The entire NBA is reeling in the wake of the release of shocking racist comments by LA Clippers' owner Donald Sterling.
The situation is a despicable mess, and how it all came to pass is particularly salacious.
Sterling had been cheating on his (supposedly estranged) wife of 50 years with a much younger woman.
You and I give our wives and girlfriends clothes, flowers and maybe a little jewelry when we can afford it.
He gave his mistress, Stiviano, a duplex worth $1.8 million, a Ferrari, a Range Rover and two Bentleys.
Upon the break-up of Sterling and Stiviano, the former's wife, Rochelle Sterling, opened a lawsuit on the latter, demanding the gifts back, on the basis she didn't know about them.
Unfortunately for Sterling, Stiviano was angered by the lawsuit and recorded a conversation with her sugar daddy, where he said, "It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to? 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."
For full context, these reprehensible comments were made by Sterling after seeing pictures of Stiviano fraternizing with Magic Johnson.
The comments by Sterling are, however, not an isolated incident. The Clippers' owner has made dozens of disgraceful, racist comments before, some even while giving testimony in court. The Stiviano affair is only making Sterling's dangerous beliefs and comments a matter of more public record.
Very clearly, this man should not be allowed in an ownership position in any league, let alone in the NBA. That should be the obvious sentiment. Or so you would think.
Sadly the NBA is so far dragging its heels in terms of a reaction. The flimsy, pathetic defense that Sterling has put forth (that the tape ‘might not be authentic’) has zero tangible value as Sterling is very much a repeat offending racist. This incident has just shone a spotlight on exactly how big a racist he is.
Other voices are disappointingly muted also.
The coach of the Clippers, Doc Rivers, is a strong leader type and so far has basically taken a back seat. Very disappointing. Michael Jordan, the only African-American owner in the NBA, literally has nothing to say on the matter. The Clippers' players haven’t come out with anything strong, as you would hope.
Step forward The King.
LeBron James has come out with the most cut-and-dry and, indeed, sensible comments on the whole sorry, sordid situation. James has had plenty to say about it, but summed it all up with one comment;
‘’Like I said, there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league, man. There it is."
One suspects other tongues are tied due to financial considerations. Thankfully James is either brave or just flippant enough to speak his mind, and speak it well.
The sooner others get behind the sentiment, the sooner we can make the NBA one racist bigot less, subtracting one archaic, angry, ugly dinosaur out of the way of players, fans and children, back to his sordid little world.