Donald Sterling and How The NBA Screwed Up

He shouldn’t have said it. Let’s be clear about that. I’m sure by now everyone has heard about the whole Donald Sterling debacle and his racist remarks towards blacks. But the NBA handled the whole situation terribly. Seriously, they could have done anything different and it would’ve been a better option. What I want to focus on is not what Donald Sterling said, because it is obviously racist and that can’t be questioned. Rather, I would like to discuss how the NBA screwed up and the glaring and obvious double standards it promotes.

As soon as the tape hit the air, every race hustler in America started pissing themselves with glee. They wanted heads to roll and that’s exactly what they got. As LeBron James stated, “There is no room for Donald Sterling in our league.” Right.  The league doesn’t put up with poor behavior on or off the court. It’s a new day and age and these racist ideologies and irresponsible actions are those of plantation’s past. They levied a 2.5 million dollar fine and banned him for life from the NBA with the backing of the other owners. Whew! Finally, justice has been served.

But in their rush for swift justice and punishment, the NBA, its owners, and anybody who supported the NBA in getting rid of Sterling made a huge mistake. What they did was propose, support, and install a zero tolerance policy. No more racist comments in the NBA. You screw up and you’re gone. Even if you’re in the privacy of your own home. We just can’t have that type of negative behavior around. Let’s be clear one more time about what Sterling did. He was in his own home, talking to his girlfriend and made racist remarks. Now he’s being banned from the NBA. Take a second and think about that. So let’s say Kobe Bryant is out with his boys doing whatever multi-millionaire basketball players do, and someone hears him say the word “nigger.” Sorry, I don’t spell it with an “a” on the end. Well, by the new NBA standards, Kobe is gone. Fined and banned from the NBA. Sounds stupid right? It is. Or how about an NBA player who is overheard saying the word “bitch”? Is he going to be fined and banned? He should be because it’s discriminatory towards women and sexist. Or how about Clipper’s player Chris Paul telling the management that he won’t play for a white coach? Bet you didn’t hear about that one. It’s obviously discriminatory against whites. I’m extremely offended. He needs to be banned. How about failing drug tests? Are we going to kick them out for that as well? Should we boot the players that cheat on their wives? Don’t forget about homosexuals. They’re going to be pissed if players are not banned for homophobic language and behavior. A player on vacation in Mexico says the word “faggot” and he’s done for. How about players who break actual laws? Let’s take a look at some behavior that the NBA just happened to overlook in the last couple years. I’ll go ahead and bring it to light so they can start investigating and making cuts. I mean, the NBA has to keep up its long history of wholesome and family friendly atmosphere.

