Racism should never be tolerated. In a multicultural world sadly unless our educators address the topic and face it head on it will continue to thrive.
The alleged comments of the owner of the American National Basketball League Los Angeles Clippers, octogenarian Donald Sterling, have understandably created a storm. An audio recording has gone public in which a man alleged to be the team’s owner, Donald Sterling, told his girlfriend not to bring blacks to “his games” and also criticized her for posting an Instagram photo of her with Magic Johnson.
Despite a statement from the Clippers President Andy Roeser which says, “We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or it has been altered. We do know that the woman on the tape — who we believe released it to TMZ — is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would ‘get even.’ Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings,” emotions are running high.
Magic Johnson has already come out and said that he will never attend a Clippers game again as long as Donald Sterling is an owner. The backlash against the club has spread like a forest fire thanks to social media and in particular #BoycottClippers trending on Twitter.
The voice of reason however has come from the coach of the team, Doc Rivers son, Jeremiah, who has also resorted to Twitter.
In a series of tweets he stated “People want to #BoycottClippers because of one man? My house has been burned to the ground, animals tortured and burned as well. Along with anything we ever loved, and held treasured, because of the color of my dads skin. We lost everything and had to start over. Did we hate the collective of people, culture, and race who’s skin was responsible for our hardship? No. One man, cannot have the power to make me feel hate towards a group, race, or another persons skin colour. Nor would I allow them to have the power over me to not support the players and coaches that have done nothing wrong. Hate the man all you want, show him no mercy if you must. But the players who put on that Jersey do it because the love basketball. They want to win for the city of LA, for there families, friends, fans and themselves. Racism isn’t born, it’s taught. It is the refuge of ignorance and seeks to divide and destroy.The clippers need the people, fans, and city of LA more then ever. The team deserves it.”
He is right. Sport has over the centuries managed to break down racial barriers and it should continue to do so. The players should show their unity, the city of LA should show their unity behind the team, and by doing so make it clear to Mr Sterling the hurt and the damage he has done to their team and their city; if it proves to be his voice.
If that is the case then a message definitely needs to be sent to Donald Sterling, of that there can be no doubt, but is a boycott of the Clippers really the way to do it? Do all the staff and players who have worked so hard to make the NBA play offs support his views? This is one man and he should be the one singled out, and not the team and all who are associated with it.