By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

Opinion: LA Clippers owner gets clipped



BY Mia Patterson

Copy Desk Chief


With the NBA Playoffs underway, there have been countless upsets, and I’m not talking about busted brackets.

This past weekend, it was confirmed that the L.A. Clippers’ owner, Donald Sterling, shamed the Clippers organization and made himself out to be a huge imbecile to the general public.

Sterling’s racist remarks, released by his girlfriend Stiviano, have not only put him in a sticky situation with the NBA organization, but have also put him in the direct line of fire from the general public, basketball enthusiasts and NBA athletes.

Sterling’s racist statements originated from social media (go figure right?) because his girlfriend posted a picture of herself and Magic Johnson at a Clippers game on Instagram.

Then, to make matters worse, after he incriminated her for posting pictures of herself with Johnson, Sterling continued to dig himself into an even deeper hole by telling her he did not want her to bring black people to Clippers games.

Wait…WHAT? I know it’s ridiculous right? It’s the racism towards Richard Sherman debacle all over again!


Athletes for Action


Can we just pause for cause and recognize that not only did Sterling discriminate against African Americans BUT he used Magic Johnson as a primary example of his lashing out?

Magic Johnson is one of the more successful African American athletes of our generation and will probably be recognized in the future right up there with ‘His Airness’ Michael Jordan. Athletes such as Johnson and Jordan will one day be referred to as we refer to the athletic greats such as Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali and even Willie O’ree (if you don’t know who that is you should Google him, he’s worth a Google).

When Sterling’s derogatory statements became public, he instantly fell under criticism from EVERYBODY but none more so than Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan who responded in the most respective ways they could with the best interest of the NBA organization in mind.

“As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views,” Jordan said, according to an ESPN news services article published April 28. “I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly. As a former player, I’m completely outraged.”

Jordan, an African American who is majority owner for the Charlotte Bobcats, was not the only person to speak out on the matter.

Magic Johnson not only addressed the rumors regarding him buying the Clippers (two guesses as to whether or not he’s actually even considering it), but he also Tweeted, “@cjbycookie and I will never go to a Clippers game again as long as Donald Sterling is the owner.” on April 26.

Players going out of their way to make statements referring to the NBA not having room for people as disgraceful as Sterling, fans and players sympathizing for the players on the Clippers roster are just the surface reactions to this scandal.

Which, food for thought, the Clippers roster is made up of predominantly African American male athletes. Did anyone notice that 12 of the 14 players that make up the Clippers’ roster are African American?


NBA Reaction


Not only has this incident directly affected the Clippers fans and players, but it has influenced other teams as well, the Miami Heat being one of them.

When the Clippers took the court against the Golden State Warriors in game four of the first round playoff series, they staged a silent protest against their vicious and incriminating owner.

While it was feared that the Clippers players were heavily considering boycotting Game four on Sunday, the Clippers decided to react to Sterling’s statement by turning their shooter shirts inside out to hide the L.A. Clippers logo, distancing themselves from the derogatory affiliation.

This protest spread throughout the NBA and, soon after the initial incident, the silent protest made its way to Lebron James and the Miami Heat as they took the court with their warm ups on inside out as well, in their game four against the Charlotte Bobcats.

The inside out warm up gear and the black socks are representative of the players not agreeing with the Clippers’ owner. The support of the NBA has been miraculous, as the Miami Heat, Houston Rockets and the Portland Trailblazers have all taken a stance in coming together to fight this racist evil that seems to be developing within some of the more successful citizens of America.

The inside out warm ups accompanied with the black socks and black sweatbands have slowly swept through the NBA organization as athletes have banned together to insure that NBA commissioner Adam Silver take the necessary steps to reassure the public and the players that the NBA will not stand for such actions within their organization.

As a direct result, Silver announced that Donald Sterling is to be banned from the NBA for life and is to pay the maximum fine of $2.5 million as a direct penalty.

Talk about an incredible loss in assets considering that the Clippers were originally purchased back in 1981 for a mere $12.5 million; and now their net worth is around $575 million according to Forbes as of January 2014.


What’s Next?


Although the team owner is up in the air at the moment because of this more recent incident, the L.A. Clippers will travel to Oracle Center for game six of their first-round series against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday May, 1.

What does this mean for we little people who enjoy the thrill of engaging in professional sporting events? It means we will need to become more self-aware of what is going on behind the scenes.

We cannot sit on the sidelines any longer, and we have to become activists like the NBA players who silently protested until proper action was issued concerning the repercussions of Sterling’s actions.

I will continue to pursue my aspirations to join the professional sports sector with my career goals; but I will keep my eyes open, constantly seeking those stories that need to be “Clipped” and brought into the public eye highlighting ethics in professional sports

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