State of the Debate

Punditsphere says: Everybody jump on Donald Sterling ...

First Published      Last Updated May 01 2014 04:42 pm

Just a few days ago, a lot of people out there, and in here, were saying that the ideal kind of person to buy, and save, a big-city newspaper would be the same kind of person who owns a major sports franchise. Someone who already had a lot of money, could afford to lose a little of it, and was more interested in the community-building, the prestige and the fun than in a big, fast return on investment.

After all, the owner of the Boston Red Sox just bought the Boston Globe, and the owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves NBA team is buying the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

But, for some reason, the shine of being a big team-owning jillionaire has been diminished in the last few days.

Sterling case is about more than race — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

" ... Yes, Donald Sterling is a racist, and the NBA, the Larry H. Miller family and everyone else connected to basketball or humanity in general is correct to condemn him. But he would be just another yokel ranting on his front porch were it not for the fact that he had reached that plateau of fabulous wealth that insulated him from having to conduct himself with decency.

"That's right. He's a one-percenter.

"The antebellum mentality that pervades his recorded conversation is both racist and sexist, and it's clear that in his plantation, he is the owner. He is comfortable with mingling with African Americans at "my games," but he doesn't want "my girl" going there. ..."

Racism in sports, society alive and well — Trib Talk | The Salt Lake Tribune

NBA players should do more with their power — E.J. Dionne | The Washington Post

" ... Sterling could not survive his taped ramblings because he is part of an institution in which African Americans are, in the most literal sense, the key players — some 76 percent of the members of NBA teams are African American. In responding to Sterling, the men whose talents draw the audiences demonstrated a form of solidarity that their employers, Sterling's fellow owners, simply could not ignore. ..."

Donald Sterling part of L.A.'s culture of impunity — Joe Mathews | Los Angeles Daily News

" ... The racism heard on the leaked tape of Sterling and his girlfriend may have been news around the country, but Sterling's discrimination against renters in his apartment buildings, and his racist and misogynist views, were well-known facts of Los Angeles life for 30 years. During those decades, no one here sought to dislodge Sterling from his role as owner of his sports franchise. And with his bigotry suddenly a national story, Sterling has become an outrageous example of the inability of L.A. to police itself, and its elite. ..."

The NBA won't tolerate racism, so why does the NFL tolerate 'Redskins'? — Chris Feliciano Arnold | For The Los Angeles Times

Silver's bold decision should inspire others — David Adler | For The Idaho Statesman

"Adam Silver's lifetime banishment of Donald Sterling from the NBA, now the most famous and appropriate expulsion of any figure ever associated with professional sports, represents a celebratory exercise in leadership and a monument to the need to confront discrimination, wherever it is found. Alas, it provides a grim reminder of the prevalence in America of racism and prejudice. As Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor declared last week, 'race matters.' ..."

NBA's reaction to racist talk highlights American progress — Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial

"Ours was a country in which government regulation protected slavery. After a civil war helped end it, government regulations imposed school segregation, separate water fountains and back-of-the-bus status for blacks. Leading politicians - even a few who live today - openly belonged to the Ku Klux Klan. All this in a country founded to free and empower individuals.

"We have a long way to go, but we've come quite far in 238 years. ..."

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