George Hale May 2, 2014

Updated 6 months ago

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT WE MIGHT BE TURNING A CORNER IN INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, ALONG COMES L-A CLIPPERS OWNER DONALD STERLING…

GEORGE HALE HAS SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT IT.

TONIGHT JUST A FEW THOUGHTS ON THE DONALD STERLING SCANDAL WHICH HAS BEEN GIVEN HUGE COVERAGE OVER THE LAST WEEK.

TORRENTS OF CONTEMPT HAVE BEEN COMING DOWN ON STERLING SINCE THE RELEASE OF AN AUDIO RECORDING IN WHICH HE TELLS HIS MISTRESS TO STOP POSTING PICTURES
OF HERSELF WITH BLACK MEN AND NOT TO BRING THEM TO GAMES.

THIS FROM A VETERAN OWNER OF AN N B A BASKETBALL TEAM WHERE 80 PERCENT OF THE PLAYERS ARE AFRICAN-AMERICAN.

IN THE AFTERMATH COMMISSIONER ADAM SILVER BANNED STERLING FOR LIFE FROM THE LEAGUE AND FINED HIM 2.5 MILLION DOLLARS.

EVEN LARGER WAS THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT SILVER WOULD SEEK TO HAVE STERLING SELL THE L.A. CLIPPERS.

THAT WILL TAKE ACTION OF THE OTHER OWNERS.

MUCH OF THE REPORTING SUGGESTED THAT THIS WAS A NEW ISSUE IN THE SPORTS WORLD.

BUT NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

MY MIND IMMEDIATELY DRIFTED BACK TO MARGE SCHOTT AND 1992.

SCHOTT, OWNER OF THE CINCINNATI REDS BASEBALL TEAM, USED RACIAL SLURS ABOUT PLAYERS AND INSULTED JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY OTHER THAN HER PET DOG SCHOTTZIE.

SHE EVEN WENT SO FAR AS TO PRAISE HITLER.

BUT THAT WAS THEN AND THE STERLING CASE IS NOW.

THERE WAS NO FACEBOOK OR TWITTER IN THOSE DAYS AND IT TOOK SEVERAL YEARS TO GET HER OUT BUT FINALLY THE TEAM WAS SOLD.

THE POINT IS THAT RACISM IN SPORTS IS NOTHING NEW.

THERE ARE MANY EXAMPLES DATING BACK TO JESSE OWENS.

AND WHO HASN’T HEARD OF THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY?

TECHNOLOGY IS DIFFERENT NOW SO WE HEAR A RACIAL RANT ON A SECRET TAPE RECORDING.

NO ONE SHOULD HAVE ANY SYMPATHY FOR STERLING.

THE RACIST REMARKS ARE HOPELESS BUT WE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SURPRISED GIVEN HIS TRACK RECORD OF PREVIOUS ACCUSATIONS AND LAW SUITS.

HOWEVER, A NUMBER OF QUESTIONS HAVE ARISEN OVER DETAILS SURROUNDING THE MANNER IN WHICH HE WAS TRAPPED BY HIS OWN WORDS.

GEORGE ORWELL, IN THE NOVEL 1984, WROTE ABOUT A MACHINE THAT SPIED ON PEOPLE CONSTANTLY.

ONLY SOMETHING HAS CHANGED.

IT’S NOT THE GOVERNMENT DOING TO SPYING—IT’S OUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS.

WE ARE NOW LIVING IN A WORLD WHERE OUR PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS ARE SUBJECT TO BEING RECORDED AND PUT ON YOU TUBE OR SOME OTHER OUTLET.

ALMOST ALL OF US ARE WALKING AROUND WITH A CELL PHONE CAPABLE OF RECORDING AUDIO AND VIDEO WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE OF THOSE IN THE ROOM.

WE ARE WATCHED ON STREET CORNERS AND IN STORES.

PLEASE DON’T GET ME WRONG…I HAVE ZERO SYMPATHY FOR STERLING.

HE SHOWED HIMSELF TO BE A RACIST AND GENERALLY HORRIBLE PERSON.

I’M GLAD HE WILL BE BANNED FROM THE NBA AND DEPENDING ON THE ACTION OF THE OWNERS FORCED TO SELL A FRANCHISE WHICH HE SO BADLY MISMANAGED.

BUT EVERY AMERICAN HAS THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH INCLUDING DONALD STERLING.

EVEN IF THAT CITIZEN USES THAT RIGHT TO SAY VILE, DISGUSTING AND RACIAL REMARKS.

WE ARE ALL IN TROUBLE IF THAT IS TAKEN AWAY.

THE NBA, EVEN AT THIS LATE DATE, HAS THE RIGHT TO KICK HIM OUT AND MAKE HIM SELL THE TEAM.

THE ARGUMENT IS NOT ABOUT FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS, IT’S ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION OF THE NATIONAL BASKEBALL ASSOCIATION.

AS MUCH AS WE WOULD LIKE TO WE CAN NEVER BAN ALL OF THE RACISTS IN SPORTS OR ELSEWHERE.

BUT WE CAN AND SHOULD BE VIGILANT.

THE STERLING CASE HAS AT LEAST GIVEN US SOMETHING.

AND THAT’S THE KNOWLEDGE THAT BIGOTRY AND RACISM CAN HIDE IN MANY PLACES INCLUDING LOCKER ROOMS, OFFICES, CLUBS AND BOARD ROOMS.

BUT WHEN EXPOSED TO DAYLIGHT IT DIES…BIGOTRY CANNOT SURVIVE SUNSHINE.

THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS.


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