Adam Silver’s Sterling Quandary of 40 Million Dollar Slavery

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)


Oh, the irony of this pic. A more apropos statement has to be forthcoming right?

There are no qualifiers in this piece. Yeah it’s time to go napalm…

Let’s take a hypothetical trip to the not too distant past back to the plantation. There’s been an slave uprising and before the Black men, women and terrified children present, stand five with the physical features of LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and yes, Barack Obama that are about to be hung simply for standing up fearlessly to something their slave master made plantation law. These are the physically and mentally talented bucks the slave master didn’t want to rid himself of for economic reasons, but he just couldn’t have their strength of conviction become commonplace throughout the plantation.

Fortunately, the real strength also present was behind the faces salted of tears falling to the earth in the shape of their mother’s ever burning vengeance and almost superhuman perseverance. This is in part how soul is born. As their sons shook in trees dying while the overseers smirked and smiled because they didn’t have to deal with these “uppity nigras” anymore, what do you think the last words of these hanging men were to their children and significant others looking upon them in sheer horror, anger and sadness ultimately manifesting as frustrating helplessness?

Not a single word, and the silence after their hearts stopped was only interrupted by the shrieks of their families lasting for years until their own deaths. The stories or their existence and horrific demise were passed to next generations for decades becoming every reason not to trust, but also reasons not to step out of line…for some.

How many great fathers (biological and surrogate), biological mothers and also those in a communal sense, uncles, teachers, presidents, doctors, lawyers and yes, athletes, never lived because their ancestry was murdered and bloodlines never established?

What about those people?

The ones of slave martyrdom killed long before Martin, Malcolm and Medgar during  the Civil Rights Era?

This point must be driven home for all the people detached from a time where men were men and children were expected to respect every woman as if they were family and of course themselves. Of course it wasn’t about money and pride only caused you to fall because you were proud of who you were and who your neighbor was. How did we allow that morality never idealistic but realistically prominent that was envied by others because it was strong and strict and rarely complicit with bullshit to die? Now whoever has money are our friends and many would sell their tired and worried mothers down the river just for a spot in line for the next old ass J’s.

Bill Rhoden’s 40 Million Dollar Slave conveyor belt is a truth.

So…great men, women and children died for this “protest” to transpire?

That’s it? What would those honorable dead say to this? Do you honestly think they would be cool with such a meaningless protest even as the unforgiving noose tightened around their necks in the moments before their deaths? Where’s the league-wide boycott of everything NBA until Commissioner Adam Silver drops a true sledgehammer and banishes Donald Sterling into his own insidious culture of racist oblivion?

This is a country celebrating the birthdays of Presidents who owned slaves and we’re surprised in the least an NBA owner is racist? Black folk didn’t receive any economic benefit from centuries of free labor and in this current era, athletes are threatened with unemployment or intense public scrutiny simply for speaking their minds?

If the players stood up for themselves, they would have made the biggest athlete statement since the man heading this site did so yesterday in 1967. God bless you Muhammad Ali.

While these Chicken George ass Black folk run over their own just to keep a job and worry about what would happen during a boycott to their own well being when the only true rights they own are the TV ownership rights that laugh at their expense.

So yeah, hit ownership in their pocket…

Right here, right now during the playoffs is a perfect opportunity to affect NBA pockets and the coffers of league sponsors and supporters. If the entire league protests, the last man on the bench is protected because a galvanized labor force unified is a problem.

1.1 trillion dollars of buying power? Shut ’em down!

Sterling says he feeds the players he employs? Really? If the players form their own league, we’ll see how much “food” in his bottom line is affected. How did David Stern allow a man like Sterling to acquire Chris Paul after vetoing a trade to the Lakers? Look at the Lakers and look at the Clippers…why did Sterling deserve such an upgrade beneficial financially, and also NBA professionally?

Many would ask what do you say to the kids whose parents pay top dollar for tickets and special event concessions?

Tell them the truth and those kids will have a very blunt understanding how the world works at a young age and maybe, just maybe, they’ll grow to realize there’s more to this world than the grandeur money affords.

This is all very frustrating at times because many covering games haven’t the slightest idea how the game is actually played. They hid behind advanced stats as if a game played by imperfect humans is definitively defined by perfect numbers. Did you see D. K. Wilson ask Adam Silver questions at his presser? Anthony Gilbert? How about Ron Glover, Branson Wright, Jerold Wells Jr., Delvis Valentine, J. R. Gamble, Ricardo A. Hazell, Ali Danois, myself or the many other veteran qualified Black writers (you know who you are) that aren’t afforded consistent access? How about the much slept on Raqiyah Mays? She’s a beast (this is just not about sports trust). This is access that would change everything because stories written would give fans a true view of a game played by men who look like us, who have folks in their lives that died like us and understand what it is to be us despite their multi-million dollar talent.

