have never heard anything like this from owners in the NBA.” I cannot speak to whether or not this is true. It is certainly possible that Donald Sterling is the only owner who seems to be in a constant state of arousal, fear and rage at what he calls the “beautiful black bodies” of the NBA. But every owner, as well as former commissioner David Stern—whose paternalism was called out by Dwyane Wade during the 2011 NBA lockout—needs to carry the burden of having counted this person as a colleague for so long. And lest we forget, Donald Sterling’s great benefactor, friend and partner was the late Dr. Jerry Buss, the owner of the Lakers, a person who was universally mourned without criticism after he passed away.
In his press conference, new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was asked by ESPN writer J.A. Adande about why, given his racist history, Sterling had never been sanctioned. Silver, in his best impression of Mark McGwire said, “I am not here to talk about the past.” But an NBA ownership structure that would tolerate a man like Donald Sterling for so long is, frankly, intolerable.
Longtime NBA followers, executives, employees and media know Clippers owner Donald Sterling as a moneyed fool. Not a terrible man, but a jerk with dough who likes to show off, pop off and, increasingly, think too late, if at all. He’s someone best — and easily — ignored, especially at 81.
Well, not anymore.
Yes, what he allegedly said was painful, indefensible and inexcusable, except why would we expect him, at 81, to be less loony and more discreet and clear-headed than he was at 75 or 78?
Visit any assisted living facility. Or think of that aunt or uncle all of us have known and suffered with a wince because we knew they were off. And they come in all races.
Not everyone, at 81, should reasonably or humanely be held accountable for whatever ugly comments come out their mouths._ Phil Mushnick, New York Post, 4/28/14
I think those denied housing in Sterling’s properties by virtue of their race would describe as something worse than a monied jerk. But putting aside the question of whether or not the embattled Clippers owner is the worst person on the planet versus merely an exposed racist du jour, let’s consider Phil’s argument that no one should take the rantings of an elderly person seriously, nor should the that person be held accountable.
As of this writing, there’s 3 U.S. Senators over the age of 80. There’s 11 over the age of 75. The guy who owns Phil’s newspaper is 83. Rather than finding a way to shrug off the racist sentiments of a guy who has hiring/firing power and owns a major sports franchise in the country’s second biggest market, why doesn’t Mushnick insist Rupert Murdoch be shipped off to an assisted care facility, before he says or does something really fucking stupid?