I hate TMZ. I hate the business they've built. I despise their need to act in a morally superior manner and "expose" every tiny little private detail of people's lives. But it's impossible to ignore this latest bit of despicable information about LA Clipper owner Donald T. Sterling.
We've all done our best to ignore the racism and stupidity this man has evidenced over the years. And the last couple of years he's maintained a more modest profile... as he's finally acted as he actually gives a damn about winning. But now it's simply gone too far. With the Clippers embroiled in the playoffs and a good shot at a deep run, the last thing the franchise, the players, and the fans need is a resurgence of Sterling's awful, racist behavior.
There's a lot of crap in the report: It's TMZ, their behavior is tawdry enough, then there's Sterling's "girlfriend" (a woman named "V. Stiviano") who played a devious and ethically questionable role in both making the tape and making it public. Was Sterling duped? Probably. Does it matter? No. Look and listen to the piece of trash on your own if you can stomach it.
Here's a link to Tom Ziller's SB Nation article from this morning titled,"Donald Sterling remains a total scumbag and the NBA needs to deal with it..." I completely agree with everything Ziller says. There is no room for Sterling in the NBA. Here's an excerpt:
Most importantly, it's time for the other NBA owners to stand up to this dolt and support whatever action the commissioner's office takes. And if the commissioner doesn't take action, it's up to those owners to demand it. Forget about the damage to the league's brand or the Clippers or whatever pragmatic economic cases against Sterling there are to be made. This is about telling anyone who will listen that This Is Not Okay, that Donald Sterling Is Wrong, that Being A Racist Is Not Okay, Even If You Have Money, that We Will Not Be Complicit In Our Colleague's Idiocy.
Any calls for individual Clippers players or staff to speak out, or for the team to collectively stand against him aren't quite on target. It should never be up to victims of behavior to fix the problem. The enablers need to be the ones to take action. That's the league office, that's the Board of Governors, that's the broader players' union.
* Just breaking , from NBA PR guy Mike Bass: "We are in the process of conducting a full investigation into the audio recording obtained by TMZ... The remarks heard on the recording are disturbing and offensive, but at this time we have no further information."
The Clippers haven't said anything yet, but I believe it's essential for the dignity of the players... and the fans that they say something that distances the franchise from the hateful words of its owner.