  • Boston Celtics Jared Sullinger charged with assault and battery for throwing his girlfriend on the floor and smashing her cell phone when she tried to call for help.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder Deandre Liggins was arrested on charges of domestic abuse and assault with a dangerous weapon on his girlfriend. He stomped her repeatedly after throwing her on the floor. He then beat her with an electric fan and then smashed an Xbox over her head. All of this in front of their two year old child.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder Kendrick Perkins arrested for beating a man and woman in the head along with a manager of a night club in Texas.
  • Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry verbally assaulted a female referee and threw a basketball at her head during a charity game.
  • Toronto Raptors Sebastian Telfair arrested for going 77mph in a 45mhp zone on a suspended license. Not a big deal, but he was also booked for weapons charges after the officer found a loaded .45 under the seat. This was the second time he had issues with guns. When he was with the Trail Blazers he was caught on the team plane with a pistol in his pillowcase.
  • Detroit Pistons Ben Wallace arrested on DUI and concealed weapons charges.
  • Dallas Mavericks Delonte West was arrested for speeding on his motorcycle and weapons charges in Maryland. The police found a Berretta 9mm, a Ruger .357, and Remington 870 shotgun in a guitar case.
  • Utah Jazz Deshawn Stevenson arrested for statutory rape of a 14yr old girl.I could go on for days. This is just a fraction of arrests.  None of these players were kicked out of the NBA. Not a single one. It’s completely absurd that a man who makes a racist statement is fined and banned and these guys get to keep playing. But there was a way that the NBA could’ve handled the whole situation that wouldn’t have made them look like complete idiots. It’s actually very simple. Keep turning their heads like they’ve always done and let the people handle it. More importantly, let the fans handle it. If Sterling’s remarks really pissed off so many people and got their panties in such a bunch, then let those same people take action. Boycott the Clippers. It’s that easy. Don’t buy their gear and don’t go to the games. But the thing is people really don’t care. Obviously they don’t or they would’ve boycotted the teams of those guys I mentioned above. I mean, most fans care about what Donald Sterling said. Just not enough to actually do anything about it. If the NBA is going to stand by their word, then players are going to be banned left and right. They can’t have murderers, gun runners, and child rapists trashing up the place. They can’t have womanizers, adulterers, racists, sexists, homophobes, and drug abusers setting bad examples for children and fans. But c’mon, everybody reading this knows the NBA isn’t going to actually follow through with their new policy. That would mean banning black players. Young, successful, rich, black players will continue to get arrested for far greater and more heinous crimes than Sterling ever thought about and the NBA will continue to look the other way. But you can bet your ass that the second an old, successful, rich, white owner says anything even remotely racist, he’ll be gone by the end of the day. That’s the double standard. It doesn’t bother me what Donald Sterling said. It also doesn’t bother me that Chris Paul hates white people either.  Maybe I just have thick skin. To be honest, it doesn’t bother me that NBA players are arrested all the time. Because I can’t imagine what it would feel like to have millions of dollars, any woman they want, a house in the hills, and all the other perks that come with being a professional sports star. I can’t begin to fathom the temptations they are surrounded by. Also, consider the fact that a lot of those players grew up in poverty with nothing. Wait second, did I just give those players and excuse? What I meant to say that it doesn’t matter your race, where you come from, your history, or how much money you have in your pocket, people know better than to smash Xbox’s over their girlfriend’s heads and rape children. What bothers me is that the NBA picks and chooses who gets slashed based on race. I also know there is always going to be some asshole with racist attitudes. In this case, being secretly recorded in his own home. I challenge you to think about how it really affected you. When you heard about it, did you alter your day somehow? Did it cause you to make some drastic decision? Did it change your life? Of course it didn’t. If anything, it was a source of entertainment for a few days. Something to talk about around the water cooler.  If it wasn’t plastered across every computer and television screen, would you have forgotten about it by noon? I decided to boycott the NBA because of their inconsistent punishments and incompetence on the matter. I also boycott the NBA because basketball sucks. Only a few more months until football starts. But I think and feel that people should be treated fairly and not be given favor because of their race. We need to hold everyone accountable just the same no matter how strict or loose the rules. We can’t just pick and choose who gets the axe. That’s exercising common sense and fairness. Obviously, the NBA will continue to be a band of hypocrites at best. By the way, I’m sure my words are now going to be twisted around and made to look like I’m some type of racist because I’m a white man even talking about the situation. Just ask Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban how that turned out for him. To sum it up, yes Donald Sterling made racist remarks. But the NBA should’ve never gotten involved. It should’ve been handled by the fans. After all, we pay the salaries.

Author: Paul Craft

Paul was born, raised in the historic town of Fincastle, Va (just outside of Roanoke). He lives on a registered “Century Farm” that has been in his family since 1906 in a house that was built in the 1790s. His farm has over 300 hundred head of cattle, 6 donkeys, 17 chickens and various other animals along with his dogs, Mike, Buster, and Loki. Paul is married and has three step-children. Paul graduated from Emory and Henry College in 2004 with a degree in Geography and an emphasis in environmental studies. Paul works as a Mental Health Counselor and is currently working towards his Masters Degree in Counseling through Liberty University and will soon be a Christian Counselor.

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3 Comments

  1. Paul does the typical thing for people who don’t see racism as a real problem, he ignores the power balance. Is there room for criticism of how this was handled, I suppose. But the idea an owner and a player should be held to the same standards ignores so much in terms of what their roles are and who has control in any given situation. And just one practical question, how the hell are black players expected to play for this guy especially in a profession where contracts don’t give them any option?

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  2. Standards? Read through that and tell me if they even exist for players. There is absolutely positively no way that making racist remarks is worthy of being banned when you take in consideration players participating in this kind of behavior. The Clippers did exactly what they should’ve done. They protested. They came out and didn’t wear their gear with the team logos on them. I would’ve done the same thing. That’s all they can do. The fans should’ve protested if it really bothered them as well. I’m not saying Sterling shouldn’t have paid consequences. I’m just saying that they were handed down from the wrong place. Because the NBA has now set the bar so high that very few of anybody involved with the sport will live up to it.

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