Racism in sports: NBA team owner's racist comments

by lm13 on October 1, 2014 - 8:29pm

The article "LA Clippers Owner Donald Sterling's Racist Rant Caught On Tape: Report (UPDATES)" by Braden Goyette explains the situation in the NBA, where the LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, told his girlfriend that he did not want her to hang out with black people at basketball games, nor does he want he to post pictures with them on social media. On the tape, Sterling goes on by telling his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, who has been seen with Magic Johnson at basketball games, that he would rather she spend time with black people in private rather than in public, for the world to see. However, Donald Sterling defends that what is heard on the recording does not reflect or represent himself, his views, his beliefs or his feelings. Nevertheless, this is not the first time Donald Sterling has been heard saying racist comments. As a matter of fact, Sterling was sued in 2005 and 2009 for discriminating against tenants at properties he owned. These tenants were either black or Hispanic people. Moreover, the former Clippers' manager, sued Donald Sterling for racial and age discrimination in 2011, although the lawsuit was not accepted in court.


I have to admit I was shocked when I read Donald Sterling's racist comments. I thought that such beliefs about black people, or Hispanic people, or any other "race" were beliefs of the past. However, this proves the opposite. Sterling's comments show that there are still people, in my opinion, who are narrow-minded and simply cruel. I believe it is cruel to discriminate people based on their skin color, and even worse is the fact that Sterling tries to forbid people in his entourage to reject these people. This situation makes me think about Jane Elliott's experiment with adults, where they intentionally discriminated against blue-eyed people. This experiment showed us that black people go through a lot of cruel things and those who aren't concerned, don't quite realize how much cruelty they are faced with. In the article about Donald Sterling, the writer mentioned many negative comments that Sterling has been heard saying, generalizing about Blacks and Hispanics. These beliefs, in my opinion, are poorly educated comments, because they are simply not true. Not all Blacks smell bad, and not all Hispanics smoke and drink all the time. What I find ironic and that is also mentioned in the article, is that Donald Sterling discriminates against black people, however most of the players on the NBA team he owned at that time, the LA Clippers, are African-American. I find it truly unfortunate that today, in the 21st century, some people still think such horrible things about various groups of people.


Goyette, Braden. (2014, April 24). "LA Clippers Owner Donald Sterling's Racist Rant Caught On Tape: Report (UPDATES)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 28, 2014 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/26/donald-sterling-racist_n_521857...


I found your post to be very interesting because we share the same reaction to the acts committed by Donald Sterling. Despite having been caught on tape, he is still trying to deny the fact that he is racist towards the non-white population of America. As you mentioned, it did not happen only once, but it happened three times before this incident. It is a shame that we are only capable of having a small insight of what happens behind owners doors, but I am sure that it happens a lot more often that we think it does.
I agree with you that it is unfortunate that these kinds of things still happen in the 21st century. After all the research that has been conducted, it is a shame that people still consider non-white people as inferior to them. Despite knowing that we all come from the same place, people are still making racial discrimination because of skin colour. You are totally correct when refering to Jane Elliot's experiment with blue eyed people. They were discriminated for only a couple of hours, and some of them cracked and walked out. People don't seem to realize the struggle that non-white people have to go through on a daily basis. That was a very interesting point. Another very good point I find you pointed out is the fact that most of the players on the basketball team he owned were African-American. If he his racist at the point that we heard him say on the recording, maybe basketball is not the best workplace for him.
Why do you think the former lawsuits against Donald Sterling were not accepted in court? In all, very good summary and response, you touched good talking points.

This is the sad reality that we live in. Hopefully one day we will be able to rid our society of racism. We have come a long way in terms of racism in sports. If you haven't, i recommend watching 42. It is a movie about Jackie Robinson's baseball career. This is a somewhat accurate depiction of what it was like for people of color in sports. thankfully it is no longer that bad, but it does not mean we have ruled it out. No matter how hard we try, we will not be able to remove racist thoughts from people. It is a choice made on their part and can only be done with full cooperation and an open mind. perhaps with more teaching methods in schools that integrate lessons on racism, we can start a change.

I think that your article was interesting since it covered really well the subject of racism in sports. In the case of the NBA, I think that you were right and that racism is often based on some stereotypes. I think that you were right when you said that the people who discriminate others are narrow-minded. It is quite shocking to still think that this can happen in the 21st century with all the improvements in education about this subject. No race should be considered superior no matter the context. Also, I find it even more unfortunate, just like you said, because the majority of the team is African-American and in such a diverse and cultural team and no matter their success, some people, such as the owner of the team as you discussed, will still try to put them down only based on their race. I found another similar issue than the one of the NBA, and it is about the NFL and a football team that is called the Redskins, which can be viewed as racist regarding the historical context. If you want to read more about it, here is the link to the article:

I love sports, especially basketball, that’s why I found your post to be very interesting. First of all, we should give respect to Magic Johnson he is One of the greatest basketball player in the history of the NBA. I have the same reaction when I saw this story on YouTube. I never thought Mr. Donald Sterling is going to say this kind of thing. And he did it 3 times already. I mean he is an Attorney, a very successful businessman, and well educated. I don’t know how he said those kinds of things. Well Anyways, Mr. Sterling owns the L.A Clippers, a team that is a lot of black guys. And his players are the one who makes him rich. In my own opinion, I’m Asian but it’s always great seeing a Black guys playing basketball. They’re good, athletic and very talented. For me, we should need to stop this racism. We should treat each other equally. I mean everyone is not perfect and that’s for sure. Even if you’re white, black, brown, light skin we should treat each other with respect.

here is what sterling Racist Comment:


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