There are 30 Teams in the National Basket-ball Association (NBA. Thus far only 2 owners are reported to have voiced an opinion on the outrageous racist diatribe of LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling. In that exchange Sterling berated his close confidant V. Stiviano about her relationships with Black people. He told her he did not want her bringing Black people to his games.
Since then the League has banned mister Sterling from the league for life and is reportedly actively engaged in trying to have an early vote by the League’s Board Of Governors (the other owners} to force Sterling to sell the Clippers.
In 2011 roughly 78% of the NBA players were African Americans. The NBA has the highest percentage of Black players of any professional Sports League in the United States and Canada. Simply put Basketball is a black man’s game according to Pacers President Larry Bird. “It is a black man’s game, and it will be forever. I mean, the greatest athletes in the world are African-Americans,” said Bird. The NBA has no other commodity except it’s players. Any individual or Corporation doing business must have a vested interest in it’s commodity. Most Companies will fight to the last dollar to protect that which it deals or trades in. After all that’s the company’s life-blood. No commodity, no Company. NBA Players are well paid, that however is not the point. They bring to the public, a very sought-after form of entertainment which the public is willing to pay handsomely to see. Subsequently NBA team owners are rolling in the wealth these players create for them.
Most players are Millionaires, Many owners are Billionaires. NBA players are a great commodity for the Billionaire team owners. It is disgraceful yet not surprising that there is no league-wide outcry from these wealthy white men who own the others franchises except those two, who by the way are still anonymous. This begs the question whether more of these owners are themselves closeted bigots, who even if they vote to oust Sterling, will simply be going along to get along? If NBA owners cannot denounce rancid bigotry out of moral conviction, shouldn’t they be able to do so since their chattel the players, make them wealthy?
Clippers legend and former general manager Elgin Baylor accused Sterling of having a “plantation mentality” in a lawsuit against Sterling in 2003. Maybe the Plantation mentality runs deeper than just Donald Sterling. Maybe the new cotton fields are the NBA courts.