They sure as hell didn’t step on this earth rich.

Further, why don’t Black media outlets seek access? Why isn’t that a priority? Why would those outlets find any dignity in thinking it’s journalism proper to write off the stories already written? Get in there and report yourself and watch what happens in everything positive.

Be the trendsetters instead of waiting for the mainstream to catch up to thoughts already established and nuanced.

To be honest, when I walk into any arena that’s not connected to an HBCU, I’m thoroughly disgusted that the farther I get from the actual court/playing field, the whiter it gets. In most cases, the only Black folk I see are ushers, food service and locker room attendants.

So, we’re actually talking about one owner, when in actuality very few (if any) owners care of developing and publicizing any sort of legitimate minority employment opportunities?  This also speaks of how education is valued regarding race and all the hypocrisy surrounding a true element of diversity and sought out talent in every occupation available. Media peers, how many Black kids do you see in front offices of teams you’ve covered for years? How many Black kids do you see handing out end of quarter sheets, injury reports or even assistants to the media relations directors seated among us on press row? In fact, how many Black media members do you see covering a league where, again, the majority of its labor force are Black?

We didn’t learn from Dan Gilbert and his plantation-like rhetoric after The Decision?

NBA ownership does not care about Black people…unless they can dunk a basketball and fill seats. Don’t get it twisted.

This isn’t just an NBA problem? What about Brian Cashman telling Alex Rodriquez to shut the expletive up or calling Robinson Cano greedy despite being the GM of the Yankees. Those two incidences were so unprofessional and pretty much not talked about as they should have been critiqued in columns and rants across the land.

Was any Black candidate even considered for league head at any time during or after David Stern’s retirement?

This is just now becoming an issue because Donald Sterling was “caught on tape“?

How about this?

Is Sterling complicit? What if Sterling was set up by the NBA and V. Stiviano in some sort of Oswaldian sense to rid themselves of an owner obviously racist and usher in a Magic Johnson led group as new Clippers ownership? His mention was very curious (yes I get it about the pic). Image management if you will? Why did this announcement hit the public on a Saturday? How did TMZ get the tape? Why did V. Stiviano record a rumored 100 hours of conversations with Sterling? Do you agree with Mark Cuban?

Said a very much appreciated LeBron James to Chris Broussard after a Game 3 win vs. Charlotte:

“If the reports are true, it’s unacceptable. It’s unacceptable in our league. It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black, Hispanic, whatever, all across the races. It’s unacceptable and as a commissioner in our league, they have to make a stand, and they have to be very aggressive with it. I don’t know what it’s going to be, but you just can’t have that in our league.

I hate the fact that something like this has to come out when the playoffs have been unbelievable and the game of basketball continues to grow, but there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league. There is no room for him.

“I’m not angry. Just disappointed more than anything. There is only 30 owners and 400-plus of us. For a player, I just think…I put my…I can only imagine if a player came out and said something of that stature what would happen to us as players. So, I believe in Adam (Silver), I believe in the NBA and they have to do something and do something very fast and quickly before this really gets out of hand. Like I said, there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league, man. There it is.”

Chauncey Billups said it right as well.

But enough of sports and the fantasy of escapism…

God be with you Chicago. You are what we should be talking about and working together as a nation to fix and fix quickly:

Until then, any national discussion on racism is meaningless, so what are we really talking about here?

Addendum (4/29/14 at 4:50 pm): Adam Silver bans Donald Sterling for life and fines him 2.5 million dollars.

So what. Adam Silver, look around arenas and the league office and show me you’re really focused on diversity and then I’ll care.

14 Responses to “Adam Silver’s Sterling Quandary of 40 Million Dollar Slavery”

  1. Ron Glover says:

    Once again we have been called to task to take a stand and all we get is a strip tease from the Clippers. That B.S. was shameful!!!

  2. Michelle says:

    Well that’s sums it all up!!! What gets me is all the fake outrage by the media.. How about the sports media addressing the fact that it to has a race issue….

  3. Fresh says:

    Once again it is our responsibility to fix problems we did not create. Why is it always the responsibility of those who are hurt by oppression to come up with a solution? Why do we always have to take a stand?

  4. Because quite honestly, it ain’t our money, so why should we expect anything different?

  5. Origin says:

    Fresh – you make a good point and I have thought about this as well. But in the end the hate is focused at us so be have to carry that heavy load.

