By Shane Burrell |Sports Editor|
Clippers owner Donald Sterling is banned from the NBA for life for his racist statements against African-Americans.
Although Sterling is condemned as a bigot, a question still remains whether the NBA took appropriate actions in handling this situation.
In my opinion, having the ability to express your right of freedom of speech should come without question to every American. However, people who are in the public eye should remember that their actions will come with repercussions.
New York Times writer John Branch stated in his article, “The National Basketball Association on Tuesday handed a lifetime ban to the longtime Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, an extraordinary step in professional sports and one intended to rid the league of Mr. Sterling after he was recorded making racist comments.”
The statements came to light after Sterling’s female “acquaintance” released some recordings of him stating these racist comments.
Although this particular situation would get Sterling banned from the NBA, this is not the first time that he has made racist remarks about African-Americans.
Former NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stated in an interview with Allah Pudnit that we should be equally outraged at the fact that his privacy was violated and that we have seen many cases of this happening within the United States.
“Shouldn’t we be equally angered by the fact that his private, intimate conversation was taped and then leaked to the media? Didn’t we just call to task the NSA for intruding into American citizen’s privacy in such an un-American way?” said Pudnit.
Many factors of this issue are widely agreed upon, the main one being that racism is something that should never be tolerated and that there could be no excuse why it would ever be excused.
“Again, there’s no excuse for his positions. There’s no excuse for what he said. There’s no excuse for anybody to support racism,” said Mark Cuban owner of the Dallas Mavericks.
Cuban brings up another issue to think about.
“If it’s about racism and we’re ready to kick people out of the league, OK? Then what about homophobia? What about somebody who doesn’t like a particular religion? What about somebody who’s anti-semitic? What about a xenophobe?” stated Cuban.
Adbul-Jabbar also gave an explanation as to why someone would try to entrap another to make them an object of ridicule.
“The making and release of this tape is so sleazy that just listening to it makes me feel like an accomplice to the crime. We didn’t steal the cake but we’re all gorging ourselves on it,” said Adbul-Jabbar.
Questions began to rise concerning the “acquaintance” that exposed this issue and whether or not she would be charged with exposing and entrapping Sterling for his statements.
California, being a two-party consent state, says that the person who is being recorded must know that they are being recorded.
If the person being recorded is not aware they are being recorded, then the person recording is subject to criminal prosecution.
Although many factors come into play in this issue, it seems that one of the factors is clear: racism is bigotry and has no place in today’s America nor in our future.