April 30, 2014

Direct : Sterling’s comments make me sick

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — I’ve never understood bigotry. I’ve always tried to treat people the same, no matter their race, sexual orientation, religion, whatever. To me it makes no difference.

Unfortunately not everyone thinks that way. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is one of those.

Sterling’s name was all over the news this weekend for comments he supposedly made on a telephone call to his girlfriend after she posted a photo of herself with Magic Johnson on Instagram at a recent Clippers’ game. Sterling was none too pleased that she did this.

“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” the man believed to be Sterling says. He continues, “You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in. You can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that ... and not to bring them to my games.”

This isn’t an isolated incident when it comes to Sterling. He has been accused of being a racist in the past, so really this doesn’t come as a surprise. Racism still runs deep, not only this country, but around the world. Soccer has a long-standing battle with racism as minority players in Europe are constantly taunted with racial remarks and have bananas thrown at them. How sick is that? In 2013 Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off during an AC Milan soccer match in Italy when a banana was thrown at him. Over the weekend in Spain, Brazilian Dani Alves had one thrown at him and he picked it up and took a bite out of it. That’s classic!

We are all the same inside people. The color of our skin shouldn’t make a difference. There are good and bad people of all races. We need to understand that.

Sterling is stuck in the 1950s or 1960s when minorities were still treated as second class citizens, forced to sit in the back of buses or not allowed to eat in the same restaurant as white people. When Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball there were those who wanted to keep him out, to keep Major League Baseball just for white players. When Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1974 he received death threats. Martin Luther King Jr. was senselessly gunned down. When Barack Obama was first elected president I expected an assassination attempt. Thank goodness that never happened.

If in fact the recording of Sterling is legitimate, I hope the NBA comes down hard with some type of punishment. If he truly feels that way about African-Americans, he doesn’t deserve to be an owner in a league that is 70 percent African-American. Heck he doesn’t deserve to be an owner in any league.

I look forward to the day when all people are treated the same and can live in harmony. When stuff like this is a thing of the past.

Sadly I think I will be waiting a long time.

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