This is my favorite time of the year, despite the stresses of final exams and the spring semester coming to a close. The sun is starting to make a regular appearance outside, which means it’s almost pool season and, most importantly, it’s NBA playoff time.
This has been quite an exciting first round with multiple series going into overtime nearly every night. Unfortunately, this is now being overshadowed by one man’s ignorant and unacceptable comments.
The owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling, has captured headlines with his racist remarks towards African-Americans used during a recorded phone conversation with his girlfriend. The tape was released by TMZ and can be heard simply by googling anything along the lines of, “Donald Sterling comments.”
Unfortunately, these comments have taken the attention away from the Los Angeles Clippers players and staff who have worked hard all season to earn a playoff spot in the tough Western Conference. On Sunday, Clippers players stripped off their team warmups and left them at center court. They wore their shoot-around shirts inside out so that the team name could not be seen. The players also all wore black socks and black sweat bands.
Sterling has never had a great reputation among NBA owners. It also seems that no one is really surprised by his most recent comments. In fact, this seems like more of a “what did Donald Sterling do today” scenario. However, this is not something he should be able to get away with. This should not be a slap on the wrist.
Many players and coaches have already spoken out about the comments. On Monday, Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson said that maybe boycotting the Clippers playoff game would be the answer.
“If it was me, I wouldn’t come to the game,” Jackson said according to ESPN. “I believe as fans, the loudest statement they could make … is to not show up to the game.”
This situation has put fans, who have been waiting all season to watch playoff basketball, in a tough spot. Is it worth it to pay money to see a team that is owned by a racist? Many companies that hold sponsorships with the Clippers have already begun to terminate their deals with the franchise.
The NBA is set to hold a press conference on Tuesday to discuss the steps they will take in dealing with the accusations against Sterling. The NBA is investigating the current situation with the tape.
The new NBA commissioner Adam Silver should be able to force Sterling out of the NBA if he feels that that would be the right course of action. What Sterling said, or is accused of saying, is cruel, disgusting and should not be tolerated by the NBA.
John Zetmeir is a junior in mass communication. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.