Sterling

LeBron, Welcome Home--Now What?

LeBron, Welcome Home--Now What? View image on Twitter

When racism directly hit your league you spoke out. Thank you for that. You rather brilliantly controlled the announcement of your return to Ohio. My question for you Mr. James is this: do you really care about racism, in all its forms, in sports? In all sports?

If so, what is your position on the racism in the NFL and in MLB and in all the other arenas in Ohio and all the cities where NBA teams play involving the Native American team identities? Cleveland is your sport's home as much as Akron is your family's home and Cleveland has the most racist team in MLB in the country.

The team name while currently commonly accepted does represent a racist and arrogant mistake by a man determined to conquer an entire continent centuries ago, a mistake never really addressed and certainly not corrected. The logo is the modern version of plenty of ugly racist caricatures no longer accepted as legitimate but in Cleveland it is accepted as "cute"--Chief Wahoo. Will you stand up and call out this racist issue? Or do you only care about racism as it affects your own race?

Is racism in all its forms, against all people important enough for you to take a stand?

Can US Mayors Confront Racism? Will They?

Can US Mayors Confront Racism? Will They?

"There can be a meanness,an ugliness" in sports.

Kareem Adbul-Jabbar: "I couldn't believe that someone could have that much bigotry inside and think that it was OK" when referring to Sterling and his racist comments.

"Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin told the mayors' meeting he hopes the Sterling drama will serve as a catalyst for positive changes in society.

"We can focus on Donald Sterling all we want or we can be smart about it and focus on what we can all accomplish when we come together as one,"" Michael Irvin said.

Here a Racist Billionaire, There a Racist Billionaire!

Today in the accusations that NBA L.A. Clippers' team owner Donald Sterling is a racist, based on the release of a tape of his alleged statements it was not so much the racism that caught my eye but one other comment he allegedly made: "but don't put (Magic) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me." (Italics mine)  http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/27/us/nba-team-owner-alleged-racist-remarks    Image

I find myself wondering--so who has to call him? Sterling is a self-made billionaire according to Forbes. He may be a twisted individual, he may like the ownership and management style, such as it is, in the NBA, he may like the fame in the NBA but that throwaway line is certainly an odd one.

I'd be happy to say it is in Sterling's head if I didn't know that the Cleveland MLB team owner Larry Dolan said something similar in a conversation with Oberlin College students when he was a trustee there. He said he would be said to "have given in" to the protesters it he changed the name and logo. Who would be making that particular accusatory statement to him, a lawyer and a billionaire? Is not such a man well enough positioned in the world to be able to make his own choices, do as he pleases, do what he knows in his head and heart is both the good and the profitable thing to do?

Here's my thought--somehow these owners are not totally tone-deaf to morally right positions BUT they are also very aware they live in society and society for them has a particular culture. More from the tape today, allegedly Sterling talking:

"It isn't a question -- we don't evaluate what's right and wrong, we live in a society. We live in a culture. We have to live within that culture," the man replies:"

Image

Evidently for some reason powerful men, billionaire major sports' teams' owners see the society and culture they live within as all but endorsing and requiring racism. Still. Today. There is one way for these powerful men to disprove this: they do the right thing, and yes, if done right, the profitable thing and change the name and logo, starting in Cleveland. And in L.A.? I'll leave that solution in the capable hands of the NBA.