OP-ED: NBA Slut Shaming Tactics, Donald Sterling & Racism Win NBA Finals 

Clippers Owner Donald Sterling,

Clippers Owner Donald Sterling,

With the American sports fan demanding swift action, the threat of an NBA player revolt and nervous sponsors quaking, new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver understandably panicked. Pathetic best describes the manner in which the NBA chose to handle former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist rant exposed by TMZ.

Metaphorically, Commissioner Silver grabbed Sterling by the scruff of the neck and kicked him out of the NBA’s exclusive club. However, a careful look at what happened over the last two months has me shaking my head. The NBA, Donald Sterling and racism pulled one over on us all.

Using the tactic of “Slut Shaming” where holier than thou types shame a promiscuous girl, by exposing her promiscuous deeds is no way to fight racism in America. In my opinion, a better way to handle an 80 year old man with a history of racism would be to allow God, to do what He does best. Teach without the need to expose or shame.

I met an 18-year-old panhandler in 1976 San Francisco. This good-looking White boy named Steven, told me that he had hitch-hiked down from Portland Oregon and was sleeping under a bridge. For self-serving reasons, I allowed him to live in my apartment where we became good friends fast. I liked him, but he liked girls.

Occasionally, Steven’s father would call to check on his son and always expressed his appreciation for my hospitality towards his son. He even extended an invitation for me to visit Portland.

Spring 1979 I called Steven but talked with his father instead. He told me Steven was on another hitch-hiking excursion. I told him that I was at the Portland Greyhound Bus station.

Excited to hear I was in town, he said he was coming down to pick me up and that I would be staying at his place. Never thinking to state that I was Black, I described myself as being on crutches and having a San Francisco Giants travel bag.

Hoping I could spot him first, an older White man walk passed me and stared. I, like so many other Blacks would describe that stare as a go back to Africa stare. This same man returned with a big smile. He introduced himself as Steven’s father and of course I was confused. I had seen that look too many times to be wrong though I was only 23-years-old.

The first night in his home he prepared me a drink while he popped a couple of TV dinners in the oven. We finished eating, drinking and after several hours of talking, he insisted I sleep in his bed and that he would sleep on the sofa bed.

Steven arrived a few days later and while the two of us were laughing too loud his father asked if I had a driver’s license. I replied yes and he allowed me to take Steven to a pool hall.

“Allen, my father never lets anyone drive his car”, Steven said.

Despite the fact that I began to add up the many times Steven’s father treated me like royalty, I was clueless to what this man was doing.

A few months later, Steven’s 65-year-old father died from a slip and fall on his property. I accompanied his family back to his home after the funeral and his ex-wife revealed what I had no clue of concerning the history of this man.

“Allen, I don’t know what you did to my ex-husband but he was always very prejudice against blacks”, she whispered.

Shaming Donald Sterling was like giving the medal of holiness to the self-righteous perpetrators of slut shaming. However, while Donald Sterling continues to cry crocodile tears, I do not recommend that the “United Negro College Fund” hold its breath. A large gift from the Donald Sterling Foundation is not in the mail.

The Donald Sterling Trust sold the Los Angeles Clippers worth an estimated $500 million according to Forbes before this matter was revealed, for the sum of $2 billion in less than two months. It appears that Shelly Sterling saw a clear lane to slam-dunk on us all with a Blake Griffin style facial.

Since when does the perpetrator of racist rants get to pocket a billion dollars after taxes in one transaction? Apparently, when the NBA’s overzealous pursuit to punish an 80-year-old rich White man’s racist rants is its answer to racism.

What is really sad is that while racism still rules the hearts of too many, NBA teams doubled in value according to a Forbes recent recalculation of NBA team values in light of the Clippers sale.

Share Button
Print Friendly

Post a comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Current ye@r *