I'm not a racist.
Donald T. Sterling, soon to be former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers Basketball Club
I feel bad for him, because he's not the man I know, or knew. There is something wrong. I personally think he has dementia.
Shelly Sterling, estranged wife of Donald Sterling and soon to be litigant in the biggest sports team related law suit ever witnessed.
If you listened to her husband's rambling interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN you might tend to agree with Rochelle, Shelly, Sterling. Let's face it, his entire performance was a vile stream of consciousness which bordered on a horrifying piece of Dadaist street art.
Sterling bounced from effusive apologies for his "terrible" remarks straight into a series of vicious, personal, attacks on Earvin, Magic, Johnson. A moment later he was nearly wailing as he made over the top denials that he is not now, or has ever been a racist. He whined about being baited into saying what he did by V. Stiviano while claiming he didn't know he was being taped. He even became delusional when he said the Clipper players loved him. "Absolutely," he told Cooper, "they know I'm not a racist."
That would be the same team who dumped their warm ups onto the middle of the court in Sacramento and wore their shoot around jerseys inside out. It would be the same team whose point guard is Chris Paul, the head representative of the NBA players union. You know, the guy who told the media if the league hadn't banned Sterling for life when it did the Clippers and every other team in the playoffs would have refused to play another game.
Shelly Sterling also told NBC's Savannah Guthrie, "I don't think it happened overnight. I think it's been happening, but nobody really knew the reason. He gets crazy and yells and screams and hollers one moment and the next moment he'll talk about something else. Its like nothing makes sense."
Ok, Shelly, but as Guthrie pointed out during the interview, dementia doesn't make you say racist things unless you're already in that fetid place. Let's face it, Don Sterling's record on race has been public knowledge since at least 2005 when he was dragged into the dock for not renting to African Americans, Latinos, and families with children. People have testified in open court for nearly a decade that his attitude and language toward minorities is appalling .
And it all bubbled right up to the surface when he went off on Johnson. "What has he done?" Sterling asked Cooper. "Can you tell me? Magic Johnson, what has he done? That's one problem I have. Jews, when they get successful they will help their people and some African Americans--maybe I'll get in trouble again--they don't want to help anybody."
When Cooper pressed the issue Don Sterling almost went over the edge again. "There's no African American--then sensing imminent disaster, he caught himself--"Never mind. I don't know.I'm sorry. You know they all want to play golf with me. Everyone wants to be with me. I'm easy. I'm fun."
Obviously there are several disputable facts found in that diatribe. One is, Magic Johnson has done plenty for the African American community through Magic Johnson Enterprises. Another is it's highly doubtful, "they," all want to play golf with him. Third, the man has apparently never heard of Bernie Madoff.
Although Sterling maintains the owners won't sell the team out from under him, it is hard to imagine any NBA, CEO wanting to take the sort of massive PR hit he would have to endure by basically endorsing this goof.
While crazy ol' Don might be done, things are going to get sticky with Mrs. Sterling. She has already promised a legal battle. NBA spokesperson, Mark Bass claims the league constitution is specific when it comes to these things. If the owners force the sale of a team with a 75% majority vote, the minority partners in the club get their involvement terminated also. So, Shelly, you have no case. What Mr. Bass doesn't seem to appreciate is if, Shelly Sterling has a law firm on retainer, she has a case. They're paid to make sure she does.
That's right, unfortunately we aren't done with the highly dysfunctional Sterling family. At least not in the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile chatrooms across the web are full of anonymous right wing werewolves yapping about Sterling's right to free speech while at the same time howling at the moon about people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. The current phrase du jour these malicious fucks use is, "the word police."
Well, the word police beats the hell out of guys who won't rent to people because of the color of their skin. They are also preferable to liars who make up evil nonsense to justify their attitude toward an entire race of people.
Donald Sterling desperately wants to be a victim. A lot of others just like him want the same thing.
None of them should be tolerated.
Now you know why I despise being called a liberal. I am, many times, not tolerant, which is the very definition of that tepid label.