Originally posted by quackquack
Donald Sterling is a fool and his views are damaging to the NBA and should be condemned but there are far worse thing one can do than verbally express racist views. His actions (there was a time when he had a African American GM when only one other club did, he has an African American coach) should matter too.
Elgin Baylor (who was one of the NBA's greatest players) was Donald
Sterling's 'African American' vice president of basketball operations rather
than his 'GM' (general manager) as claimed by Quackquack. Elgin Baylor
was not happy by how he was treated by Donald Sterling, and they
parted on extremely bad terms. Elgin Baylor accused Donald Sterling of
wanting to run the Clippers as though it were a Southern plantation.
In 2006 Elgin Baylor won the NBA Executive of the Year award (based
upon voting by other NBA executives), so his peers recognized that he
was doing his job well. In 2009, however, Elgin Baylor unsuccessfully
sued Donald Sterling (the case was decided in 2011), claiming that he
had been wrongfully terminated on account of discrimination against his
age and race. Notwithstanding that legal verdict, Elgin Baylor seems to
have a much higher reputation for honesty and integrity than Donald Sterling
among the people who have spent their careers working in the NBA.
While there's earlier evidence of his racist attitudes, I would note that
Donald Sterling's evident racism has long been condoned for various reasons.
Having apparently contributed a significant amount of money to the LA
chapter of the NAACP (an old African-American civil rights organization),
Donald Sterling received an award from that chapter of the NAACP.
Indeed, until his most recent racist comments, Donald Sterling had been
scheduled to receive another award from that chapter of the NAACP.
In his recent comments, Donald Sterling (nee Tokowitz), who's Jewish,
apparently attempted to justify his attitudes toward African Americans by
saying that black people (apparently referring to Ethiopian Jews) were also
badly treated in Israel (which he might believe is a model for human rights).
It's true that Ethiopian Jews have been afflicted by significant racial prejudice
in Israel, though Israeli Jewish racism is primarily directed against Arabs.
While many American Jewish organizations have been quick to condemn
any real or perceived anti-Semitic comments or opinions, I don't recall that
any American Jewish organization has previously criticized Donald Sterling
for his racist attitudes.
By the way, the first non-white player in the NBA was Wataru Misaka, a
US citizen of Japanese ancestry (and a US Army veteran), who briefly
played for the New York Knicks in the 1947-48 season. The United States
is not a *biracial* society, and some of the most blatant racism is experienced
by people who are not African-Americans. Jeremy Lin, a current NBA player
of Han Chinese ancestry (who was born and grew up in the USA), has spoken
of being called explicit racist slurs many times during basketball games,
including when he was playing for Harvard in the Ivy League (before crowds
of supposedly well-educated students).