Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the reported conversation that happened between Donald Sterling (owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers) and V. Stiviano. In this conversation, the man reported to be Donald Sterling reprimands the woman for bringing black people to the games and for taking a picture with NBA legend Magic Johnson and putting it on Instagram. Keep in mind that Sterling has also been accused of racism before by the Justice Department and by former employees.
Now it feels like everyone in the world has reacted to this. But these reactions have been amazing, and it's important to watch and read a least a few of them. Racism isn't going away unless we actively talk about it. Anyways, here are some reactions, and they probably come from people you’ll recognize.
Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley:
Barkley makes a great point at 1:30.
Michael Jordan's official statement:
Jordan is also an owner of an NBA team.
"I look at this from two perspectives — as a current owner and a former player. As an owner, I'm obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I'm confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly. As a former player, I'm completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA — or anywhere else — for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed. I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport. In a league where the majority of players are African-American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level."
Update: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has banned Sterling for life from the NBA and fined him $2.5 million. He will try to get the league's owners to force Sterling to sell the team.
Ernie: . . . back at this.
Shaquill O'Neal: You know it's one thing to say something that is controversial, but it's another thing to say something that's very repugnant. The question is now, should this guy continue being an owner? That's the question, should this guy continue being an owner? You know, everyone has their thoughts, you know, everyone has their opinions.
Ernie: You tell me?
Shaquill O'Neal: But you know, but when your opinions and your thoughts become public knowledge, question is, now what? And then another question is, you know will his team shut down on him? You know, will him team take these remarks personal? And say you know what we don't want to play for a guy like this. You know it's an unfortunate situation but I think the league needs to take a very long hard look on whether this guy should continue to be an owner or not.
Ernie: You can read these statements over and over. You can read the story over and over. And you can still not believe what your reading.
Charles Barkley: Well, first of all, you can believe it, because this has happened before. He settled a lawsuit years ago. Obviously, he owns a lot of land and things also, and he settled a lawsuit. They said he was discriminating against Blacks and Hispanics, so this is habitual. This is the first test of Adam Silver. He's got to suspend him right now. First of all, they got to prove it's his voice on the tape. But this is the first big test of Adam Silver.
You can't have this guy making statements like that. He has to suspend him and fine him, immediately. He has to be suspended. You know Ernie, and the problem I have with it, if somebody wants to be racist that's all right. That's their thing. But when you're in a position of power and you can take jobs and economic opportunity from people, that's what crosses the line. But we cannot have an N.B.A. owner discriminating against a league. We're a black league, Ernie. We are a black league. I don't know they number, but I'd say that 80% of our players are black.
Ernie: How do you take this as a player?
Charles Barkley: Well, that's a different animal.