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Mark Madden

THE CLIPPERS MUST BOYCOTT

 
Posted April 28th, 2014 @ 11:09am

Somebody tweeted that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling can’t be racist because he has a biracial mistress and employs lots of black men.

That makes Sterling a plantation owner. The worst kind of racist.

It’s going to be interesting to see what the NBA does, tries to do, or can do.

MLB endured a similar excrement storm thanks to former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott. Schott got suspended. While she may have been pressured to sell the Reds, Schott ultimately did so of her own volition.

Should you be punished for what’s said in a private conversation that’s made public via questionable ethics? That’s another debate altogether.

The Clippers turned their warmups inside-out before Sunday’s playoff game, thus obscuring the Clippers logo. They wore black armbands in protest. But they still played.

The NBA is approximately 80 percent black, and outrage over Sterling’s comments is palpable. LeBron James is angry. He was rumored to be Clippers-bound if he terminates his Miami contract at season’s end. Not now. Michael Jordan is angry. President Obama is angry. Everybody is angry.

But everybody still played. The anger is meaningless.

If NBA players are that upset about Sterling’s comments, Clippers players should refuse to play until Sterling is divested. Opponents should refuse to play against the Clippers until Sterling is divested. If that means forfeits, so be it. If that means a lost season, so be it. If that means a mangled playoff, so be it.

But there’s no bigger picture than money. That’s reality.

The players want to make money. The NBA wants to make money. The networks want to make money. If that means tolerating the most vile racism, so be it.

If money matters more than what’s right, what’s right doesn’t matter enough.

What the Clippers did for their warmup was an empty gesture. The protests of James, Jordan, etc. were empty words. Sterling bleated the worst kind of racism, and the NBA didn’t miss a beat. Ob-la-di, ob-la-da.

There’s still time for the Clippers to make it right. They should boycott tomorrow’s playoff game vs. Golden State. Don’t show up. The Warriors should do the same.

But if the Clippers keep playing, they’re showing up to work for Donald Sterling. Talk all you want, but he’s still the man. Still the boss. Even if Sterling gets suspended, he still owns the Clippers.

Inside-out warmups aren’t enough. Black armbands aren’t enough.

We have a good team, blah, blah, blah. I’ve got to feed my family, blah, blah, blah. That’s what you’re going to hear. It’s nonsense. Would Malcolm X show up to play for the Clippers? How about Martin Luther King? I don’t think so.

If the bigger issue can’t be seen, there’s a chance it becomes no issue at all.

Sterling’s vile nature is the main topic of discussion since this scandal started brewing. That’s a waste of time. Sterling has long been known as a racist. Doc Rivers knew when he agreed to coach. Every player knew when he signed to play. Ten minutes of due diligence is all it takes.

The question is, what should be done? If this is left to the NBA and its owners, there’s every chance the white millionaires’ club might stick together. If this situation is to be sorted the way it should, the players must provide the impetus.


Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

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