Personally, I find most team sports to be kind of boring to watch, and I always find professional sports fans to be a bit nutty. How they take personal responsibility for a big win always makes me scratch my head a bit. You didn’t win, sir. Those six foot four inch, pumped up athletes who represent your city did.
Anyway, this blog post isn’t about my dislike of Monday Night Football or sitting in a stadium eating cold hot dogs watching baseball players spit tobacco on a field.
Today, I wanted to touch on this crazy saga of Donald Sterling. I had never heard of the guy until a couple of days ago when the story came out about his racist, offensive conversations with his young mistress. As a non-fan of basketball and someone who has first-hand experience with a megalomaniac boss like Donald Sterling, I wanted to share my opinion.
First, let me get this out there. The guy is a dirty, vile, racist man with too much money and a giant ego.
But, I seriously doubt that all the people around him, from the African-American coach and the primarily African-American players on his team to his Jewish wife and Hispanic girlfriend, didn’t already know this. I seriously doubt he lived the life of an honest, nice guy until last weekend.
All of the people in his circle tolerated his bulls*** because he was holding the purse strings. The wife overlooked his marital indiscretions. The coach ignored his racial slurs. The players didn’t want to address his reputation. His girlfriend kept him happy.
Didn’t all of these people have a choice? They certainly didn’t have to stay married to him, work for him, sleep with him.
Many moons ago, I had a boss who acted not unlike Donald Sterling. It was early in my career, and the opportunity was a good one. But, my boss was lecherous and dishonest. After a bad incident at a tradeshow and considerable soul searching, I made a rather ballsy move. I lodged a complaint against this turd and found myself another job.
Sure, I could have stayed there, collected my paycheck, and added to my stock options. But, I left. The guy was a pig! Just like Don Sterling.
So, my point is that perhaps, the focus shouldn’t be solely on the shortcomings of Donald Sterling. Who is really to blame? The answer seems simple to me. Everyone around him who enabled him to pull this crap for a very long time. They supported him by staying in his circle. That coach could have taken another job. Those players could have found another team. The wife should have asked for a divorce. And, the mistress. Well, what can we say about her?
As long as there are individuals willing to put money ahead of what is right, the Donald Sterlings of the world will continue to behave as they do.
Song of the Day: Money, The O’Jays