Ed. note: “D and Davis Show” co-host Ken Davis offers the first installment in his recurring column, “Love It or Hate It,” where he breaks down the most controversial topics in the sports world
While me and my radio partner D were on the air this Saturday morning, the Donald Sterling news broke and took its firm grip on the sports media cycle, with its chances of letting go any time soon looking slim.
My first reaction as someone who knew better was, “Who the hell is surprised that the formerly known as Donald Tokowitz made a racist statement?” One thing you can say about Tokowitz is he has always been consistent with his hate. Observers with any urge to delve into where sports and social injustice intersect have know that this man hates blacks (among many others) for at least 20 years. So why was I supposed to act shocked here? Why would everyone else?
In good part it is due to today’s microwave social media society, where news is not deemed important unless it is trending. To google “Sterling and hate,” at any time, not just this past weekend, would be an immediate crash course in modern-day racism. Donald Tokowitz has never liked your black ass, never have, never will. Like any plantation owner he can put up with the bucks as long as they bring in money and the lasses as long as they love him down proper. Reaping any of the benefits of his small kingdom doesn’t mean he likes you, or even regards you as a person remotely equal to him — you’re little more than a fetish object to him, something to lust after or scorn or both at the same time. But, I’m supposed to be shocked though.
Donald Tokowitz has been a cancer on the NBA ever since he was first allowed to own a franchise in 1981. The miserable bastard should have been taken out years ago, but the NBA, which is now forced to deal with him earnestly would have gladly kept looking the other way in regards to his institutional discrimination if not for TMZ’s willingness to put Tokowitz on public trial regardless of how the evidence was obtained.
Price Paid by Overlooking Sterling
Just look at this “man’s” history and remind yourself that all that we’ve heard so far is likely just the tip. One of the benefits of being a billionaire is being able to hide shit (quite a few NBA owners can relate).
Minorities have been willing to look the other way from his hate since the early 80’s, just to get paid, to get free agent contracts, to get large donations (NAACP). Look I have to feed my family as well, but at what cost to my character, honor and love of one’s self? To be fair, after a mil or two can’t I at least tell him, “fuck off you racist bastard/yo momma.” I’m serious.
Lakers great and former long-time Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor filed a lawsuit against Sterling citing his racist practices. Elgin Baylor began working for him in 1986, he was let go in 2006 and filed the suit in 2009. You’re telling me Elgin didn’t know Sterling was a racist by the dawn of the 1990s? Of course Baylor knew, of course the Los Angeles NAACP knew when they received his checks. As far as your wealth goes and my self-respect goes, just pay me pennies on the dollar and I’ll turn a blind eye. Unfortunately the less powerful of us have been in this position as long as we can remember.
I’m in the barber shop recently and guys taking the stance that the current Clipper players can’t sit out, at risk of losing their jobs. I respond that Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are rich a couple times over. Then it was suggested that the last guy in the bench couldn’t afford that. The lowest paid black players on the Clippers roster are Glen Davis, Ryan Hollins and Danny Granger, all millionaires because of former contracts. What is the sense of having supposed financial freedom if you don’t use it?
Some have suggested that the Clippers players have to play because it is their job, yet fans should boycott. I don’t know if you know how boycotts worked in the past, needless to say boycotts don’t work if we all don’t participate. Even if you’re not down to march and want to stay your ass at home, at least don’t go and help the enemy. Former New York Knick Larry Johnson (he of the “40 million dollar slave” quote) suggested black players develop their own league. A preposterous idea, but only because we as a people never think like that anymore. That’s not saying that such an idea would work, but its clear that we’re as conditioned to poo-poo self-reliance as ever before.
Muhammad Ali willingly missed the best years of his boxing career to stand up for his convictions. Do you think Jim Brown and Bill Russell would have merely reversed their shirts in response to such hate by their “bossman”? It is a damn game, the league couldn’t do anything against the players going forward, and it would become a public relations nightmare if they even tried. Don’t be scared players, poor or rich. We have to fight again. No magic genie is coming to correct shit like this and save the day, we have to do it ourselves.
Money makes the word go round, I often fall prey to this also, but I would not have played another game as a Clipper while Sterling owns the team. That is something I just wouldn’t have done, regardless of who stood with me or not.
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