This isn't a perfect parallel, but I don't come to work each day for the boss whose business card is like alphabet soup.
I show up and put forth my best effort for my managers who are down the hall and always have my back, my coworkers, myself, for your entertainment and for the decent compensation.
Donald Sterling is not the exuberant Mark Cuban. He's no prestigious patriarch such as the ownership of the Steelers. He's not even Jerry Jones, who may have pitiful personnel skills, but at least he comes off as an owner who tries to ingratiate him with the players.
Sterling is a despicable racist. And he's been that way for some time. At least back to 2006 when he was sued by the DOJ for housing discrimination with a refusal to rent to blacks and families with children.
In my life of following sports, I can't think of a time someone has spoken with praise of Sterling, so I'm not the least bit surprised by his vile words and thoughts.
In fact, did you know other NBA owners are almost equally immoral? I didn't until I read this.
I encourage you to read that link from Dave D'Alessandro at NJ.com, then spend a few minutes Googling things like DeVos & anti-gay, Dan Gilbert & subprime mortages, and Prokorov and either assassination or KGB. I'm sure as a venture capitalist Tom Gores has put his share of employees unnecessarily out of work in a still-recovering economy.
You don't earn billions - what it takes to buy a sports franchise - without stepping over a few financial corpses. Sometimes putting them down there yourself.
The Los Angeles Clippers staged an estimable silent protest yesterday before their Game 4 with the Warriors, but I happen to think they are just like me. And depending on who your employer is, perhaps you as well.
I can see Dirk Nowitzki saying he wants to win another title for Mark Cuban. Go down the Steelers roster and I'm quite certain there'll be immense deference to the Rooneys.
Do you believe ANY member of the Clippers has EVER publically, or even privately said something expressing their desire to rejuvenate the franchise and win a title for Donald Sterling? I'd bet no. I'd guess absolutely, definitely, NO.
This is not to explicitly call them greedy and self-centered, but those players play for themselves, each other, Doc Rivers, the fans and possibly, above all no matter its origin, the exorbitant amount of money.
Are Chris Paul and his teammates sickened by Sterling's comments? Of course.
But this isn't the height of the civil rights movement where I can only dream to what ends minorities would reach for to further their cause for equality. Sorry, I can't see millionaires standing tall to the verbal fire hoses of billionaires. All men are created equal. A phrase which for many, many, many decades, and several centuries might as well have had a comma and a but at its end.
Some have suggested that with his vast and universal clout that Lebron James should just sit down the league until there's an acceptable resolution for the Sterling situation.
*BTW, even though he's 80 years old, and I can comprehend why some people of that age could still harbor hateful thoughts. My late grandmother had an interesting name for black people. It was not the N word, and to be candid I have no idea if it's offensive. Sterling comes from immigrant Jewish parents and spent the majority of his life in one of the country's great geographical melting pots, Los Angeles. That was surprising. Forgive the stereotype, but I'd have guessed Sterling's roots were Southern. I suppose hate knows know geography.*
The whole league sitting would be lastingly powerful but misguidedly disruptive.
Hell, I'd endorse a league wide sit-down, but 1. it's not my money at stake 2. I'm a tad more socially conscious that a good portion of sports fans.
Picture this. What if the Clippers players had warmed up, then left the arena after that and before the game tipped off.
A deed like that could have found its place in history ascending near the efforts of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and perhaps the first great social reformer for blacks, Frederick Douglass. Am I overstating its importace that would have occurred? I don't know, and neither do you. But it would've been a HOLY SHIT moment.
I do know there'd have a been a lot of pissed off fans in Oracle Arena if the Clippers players took their ball and went home. Again, my applause would have been voracious, but it could've been drowned out by the less socially conscious Bay Area fans, some of whom might've thought the best way to handle a walk out would be with further hate. Keep in mind, there's been too much excessive violence just in the last few years between San Francisco and Los Angeles fans. Bryan Stow?
This is not the crest of the civil rights movement in American fifty years ago, so I didn't expect the Clippers players to eminently protest in an aggressive way. Amid their professional distraction they got their message across and began the titanic wave of backlash at Sterling.
Besides, whether Sterling owns the team or not, those fourteen Los Angeles Clippers players have the same goal they did before Sterling's hate became public; win the NBA title.
The laws that govern this country afford Donald Sterling the right to be a hateful man. But when your thoughts and words become public the unruly mob of public opinion will mete out the proper punishment.