The Clippers, Sterling and much to do about mean old men




By Daniel Gelman

unhealthy times; font-size: 16px;”>sports-basketball-los-angeles-clippers-court-logo-poster-TR4635If you play for the L.A. Clippers, advice or you’re a fan, symptoms and you were fine with Donald Sterling five minutes before you heard a private recording of his domestic argument, then you should be fine now.

His reputation as a scoundrel and a bigot goes way back, including accusations of discriminating against African Americans in the Real Estate industry. But what more exactly could he do for black players and fans even if he was a nice guy? He gives thousands of free tickets to his games to inner city youth every year. He donates tens of thousands of dollars to the NAACP, he hired a black coach and a bunch of black players, and he was sleeping with a half black woman.

Even in his private conversation he didn’t use the “N-word,” or throw around any “F-bombs.” It wasn’t exactly a Mel Gibson or Reverend Jeremiah Wright diatribe. In fact his comments were strange and awkward. He did not deliver them with either clarity or vicious vitriol. If it had been a maniacal rant with profanity and grotesque analogies, I can see where it would hurt more. At one point it even sounded like he felt sorry for black people in Israel.

I love Magic Johnson, but I would be jealous if my girlfriend hung out with him. He committed adultery by his own admission at least 1,000 times, he’s taller and more talented than me, and if I was in my 80’s, he would be more than a quarter of a century younger than me.

The person who Sterling was trying to hurt was his lover, for hanging out with Magic and getting photographed with him. That’s what we do in the heat of angry passion. We strike at people’s most sensitive vulnerabilities. She is half black.

I have no idea what the President of the United States has to do with any of this. He was intimately close to a radically racist and wildly anti-Semitic pastor, but he found time to comment on this anyway. Not only did he not lose the election over his associations, he filled stadiums with adoring fans.

“When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything. You just let them talk.” Sterling didn’t want to advertise anything. I doubt he wanted to ruin his career. So unless the President was giving advice to Sterling’s girlfriend, I don’t know what he’s talking about. His statement would make more sense if Sterling’s comments were deliberately public like Jeremiah Wright’s were.



Reportedly L.A. Clipper and former Laker Matt Barnes hurled an anti-gay slur at a cop when he was being arrested a couple years ago. You may recognize him as the 6’7″ guy covered in tattoos. I wonder if he is all shook up over the news that the little old man who owns his team and pays him millions, secretly doesn’t like him. Do gay basketball fans boycott the games?

Jesse Jackson just attended a Clippers game. I’m sure he was outraged that this “Hymie” owner dislikes blacks. (Remember when Jackson referred to New York City as “Hymietown?”) But I assume the Clipper players and fans had no problem with him showing up.

Bill Clinton has been accused of rape, land fraud, sexual harassment, adultery, and perjury. He was even impeached, but he is a celebrated speaker around the nation and would probably be welcome at a Clippers game.

Clipper Coach Doc Rivers was known for using Nelson Mandela as a motivating force for his players when he coached in Boston. Mandela was known as a communist sympathizer, and his wife was known for encouraging the brutal murder of black South Africans by throwing burning tires around them.

Reportedly Laker great Kareem Abdul Jabaar wasn’t a big fan of white people and Laker star Shaquille O’Neil made fun of Asians when referring to Chinese player Yao Ming. Apparently former Laker star Byron Scott unwittingly wore a Swastika tie while coaching in Cleveland. All of them are still held in high esteem.

Did someone force Clipper players to join Sterling’s team? Did anyone force his girlfriend to choose him as a lover? Do gigantic alpha males really care if some octogenarian is jealous of Magic or dislikes them?

KABC’s African American radio host Larry Elder is encouraging Sterling to sue the league with full force. He thinks the whole controversy is overblown and hypocritical, since many people say unpleasant things in private. He also blames Magic for not taking it with a grain of salt.

It’s never pleasant to hear that someone you are beholden to looks down on you or even secretly hates you. But we live in a coarse world. Where is the public outrage at the girlfriend for making it seem a little coarser? I don’t blame the NBA for protecting their image, but why not pressure Sterling into taking diversity courses and donating even more to black charities?


Donald Sterling

A 2002 study by the Anti-Defamation League showed that blacks and Latinos are the most strongly anti-Semitic groups in America. I’ll bet that a strong percentage of players on the Clippers can’t stand Jews and couldn’t long before they joined the team. Sterling, otherwise known as Donald (Tokowitz) is a Jew. I wonder if he would still employ them if he heard them making some nasty comments to their girlfriends about Jews. I’ll bet he would keep them.

There is no tooth fairy or Santa Claus and we’re all going to die. There I said it. I hope it will make it easier for us all to accept that the owner of a previously obscure sports team is unpleasant.

Mean old men get jealous and some don’t like you. Let’s get on with the business of living and keep our specious self-righteousness in check.


Daniel Gelman has been a Reporter/Writer for several years, specializing in News, Business, Feature, and Op-Ed.

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warren miller

the long winded high minded speech given by the NBA commissioner was at the very least the most politically correct speech i have heard in a while. the mere fact that someone’s PRIVATE conversation can cost him the loss of ANYTHING is beyond reason. find someone who, while in a private conversation has not thought, or said the same or worse. we should all be really wary of whats going on here. i hope Sterling sues the hell out of the league and includes his girl friend in the suit.

William "Bill" Hicks

Is this 1984? Private words in your own house are reviewed by the speech police?

What happens when technology can determine your thoughts?

Please don’t believe I’m in favor of blatant racist remarks, but there still is a first amendment right.

Jerry Nordskog

Your comment is awaiting moderation. WHAT???????

This essay makes more sense, common sense which is nowadays uncommon, than all the league leaders, and many players, and most media. Many hypocrites on our society. This was a private conversation in jealousy rage. That’s it. Thanks to the Citizens Journal to have the guts to print alternative viewpoint. GCN

Citizen Reporter

Sorry Jerry: In this age of spam and trolls, we have to moderate.


Bravo! Best analysis of this tempest in a teapot I have read.