As my mother would say…OY VEY. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, arguably the most mercurial owner in NBA history, has struck again.
Earlier in the season, it came to light that Mr. Sterling was sitting court-side at home games and heckling his own players. Now, Mr. Sterling has produced and released one of the weirdest, most offensive, and flat-out moronic newspaper ads (and subsequent promotional give-aways) of ALL TIME.
In “honor” of Black History Month, the Clippers created this ad, which was featured in this past Sunday’s edition of the LA Times:
Ummm…really, Donald? REALLY?!?!?!
Let’s break down all of the cultural faux-pas present in this little slice of idiocy:
1) The Image Itself
I understand that Blake Griffin can and should be considered a “black athlete” and I have no problem with his image being used to promote Black History Month. Fine. But what on earth is the smiling face of a filthy rich, white, notoriously racist (for examples, read on) owner doing on an advertisement that supposedly is announcing a celebration of Black America? It is at once ignorant, arrogant, classless, and clueless. The only way this could be more offensive would be to have Sterling decked out in full Klan regalia.
2) The Give-Away
So, let’s just wrap our heads around this: to honor the history of black men and women in America, Mr. Sterling is giving free tickets to “underprivileged” children. Basically, what Donald is saying here is that the only thing he equates with black America is poverty. In a word, WOW. This is a man who has, on numerous occasions, been accused of blatant racism and prejudice. In fact, he was not just accused, he was found GUILTY of discriminatory practices by the Justice Department in 2005. During the course of the trial, one of Sterling’s property managers testified that after Sterling bought one apartment building, the new owner remarked that the building carried a stench because “all the blacks in this building, they smell, they’re not clean. And it’s because of all of the Mexicans that just sit around and smoke and drink all day.”
Sterling settled the suit privately, paying nearly $3 million to make it go away.
This is not his only transgression either. Not by a long shot. He was also sued by his former employee, general manager and basketball legend Elgin Baylor, who alleged discriminatory practices in his wrongful termination suit.
Baylor accused Sterling of blatant and persistent racism and accused Sterling of saying the following after interviewing then-Clippers-assistant coach Jim Brewer, a black man, for the vacant head coaching position:
“‘Personally, I would like to have a white southern coach coaching poor black players. Do you think that’s a racist statement?”
Soon after the Brewer incident, Sterling lowballed Danny Manning, another black man vying for the head coaching position, with a terrible financial offer. Baylor voiced his displeasure with the offer that was made, to which Sterling allegedly responded,
“That’s a lot of money for a poor black boy….”
The scary thing is, I could actually cite numerous other examples from former players and coaches about his absurd racism and bigotry. He is the Marge Schott of the NBA.
3) The Timing
This is a pretty easy one to spot. Black History Month is in February. This is common knowledge. Four-year olds know this. So why is it that Mr. Sterling is running his Black History Month Celebration…IN MARCH?! It’s as if he wanted to sneak in one more slap in the face to black Americans:
“Look, I know your month-long celebration is in February, but you’re doing this on MY time and I say it’s happening in March.”
I mentioned Marge Schott earlier, former owner of the Cincinnati Reds and like-minded bigot. She was forced out of baseball for making racist comments about pretty much EVERYBODY. MLB saw that this woman was a detriment to the sport and they basically told her to sell her shares in the Reds and bow-out gracefully or else they’d destroy her with lawsuits galore. If David Stern knows what’s best for him and the league he runs, he’d do the exact same thing to Sterling.
-By Max Joice