*A pre-game fashion show at half court just ain’t enough…
Look, if the Clippers are A-OK being portrayed as modern day field Negroes, why should we bother being up in arms? Here we have some of the richest men in the country–privileged beyond most of our wildest imaginations–scratching their heads about how to handle this situation. Quite honestly, I don’t understand the “rock” or the “hard place” they are trying to make us believe they’re in. The Montgomery Bus Boycott? “Rock.” Sit-ins across the deep South? “Hard Places.” Missing a yacht payment? Not so much.
The recording of franchise owner Donald Sterling’s sentiments is arguably the biggest game-changer in professional sports since Jackie Robinson’s encounter with Philadelphia manager Ben Chapman in 1947. Both events displayed the ugliness of racism in all it’s athletic glory. While Robinson was clearly the hero in his situation, the NBA players’ confusion of whether or not they should defiantly protest is producing the wrong message. The love of the game or the commitment to your fans should never trump injustice, and that silent protest left many of us underwhelmed.
Yes, Commissioner Silver needs to penalize Sterling as strongly as possible. Yes, the NAACP should revoke laughable lifetime achievement awards and yes, Magic Johnson’s promise of never attending a Clippers game until changes are made should all be lauded. That being said, the initial and most powerful outcry for Sterling’s ousting should come from a unified front from those on his payroll, rather than the league’s penal codes and bylaws. Until they do something of worth and sacrifice, I’ll just shoulder shrug and watch us once again bury the power of our voices and dollar under another installment of “At Least I Got Paid.”
Tanya Tatum is the outstpoken host of “The Tatum Talks,” a live Blog Talk Radio show focusing on African-American interests. Feel free to join her and her guests for this week’s episode, “MAN CAVE: The Donald Sterling Fallout”, this Wednesday, April 30 from 9-10p EST at www.blogtalkradio.com/thetatumtalks. You can also join her for a daily discussion at www.facebook.com/thetatumtalks and follow her @TheTatumTalks on Twitter.