SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver unleashed the association’s harshest punishment against Clippers owner Donald Sterling on Tuesday, issuing a lifetime ban and levying a $2.5 million fine, the maximum financial penalty permitted by the league. The decision came in the wake of racist remarks Sterling made to his mixed-race mistress, which she took public. On a recording released by TMZ, a man and woman -- presumably Sterling and his girlfriend V. Stiviano -- fought about Stiviano’s Instagram photos in which she frequently appeared posing with African Americans. Sterling on Wednesday maintained his defense, going so far as to declare himself the Thomas Jefferson of Basketball, but surprisingly admitted that he may unintentionally have been guilty of reverse racism. “If you look at the ethnic composition of the team, which is mostly colored, it’s clear to me now that I unfairly excluded whites from the sport.”
The reaction to the NBA’s swift remediation has been positive and widely praised among fans. In response to Silver’s decision, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA All-Star, rejoiced. “I hope that every bigot in this country sees what happened to Mr. Sterling and recognizes that if he can fall, so can you.”
Despite this small progress, equality advocates argue that racism is far from dead in America. “It’s a lot easier to remove one racist coach from a sports franchise than it is to impose lifetime bans on the entire Republican leadership structure in Congress or their business allies or Fox News hosts,” said pundit Ferrel Michaels.
Sterling, however, does not consider himself a bigot in the accepted sense of the word. “Some of my best mistresses are colored,” he told reporters. “Or quadroon or octoroon or whatever the hell V. Stiviano is. Something like a Hottentot curled up in an Oriental rug with some Mex splashed in for good measure. She’s the Benetton of booty calls. There’s a lot of color between this mister and his mattress.”
Mr. Sterling then equated himself to Founding Father Thomas Jefferson.
“We’re both influential leaders who have an awful lot of brown employees but who don’t like slavery,” he said. “I mean, we realize how necessary and useful the black animal is to running a productive workplace, but we make sure their basic needs are met, that they’re properly quartered, that they receive legally mandated compensation and we let a few loose from time to time. Like Jefferson, I’ve facilitated my share of free agents. And I’ve even got my own Sally Hemings. Unlike Jefferson, I have a lifetime NAACP award. They don’t just hand those out to anybody.”
Deceased Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps was also honored with the NAACP’s prestigious accolade.
But while Sterling denies discriminating against African Americans, he confessed Wednesday that he may have shown prejudice toward white players. For that indiscretion, he offered his first official apology.
“Basketball was an all-white sport back in 1892, when I first became interested in it as a boy,” Sterling said. “Even then, in my youth, I recognized this as a myopic strategy. Whites, for the most part, aren’t very good at accomplishing demanding manual tasks. That’s why we stick them in management positions where they can’t break anything or screw up critical labor processes. There’s a reason it’s called a ‘white collar’ position. But in this admittedly liberal frame of mind, I may have accidentally taken opportunities away from whites, now a racial minority in our country.”
According to a 2013 study, 81 percent of professional basketball players are non-white.
“I’ve been trying to defend myself from all these attacks and allegations of hate,” Sterling explained. “But today, as I reflect on my tenure as the Clippers’ owner, I acknowledge the narrow-minded and exclusionary decisions I made. The team is mostly back. I should have hired more whites. And so I stand before you guilty of reverse racism. I apologize to all those pale kids that people like me drove away from their dreams of basketball and into unrewarding careers such as banking, politics, law, executive management, you name it.”
2014. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. See disclaimers.