Donald Sterling Rears His Ugly Racist Head

April 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Donald Sterling, the owner of the NBA (National Basketball Association) Los Angeles Clippers, has apparently told a woman he has been dating to not bring Black people to his basketball games. Most people who have heard the 9+ minute audio believe that the voice on it is Donald Sterling’s voice. He first tells her, “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with Black people. Do you have to?" Then he goes on to say, "You can sleep with [Black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that (Instagram)... and not to bring them to my games." And further, "I’m just saying, in your lousy fucking Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with Black people." Then he goes after Magic Johnson, who is Black and is in the basketball hall of fame, when he tells her, "...Don't put him (Magic Johnson) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games."

Los Angeles Clippers players wear their warmup shirts inside out at a playoff game, in protest against racist team owner Donald Sterling, April 27, 2014. Photo: AP

Sterling’s racist rants were immediately met with condemnation and utter disgust.

Doc Rivers, the coach of the LA Clippers who is Black, in a way to show how Sterling’s statements have affected both white and Black players on his team, said, “J.J. Redick (a white player on the Clippers) is pissed (just) as (is) Chris Paul (a Black player on the Clippers).”

LeBron James, an NBA all-star who plays for the Miami Heat, said that he would actually consider giving up his shot at an NBA championship if Donald Sterling owned the Miami Heat. He said he really feels for his good friend Chris Paul: “I can only imagine what’s going through his head." James and his Miami Heat teammates had posted a photo of themselves in hoodies to protest the murder of Trayvon Martin. James also called for NBA Commissioner Adam Silver “to make a stand” because Sterling’s comments are unacceptable.

DeAndre Jordan, the starting center for the Los Angeles Clippers, posted an Instagram with a picture that was blacked out and no caption as a way to express his feelings. Last year people posted blacked-out pictures on Instagram to show support for Trayvon Martin after George Zimmerman was acquitted of Trayvon’s murder, so what DeAndre Jordan was doing was showing his unity with the Trayvon postings with his posting about Donald Sterling.

Rapper Lil Wayne left a video message for Donald Sterling, saying, “Fuck you. That simple. That easy.” According to TMZ Sports, he said that “if he were a member of the L.A. Clippers he would absolutely, positively quit the team in protest.”

ESPN writer Chris Broussard posted that "Donald Sterling has the mentality of an antebellum slave master: he makes $ off Blacks but doesn't see them as equals deserving of respect." Broussard called for the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers to both boycott their playoff game on Sunday, April 27.

Before the Clippers playoff game against the Golden State Warriors on April 27, the team protested Sterling’s racist rant by dumping their Clippers warm-up jackets in a pile on the floor, and warming up with their shirts turned inside out to obscure the Clippers logo. And they played the game with black armbands and black socks in another statement of protest.

An article in Revolution newspaper, “Elgin Baylor and Racism in the NBA” (issue #162, April 19, 2009), chronicled Donald Sterling’s racist behavior and a lawsuit against Sterling by Elgin Baylor, who is Black and was fired by Sterling as general manager of the Los Angeles Clippers. Baylor at that time said the same thing about Sterling that Chris Broussard said: "(Sterling) has (a) vision of a Southern plantation-type structure." People should go back and read that article to understand that this recent racist shit by Sterling is not just a one-time thing. Sterling has a long history of racist actions, not only with the NBA team he owns but also in his real estate holdings.

Baylor’s lawsuit for unlawful termination due to racist reasons was dismissed by a jury in 2011. At the time the Revolution article was written in 2009, it was clear that Baylor’s lawsuit had much validity. And now with this new racist shit from Sterling, it is even clearer that Baylor had correctly identified Sterling’s racism.

And Sterling has a history of whitewashing his image with donations to Democratic Party politicians, charities, and civil rights groups. Until this latest scandal broke, the LA Chapter of the NAACP was going to give Donald Sterling a Lifetime Achievement Award during a ceremony on May 15!

Listen to this Talk by Bob Avakian:

The NBA: Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters

Track 1, Track 2

The NBA, like other major professional sports leagues in the U.S., plays a huge role in reflecting, serving, and promoting the exploitive and oppressive values of this system. The fact that Sterling—with his uncontested record of blatantly promoting white supremacy—has been a long-time owner of an NBA franchise tells you much about what that is all about.

The only lifetime achievement award Donald Sterling deserves is a lifetime of promoting white supremacy and his role in turning the NBA into something akin to a minstrel show. People may think that is a strong statement, and it is, but you need to listen to Bob Avakian’s talk “The NBA: Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters" (part of the 7 Talks by Bob Avakian) in order to understand the truth of this concept. In this talk, Avakian speaks to and chronicles how the nature of the NBA reinforces and endorses the oppressive relations for Black people in today's society. He goes on to show how the marketing strategy of the NBA has a racist component, where arenas are in the suburbs of the cities and only the wealthy can afford to attend the games. He says that because of this, "The NBA is the equivalent of a minstrel show in today's society...with the continuation of white supremacy." And right now, Donald Sterling is the league’s front person for white supremacy.

Besides listening to Avakian’s talk on the NBA, people need to download and read the special issue of Revolution on "The Oppression of Black People, The Crimes of This System and the Revolution We Need.” Yes, we do need a revolution in order to end the oppression of Black people and others, and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) provides that actual framework for ending that oppression.

If you want to know more about this revolution, you need to attend a very important talk taking place in the month of May, “Where We Are In the Revolution.” The cities where this talk will be given and the dates, place, and time are posted here as information becomes available.


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