Sterling the bigot needs to be brought down, but do we have any privacy left?

April 29, 2014

While I could not care less about professional basketball and I realize from reading that LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling is a bigot, to say the least, and a quite distasteful person who sees his and other black basketball players as high-paid slaves on the plantation of the NBA (blacks make up 75 percent of the players I read), it is unnerving that private phone conversations can get a person into so much hot water.

He has been banned (or soon is to be) from the NBA, fined $2.5 million by the league, and a forced sale of his team is in the offing, all over words in an apparently secretly taped phone conversation in which he criticized his girlfriend (mistress) for and admonished her against hanging around with blacks. Ironically, she herself is half black. And as I read it, the old guy is married and the woman in question is much younger than him.

Sterling has a history of racism and is said to have forced black families out of housing he owned and I think may have been a slum lord.

So, whatever, Sterling seems to be  horrid person. And I have no sympathy for him.

I also realize that people in the public spotlight have to work and live under different conditions than the normal citizen. But one wonders whether there is anything such as privacy and the right to hold your own opinions anymore.

This incident does prove, though, that one does not have to have good judgment to be rich.

It is said that even if he is forced to sell the team he could make upwards of a billion dollars on the transaction, after buying the Clippers at a much lower price. There is some talk of somehow keeping him from profiting from the sale, but it would seem that there would be significant legal barriers to that and that Sterling would have the wherewithal to fight that.

In this case the NBA governing body has little choice but to do something decisive due to public uproar.

But probably the biggest and most effective pressure is from the commercial part of it all. Sponsors are fleeing the team not wanting to be associated with racism and thus putting them into a bad light with their potential customers.

And that is as it should be.

P.s.

 

I have not yet read up on the deal with his, I guess mistress. I guess it is her who taped the conversations. Maybe she was trying to blackmail him. It’s all very sordid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Obama spots the hard lesson taught by A-Rod…

February 10, 2009

(Copyright 2009)

Not so long ago I thought A-Rod was something you did not want to break in your car’s engine maybe, so that shows you how much of a sports fan or more specifically a baseball fan I am. But what is the big deal about Alex Rodriguez testing positive for drugs? Is it supposed to be a secret that major sports stars, professional and Olympic, take drugs to enhance their athletic capabilities?

I don’t know if all do, but we certainly know that a heck of a lot of them do or have.

We also know that to a man, or woman, they lie about it till they are finally cornered, and sometimes they still plead innocent with overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

To some degree, I almost don’t blame the professionals. What are they supposed to do? Everyone else (seemingly) is (or was) doing it. How can they compete? The owners of the teams knew what was happening, but they didn’t mind making the money that their star athletes generated. But when the word leaked out, to cover up their embarrassment and to respond to legal and public pressure they showed concern.

If everyone was sincere about wanting to rid sports, and baseball specifically here, of performance enhancing drugs, mandatory testing would have been set up long ago and anyone who came up dirty would have to go (regardless of their talent and value). That’s the way it is for regular people. Regular trade unions can’t exempt their members from random testing and the consequences, why should the baseball players union?

From what I have read and heard so far, a lot of fans are disappointed with A-Rod, and rightly so.

And I think President Obama, questioned on the A-Rod situation at his press conference, put it well. He said that it is a lesson for young people, that they can destroy everything they work for if they follow A-Rod’s path.

And really, that is what it is all about. You can choose to worship fame and money and self and cheat, with the gamble that you don’t get caught, or you can have pride in yourself and your reputation, along with self-respect and respect for your profession and those who look up to you (fans),  something that is worth more than money, something money can’t buy.