LARNED — I wasn’t going to weigh in on the Donald Sterling mess.
I said to myself, “Self, you don’t have a dog in that fight. Move on.”
But then, who can avoid a good fight, especially one that has as many curs in it as this one?
Sterling is the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers who’s girlfriend (let’s stop right here and ask how an 80-year-old ugly guy can have a beautiful 30-something girlfriend? Maybe another choice of words would be appropriate here other than “girlfriend”) tape recorded some of his remarks, made in private, that are not particularly pleasing to all people as well as being, shall we say, lacking in intelligence, racist and well, just plain dumb.
The commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, jumped on Sterling like, well ... a dog on a bone!
He told Sterling DO NOT pass GO, DO NOT go to the Pearly Gates, DO NOT talk to St. Peter, but GO directly to HELL!
If there were a worse place I am sure Silver would have sent Sterling there!
The media loves it.
The race-baiters, the guys who make a living out of racism are overjoyed.
I don’t need to list their names here. You know who they are.
If Donald Sterling has a single solitary friend, I haven’t seen him stand up and be counted.
Isn’t it funny how when the “going gets tough” it isn’t just the “tough that get going,” it’s those so-called friends that head for the exit signs!
Let’s be clear here.
I am not here to support Donald Sterling.
He obviously is not a real nice guy, he says stupid things AND from all reports, is some kind of jerk.
However, if professional sports is going to disown, disembowel and discredit every owner that is a jerk, well then, we’ve got a huge shortage of dudes that own professional sports franchises!
Folks, it sometimes goes with the territory.
Sterling is not the only owner that could be considered a jerk!
Here’s my take on it: The NBA is a business.
I am something of a free market capitalist. Let the business itself take care of Sterling.
IF he really is some kind of a racist bigot, on an ongoing basis and not just a one-time slip of the tongue, then let those who are offended not play for him.
Let those who are offended not coach for him.
Let those who are offended not buy tickets.
Let those who are offended not watch the games on television.
Let those advertisers that are offended not advertise on Clippers games AND let those who are offended NOT buy Clippers jerseys and hats and mugs and pennants and all of the junk that goes with professional sports franchises.
If the offended truly are offended AND put their actions where their feelings are, the Clippers will not be long for this world.
They simply will not be able to compete in the free market.
All of this smacks of the Facism that was so ugly during World War II.
If you offended someone in power you could lose your business, your family, your life.
Do we really want to go down that road again?
Doesn’t freedom rub both ways?
Would you like to lose your business, your job, your livelihood over something you said in private?
There are better ways to handle this than a knee-jerk nuclear bomb approach.
Let those who are offended make the guy pay.
It is called free market.
Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned.