bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Donald Sterling, NBA owner and racist, needs to go

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Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is a disaster. He has presided over a terrible franchise since 1981, and is currently the longest-tenured owner in the NBA. His team has been miserably bad for most of those years. Now that they are finally good, he has found another way to embarrass his team and his city. Known to be a racist for many years by a number of people, Sterling left no doubt about it this week when a tape surfaced of him making racial comments to his girlfriend.

There is so little about this story that makes any sense. Sterling was recorded berating his girlfriend, who goes by the name of V. Stiviano, about associating with black people and bringing them to Clippers games. Stiviano herself is half black and half Mexican, so the request is truly bizarre. She is also 26 and attractive, while Sterling is 80 and not, but I guess we have seen that situation numerous times before. If Sterling is so repulsed by African-Americans, though, I am not sure why he chose Stiviano as his girlfriend. I guess sex appeal trumps racism in his book.

Stiviano is the target of a lawsuit filed by Sterling’s estranged wife, who claims that the woman “embezzled” almost two million dollars from Sterling by acting like his girlfriend in order to get him to buy her things. The lawyer involved says that the phone call was leaked in retaliation for the suit. I have no idea whether or not there is any truth to that, but I hardly think it matters. Racism is wrong no matter what, and open bigotry by a man whose entire livelihood is dependent upon the basketball players on his team, most of whom are black, is incredibly foolish and bizarre.

A number of high profile players and former players, including LeBron James and Magic Johnson, have spoken out against Sterling and his words. David Silver, the new commissioner of the NBA, has little choice but to severely sanction Sterling. It will be interesting to see the reaction of the other league owners, as I expect they will come out agains this as well. I will not be surprised to see Sterling step away from his team or sell it outright by the time this is all over. Good riddance to him.

Bad sports, continued:

2) Bradley Roby, a cornerback from Ohio State who is expected to be a high pick in the upcoming NFL draft, was cited for operating a vehicle under the influence after he was found passed out in the driver’s seat of a parked car in Columbus.

3) Nene, a power forward for the Washington Wizards, was suspended after he head-butted Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls during game three of their playoff series on Friday. He had to sit out Sunday’s game four.

4) Maybe the steroids have gotten to his brain, because I can’t figure out what Ryan Braun was thinking as he warmed up during the Brewers-Cubs game on Saturday. Check out the video. His practice swings were happening from the top step of the dugout, and teammate Jean Segura clearly didn’t anticipate that, as he got clocked in the head as he walked by.

5) Oliver Perez, a relief pitcher for the Arizona Cardinals, let himself be rattled by an obvious case of gamesmanship by the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday. Perez was pitching in the eighth inning with his team ahead by a run. He got Chase Utley on a fly ball, but then Phillies’ manager Ryne Sandberg complained to the umpire that Perez’ undershirt, which was visible under his jersey, did not conform to league rules. The umpire agreed and told Perez he had to remove the shirt. The pitcher reacted very badly, stomping off the field and flinging his glove into the dugout. When he came back, he immediately gave up a hit to Ryan Howard and was then taken out of the game. He is a veteran and should know better.

6) The new use of instant replay has clearly not made the actual umpires any better in baseball. Even though they used replay, the umpires managed to screw up the ball-strike count during an at-bat in the Tampa Bay Rays-Minnesota Twins game on Tuesday.

7) The playoff series between the Indiana Pacers and the Atlanta Hawks does not seem to be going the way of the top-seeded Pacers, and team chemistry might be partially to blame. Lance Stephenson, already known to be contentious and difficult, reportedly got in a fight with Evan Turner, whom the team added at the trade deadline in a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

8) New York Yankees reliever Michael Pineda was tossed out of a game against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday after umpires found pine tar smeared on his neck. He was clearly using the pine tar to doctor the baseball.

Good sports:

1) The Boston Marathon was run last Monday, and it was a much less eventful running than last year, when terrorists set off bombs near the finish line. Meb Keflezighi became the first American man to win the Boston Marathon since 1985.

2) Albert Pujols hit the 500th home run of his career on Tuesday, becoming the third-youngest player ever to reach that mark.

3) Pujols was in the news for something else this week, as a rookie record that he had previously held was broken by Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox. The record was for RBI in the first month of a career. Pujols had 26, while Abreu now has 31 with a couple of days still to go.

Bad sports, good sports appears early each week

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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One Response to “Bad sports, good sports: Donald Sterling, NBA owner and racist, needs to go”

  1. My 80-year-old father-in-law has a great perspective on life and his motto is “Nothing surprises me.” I wonder how someone so wealthy and successful as Sterling could be so ignorant and have such a pathetic and deplorable outlook on life. And yet…nothing surprises me.

    I like how you handle this Alan. You give it the attention it deserves as a negative cautionary tale without expanding it into some larger crisis. It is what it is: an old and miserable man who deserves to fade quickly and quietly away. And take the opinion media along.

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