It’s a shame, really, that in the midst of the most exciting first round of NBA playoff basketball in the last several years all the attention is going to a racism controversy.
Racism has always been one of the biggest issues in our world. It has shaped the way certain groups of people view the rest of the world for generations. Just as it seemed like we were moving into a culture and society that was drifting away from racially charged issues, it seems like we are now facing another huge issue.
The sports world was shaken when Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was allegedly connected to an audio recording that heard the voice of a man (believed to be Sterling) have racial charges towards “minorities” and “black people” in particular.
Supposedly, and I say supposedly as the investigation is currently ongoing, the Clippers owner was talking to his girlfriend V. Stiviano on the phone and was very animated towards her for associating herself with black people and posting pictures with black people on social media sites. The man in the audio recording that was released by TMZ also said to not bring them (minorities) to his games. Now while the investigation is ongoing most of the NBA community believes that the man in the audio recording was Sterling. Essentially the entire league has spoken out against the Clippers commissioner. Players, coaches and fans alike have all called for the NBA to take swift action against Sterling.
The NBA’s brand new commissioner Adam Silver — who officially took the position on Feb. 1 – has a very big situation on his hands. Ideally the new commissioner could come into his first season in his new position and have a smooth sailing, but instead he finds himself in a very peculiar spot. He has promised to conduct a thorough investigation and to make a decision from the NBA administrative office in regards to Sterling. He had better make the right decision to establish faith with the NBA fans and its players, assuming that it was indeed Sterling in the audio recording.
There have been various league-wide silent protests towards Sterling from all NBA players since the allegations. The Clippers laid their warm-up jackets at half-court and chose to wear their shirts upside down during warm ups to conceal the Clippers logo. And across the league all players have been wearing black socks to display their concerns towards Sterling’s views.
It is simply unacceptable that this would happen in today’s world. There will always be stereotypes and prejudices from individuals or even groups, but for the owner of an NBA franchise — a league that is a majority black — to have these views is unacceptable. It seems like we are going back in time with an owner like Sterling still running a team.
We should be talking about the amazing first round matchups throughout the NBA playoffs, or better yet, the fact that the Los Angeles Clippers are seemingly doing well in the playoffs while their cross-town rival Los Angeles Lakers sit at home — but instead we are talking about a silly controversy that is reminding us that no matter how far along culture gets there will always be an issue with race. Hopefully a decision is made soon in regards to Sterling so that we can move on and enjoy the rest of the NBA playoffs.
Tyler Rollason is a Winder-Barrow High School graduate and mass communications major at the University of West Georgia. He writes a weekly sports column for the Barrow Journal. You can e-mail comments about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.