Allen Bridge, ‘Doah Staff Writer
April 30, 2014
In today’s world of sports, racism is no longer a thought. African Americans have integrated into professional sports, like basketball, and have become a regular part of everyday life. In the NBA, which is a predominantly black professional sports league, racism was never a problem- that is until the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling, made some racist comments that enraged players, coaches and fans.
Sterling allegedly made comments over the phone to a friend saying that he does not want African Americans to attend his team’s games, and to delete his friend’s photo on Instagram of her and Magic Johnson. Johnson responded saying that if this is the case, that he should no longer own the team.
The players of the Los Angeles Clippers responded to this controversy by taking off their warm up suits and throwing them in the middle of the court before the game before preceding to warm up in plain red shirts and pants. The players had no desire to wear the Clipper’s name on their warm ups and followed this up with a poor showing in game four of their series with the Golden State Warriors, losing 118-97.
The owner of the Warriors, Joe Lacobe, responded to this controversy by saying it is, “Clearly inappropriate. It’s very sad that we all have to go through this. Hopefully we can get through this and resolve the issues and put it behind us. But clearly very inappropriate behavior. It’s just something that I think no matter who you are, racism doesn’t belong period. In any way, it doesn’t matter, black, white, whatever color. Inappropriate. I wish we didn’t have to do this today. I wish our game didn’t have to be the centerpiece of all this today. I feel bad for our fans and players and everybody who will have to deal with this.”
Several other players and coaches have also responded to the situation all agreeing that action needs to be taken immediately by league commissioner Adam Silver. Many feel that Sterling should no longer own a team.
Former NBA player Kevin Johnson, whose name was also mentioned in the conversation, said, “For him to make these comments, these alleged comments about myself and other minorities, there’s no place in our society for it, no place in our league for it. We all play with different races of people, that’s what makes sports so beautiful. And then he puts his whole team in a tough situation. Once commissioner Silver does all his due diligence, gathers his information, he’s got to come down hard. He shouldn’t own a team anymore.”
After Sterling made these comments, the NAACP announced on its Twitter feed that Sterling would not receive a lifetime achievement award from the organization at a May 15 event celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the Los Angeles chapter. Also as a result, many believe that there will be thousands of seats left empty at the Clippers next home game. Seats that would normally have been filled by African American fans.