I have truly been racking my brain over this issue since it surfaced and have been back and forth on both sides of the issue. At first analysis, I wanted the Clippers to boycott the organization and not play. However, looking more deeply, I have found justification in their choice to remain contenders in the NBA playoffs.
I support the Clippers in their decision to finish out the season and I will tell you why. It is without question that Donald Sterling is a racist and is living under the notion that it is inappropriate for blacks and whites to publicly mingle. It is also public knowledge that he does not respect blacks nor believe that they are on par with whites, socially. However, is it rational to let this mans beliefs prohibit the players from shining as extraordinary individuals that possess talents that millions aspire to? If the players were to let a bigot, such as Donald Sterling, directly or indirectly hinder a showcase of their abilities, they would be falling into the same mold of African-American’s talents being suppressed, as it has been for centuries. If I could be part of their team meeting about this issue, I would pose the questions, “are you going to let a racist get in the way of you winning the NBA title? Just because this man doesn’t support blacks, are you going to give up and let him stand as a deterrence for you to get a championship ring?”
Opposition may pose the concern that by the players taking the court, they are supporting Donald Sterling. And while monetarily this may be true, it is also important to note that during this controversy, Donald Sterling has damaged his own self-image within the realm of basketball, and the world, that will prohibit him from playing an integral role in anything relating to basketball ever again. The large majority of NBA personnel, fans, legends, have lost all respect for him. The Clippers players took the upper hand on the issue, handled the situation responsibly, and acted as exemplary professionals would. Donald Sterling’s potential monetary gain will just be additional money to his already enormous bank account.
It is crucial during this time to respect and support the Clippers basketball team and organization, as they have been put in a very burdensome position. These men have worked hard to achieve the status in which they hold and they did not obtain this level of success by letting any outside agent deter them from their end goal, which is to play basketball and win championships. They would be foolish to let someone who has no interest in them, keep them from achieving their goals.
Racism exists and it is incumbent upon all of us to create awareness about it, but to never let it get in the way of achieving our own ultimate goals. This issue goes past race as well, we cannot let those that only have a detrimental interest in our lives have any effect on how productive we are with our lives.
Thank you for reading. I would really like to hear what my readers have to say about this topic. Leave responses below in the comment section or tweet me @edwimp.