    Mike – Where do I begin. This was a heck of a write up and I have a ton to say. Which I will probably come back with a few more comments. First let me say I was not surprised with the result with Silver. The players were making deals in the background and using the boycott as a nuclear winter with their finger hovering over the red button. Add to this sponsors dropping out and the president even commenting on this. Now let us not forget the league being a truly Global league unlike the NFL. So how are they gonna sell a Global league with an open racist owner to China, India, Middle East, Africa and South America?

    Let’s also not forget the wife turning on him the punk media finally reporting on his past and protesters / fans waiting to protest and boycott tonight’s game. Mike it would have been a shit storm right in front of the world. So the owners and Silver’s hoe cards got pulled and they sold out one of their own who Stern and the owners had protected for years.

    In the end rich folks like poor people do not like having their money fucked with and will act accordingly.

  6. Agreed with alladat O. Man all I want us to do is win a best of 7 series from time to time…

  7. Origin says:

    I hear you mike. I am as militant as they come but I can see both sides on how the players handled it. In the end they got the result done. Their way may have been more business like than militant but I can understand that way as well even with my corporate background and understanding how often times it is a chess match behind the scenes.

    The funny thing mike is this all could have been avoided if that ignorant racist Sterling would have slid his side piece the 1.8 mill that his racist wife was sueing her over. His cheapness finally caught up with him and I am glad. Even though it doesn’t resolve all the institutional racial issues in sports and society it is nice when one racist gets a kick in the ass. Just like a class action suit at a fortune 500 company it doesn’t solve all the issues but it does shines a light on the roaches.

  8. publius africanus says:

    Why hasn’t the media sought out David Stern and stuck a microphone in his face and ask him point blank why he enabled, aided and abetted the cretin that is Donald Sterling?

  9. […] Let’s take a hypothetical trip to the not too distant past back to the plantation. There’s been an slave uprising and before the Black men, women and terrified children present, stand five with the physical features of LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and yes, Barack Obama that are about to be hung simply for standing up fearlessly to something their slave master made plantation law. These are the physically and mentally talented bucks the slave master didn’t want to rid himself of for economic reasons, but he just couldn’t have their strength of conviction become commonplace throughout the plantation. Read full article […]

  10. Now that’s the question…

  11. mapoui says:

    “”Why hasn’t the media sought out David Stern and stuck a microphone in his face and ask him point blank why he enabled, aided and abetted the cretin that is Donald Sterling?”””

    because the NBA was pulling off a holding operation.

    maintaining business as usual required the sacrifice of one of their own and they were not hesitant. but the contagion could not spread, had to be contained, stopped. the NBA must be as afraid of revolution currently as the Bankers

    and containment required specific roles from quite a few key people including Doc Rivers who never let the focus slip from Sterling to all the whole plantation.. and issues like the rotten state of the game under individual billonaire owners, divesting them as solution, and forming publicly owned alternatives..
    to the formation of alternative black owned league(s)

    Rivers did a masterful job which continued with Sterling’s wife asking him if she could attend last nights game.

    the Doc is a sharp dude indeed the way he handled that. it was ‘a nice gesture’ he said.. which words were perfect in the situation. at least I thought so. yet it helped to maintain focus on Sterling in a big way, excluding larger related issues that literally beg to be addressed

  12. ch555x says:

    I guess Sterling’s story is too sordid to keep him around (went past race into orbit). I’m sure there’s more across sports (Irsay was skirtin’ a bit)…:/

  13. mapoui says:

    this is the nut of what I consider the matter to be all the time Sterling did not get punished for his actual institutional racism.. but his world fell apart on his private conversation with his girlfriend

    as Paul Street pointed out the more these public victories are gained over racism the deeper institutional racism gets.

    the whole plantation is society itself. white power will capitulate on issues such as these but not on challenges to institutional racism. so to prevent this issue spreading thusly Sterling was quickly sacrificed and the issue is ‘over’ as far as they are concerned.

    the media will taper off singing justice was done..the spokesmen and key Toms will agree and deep institutionalized racism remains safe

  14. Michelle says:

    The Yankees just did Cano wrong again.. Because he hired Jay and didn’t take their lowball offer they are now determined to demonize him like they did A- Rod.. Unlike the Red Sox who gave Ellsbury a video tribute, they encouged booing by ignorant Yankee fans turning up the mics in the stadium to make him look bad on tv.. Problem is they looked bad.. It’s Shameful when Cano only missed 14 games in 7 years hit for average and power with gold glove defense.. The more I see black athletes treated like disposable field hands the less I want to watch sports..