[ed. We're promoting this Fanpost to the front page for a few reasons. First, it's great material. Second, the issue with Donald Sterling wasn't just about one man and his prejudice, but about a league and nation coming to grips with these issues. Banning one man from the NBA doesn't scratch the surface. In this post Jelani speaks to some of our responses to Sterling in a convicted, important way. Third, Jelani has been a long-team community member here and a friend to the site. If you've considered these issues over the last few days, please take a moment to click through the link and read what he has to say.]
There are a lot of sighs of relief and satisfaction today.
After an unauthorized recording exposing his racist attitudes found its way to TMZ, and after just about everyone connected to the league spent the weekend consumed with "WTF" levels of gawkery over his well-documented reputation for racism, and after swift sanctions against him were promised by newly-minted league commissioner Adam Silver, it's official - L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned from the NBA for life.
If my social media feed is even close to a representative sample of public opinion, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. My guess is that most of us assumed Sterling's punishment would amount to a hefty fine and a short-term suspension - and boy were we wrong. Not only is Sterling banned from participating in any league-related activities, or appearing at team facilities, but in addition to the $2.5 million in fines, he will be facing pressure from the NBA Board of Governors to sell the team to a different ownership group.
Which means that pretty soon, this story will be fading from the news cycle and some other scandal will be jockeying for our attention.
So before those of us progressive types fade into afternoon naptime with our tummies full of moral superiority, we need to recognize a few principles, look in the mirror, and ask ourselves if we're prepared to deal with them. And if the answer is anything but an honest, qualified yes - then we'll bear a measure of the same enabling culpability that allows the Donald Sterlings of the world to inflict their racist business practices on the general public.
For a breakdown of said issues, read the rest here.