BOSTON (CBS) – I guess everyone – or at least, all non-racists – are feeling pretty good about the lifetime suspension and $2.5 million fine handed down by the NBA to the rich-old-fool owner of the L.A. Clippers, Donald Sterling.
Big NBA names like LeBron James and Magic Johnson – or, perhaps, their publicists – immediately tweeted their praise for the commissioner’s ruling. And the Clippers adopted a new slogan – “we are one” – reflecting the sugar-high of unified contempt for Sterling that’s apparently sweeping the nation.
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
I hate to be a buzzkill by repeating my comment from Monday – that I’m still troubled by the apparent fact that Sterling would have been shunned for his antique hatreds long ago if he wasn’t worth close to two billion dollars.
But I feel better about that after reading Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s column in Time Magazine, where he notes: Sterling “was discriminating against black and Hispanic families for years, preventing them from getting housing. It was public record. We did nothing. Suddenly he says he doesn’t want his girlfriend posing with Magic Johnson on Instagram and we bring out the torches and rope. Shouldn’t we have all called for his resignation back then?”
Yes, we should have.
So, why didn’t we?
For starters, the housing discrimination stuff was contained in dry court documents, in the form of charges that were denied, not in irrefutable recorded comments accompanied by grotesquely-titillating pictures of the old fool’s heavily made-over girlfriend.
But more to the point, there’s that money issue again.
All of a sudden, Sterling isn’t consistent with the “brand” of the league and the Clippers corporate sponsors. For some, it seems, revulsion over racism is tied to financial exposure.
Oh well, Whatever it takes, right?
Although you hope a day is coming when that disgust comes naturally, without a price point.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.
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