Sterling Tarnished By Time
The greatest tragedy in the Donald Sterling racist remarks fiasco is the attempt to excuse his behavior due to age or infirmity. Mr. Sterling is over 80 years old. In that time, he has witnessed a plethora of landmark decisions in the civil rights struggle.
1. The integration of the Army in 1948 (Ordered by President Truman)
2. The desegregation of schools in 1954 (Brown vs. The Board of Education)
3. Kenny Washington, the first Black American signed into the NFL 1946 (Los Angeles Rams)
4. Jackie Robinson, breaks the MLB color line in 1947 (Brooklyn Dodgers)
5. Earl Francis Lloyd first Black American to play in the NBA in 1950 (Washington Capitols)
6. Martin Luther King Jr. marches on Washington D.C. 1963 (I Have a Dream Speech)
7. The end of Apartheid in South Africa in 1994 (First Non-White democratically allowed elections)
8. Tiger Woods becomes first Black American to win the Masters golf tournament in 1997
9. Bob Johnson becomes the first Black American owner of an NBA franchise in 2002 (Charlotte Bobcats)
10. Barrack Obama becomes the first Black American president of the United States 2008
11. Jason Collins becomes the first openly gay NBA player to play in a game 2014 (Brooklyn Nets)
12. Michael Sam becomes the first openly gay NFL player to be drafted 2014 (St. Louis Rams)
To say that Donald Sterling is an anachronism is to open the question up for serious debate. In which time would Mr. Sterling like claim? What period of his life, does he feel most comfortable in? Because when taken as a whole, throughout his existence, there has been a constant changing of social and political views as it pertains to race relations. Furthermore, since as the cliché implies “no man is an island”, the ever rising tide of the civil rights movement has continually washed upon his shores. In his business as an NBA owner; in his city as Los Angeles citizen which has had both Black and Latino mayors; and even the agent to his downfall, V. Stiviano is herself of Black and Latino heritage.
So I’m sorry Mr. Sterling, and to each and every person out there who would explain away his hurtful and insensitive comments with the inadequate response of “He’s an old man, who doesn’t know any better.” He has lived through more civil rights history than most of us will ever witness. He is a bigot, he is mean, and just like the apartment buildings for which he is a notorious slumlord…his apology…I ain’t buying.