by Valerie Victor
HE’S A RACIST!
It’s been the biggest story regarding race this semester. NBA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, was recorded last month making derogatory comments about African-Americans to his then-girlfriend, V. Stiviano.
After Stiviano posted a picture on her Instagram with NBA all-star, Magic Johnson, Sterling scolded Stiviano and requested that she not promote “black people” at his games and on her social media.
“Yea, it bothers me a lot that you want to promo, broadcast that you’re associating with black people,” said Sterling in the recording.
Throughout the nine minute audio, Sterling argued that he is living “within a culture” that doesn’t allow for him to broadcast any association with minorities. He made it very clear that her public demonstration of an opposing cultural viewpoint is unacceptable to him.
But this wasn’t Sterling’s first time making incendiary remarks. So, it’s puzzling on why now, of all times, people across the nation — and especially students at HBCU’s like York — are in such a hubbub.
In 2002, the former CEO was talking to one of his real estate property supervisors making it clear he only wanted tenants that fit into his culture. The incident ended in multiple lawsuits from several the tenants which were all discretely settled in 2005.
The NBA acted immediately and banned the CEO for life from games, practices, board meetings and all Clippers’ facilities. Accompanying this ban, a $2.5 million dollar fine was issued by NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
Ultimately, the topic remains a truly controversial one and York College’s large black community has a lot to say on the subject.
Interviewee: Harpreet Bains
Q: Do you think Sterling is a racist? Elaborate?
A: “Yes, I think he is a racist. You can’t just look at another person’s skin color and think that it’s okay to single them out and say negative things about them. If you treat one race badly, for no reason, only because they look different from you, or you think your better, you are racist.
Q: Before hearing about what happened with Donald, and the Clippers, did you feel like racism still exists today?
A: Honestly, I didn’t think people would still be so closed minded, I mean we have a black president so something has to have changed. I mean don’t get me wrong people
will treat other people wrong and it’s not right, I’m sure it happens, but I just didn’t think it would happen on such a high level like that. So yeah, I think it’s still around, probably under the books.
Q: Do you think a fine of $2.5 million and being banned from the NBA is enough of a punishment for what transpired? Explain?
A: Okay, so here’s the thing. Let’s just do the math. This guy is already rich, so if you fine him $2.5 million yeah that’s a lot of money but it’s not a big deal for him. If he is forced to sell he makes about $575 million, and that doesn’t really seem like a punishment to me. The only thing that actually might make him understand and feel bad is the ban.
Q: After the incident, will you be attending any Clippers games?
A: If going to a Clippers game means putting money in his pocket and feeding his stupidity, then no. I mean, I’m not a real big Clippers fan, but maybe if they get a new CEO I’ll go just to support.
Interviewee: Mujahid Subhan
Q: Do you think Sterling is a racist? Elaborate?
A: “Yes, and no. I think he is a racist because of everything he said, but again, he is working with these people for all these years. But what he said was definitely discriminatory no doubt about it.
Q: Do you think what the NBA is doing to him is fair?
A: It’s absolutely fair! He should be banned. If that’s how you feel about the people you work with as if they are not worthy or beneath you, then yes, you don’t need to be working with them at all.
Q: What is your take on Shelly Sterling and his alleged girlfriend Stiviano?
A: Well the fact that his wife is supporting everything that’s happening to her husband by the NBA is good. At least she isn’t supporting his comments because she’s the co-owner. But I don’t know if she would agree with him because she might lose her ownership. But, his girlfriend… she’s the one who exposed him so I don’t think she supports his attitude.
Q: As a follower of the NBA how does what that make you feel?
A: I feel like it’s wrong. You can’t just talk about other people based on their skin color or where they come from. I am not a Caucasian, but it doesn’t make me any less of a person or any less qualified to attend a game and support a team I like.
Q: Who do you think would make a good new CEO?
A: (laughs) I don’t know anyone but him.
Interviewee: Tiffani Brown
Q: Do you think Sterling is a racist? Elaborate? Do you feel like racism exists today?
A: “I listened to a lot of what my boyfriend was saying about it and…He’s racist. You can’t make comments that offensive and not be a racist. I feel like racism is definitely prevalent today. We are more aware of this situation because it took place in the NBA, but it happens in jobs, schools, and different parts of the USA it’s just hidden.”
Q: Do you think the fine of 2.5 million dollars and being banned is enough of a punishment?
A: 2.5 million dollars is not worth a formal apology to Magic Johnson. He is already rich. Don’t get me wrong banning him and fining him was just, but he should apologize to everyone he’s offended especially Magic.
Q: What do you think about his wife and her stance since the occurrence? What about his girlfriend. Explain?
A: I think she’s just trying to protect herself by the comments and statements she released. She was married to him for so long; she has to know his mentality. His girlfriend first was exposing him and now she’s talking about him feeling alone or whatever, she’s just trying to protect him. You can’t scold him and then feel bad for him after. Right is right, and wrong is wrong.
Q: Are you surprised at all by the things that he said?
A: No, I’m not too surprised. A lot of people think that way, but a lot of people don’t express it out in the open. The conversation was “leaked.”