Thursday, November 05, 2009

Dan Wetzel Asks Some Questions About Don Sterling

Hey, remember when I reminded you that Donald Sterling is a dick? We here are IDYFT were not the only folks noticing. Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports also noticed, and he wants to ask some questions about the lack of response from the NBA Commish, the other owners, and players. I hope I can help answer some of Dan's questions.

Dan compares the firestorm of reaction to Limbaugh's aborted NFL venture to Sterling's continued status as an Owner in Good Standing. (to be fair, Sure, Don Sterling has paid out millions for the appearance of being racist; Rush Limbaugh vomits his racism all over anyone who listens to him. I think there is a difference--Sterling pays millions to hide his racism; Limbaugh gets paid millions to air his.)

Dan asks: "So, where’s the outrage?"

Easy answer there--it's probably lurking under the surface for some players, and some owners, and maybe even the commissioner. But what can you do? Force an owner to divest his stock in the team? Demand a new owner take over? Has that happened in the modern era of any sport? I can't think of it. Until Warren Buffett comes in and makes an offer to Don Sterling, the Clippers will be owned by a racist.

Dan asks: "If [NBA commissioner David Stern is] so concerned with his player’s off-court attire, why not his owners’ off-court business?"

Dan is a knowledgeable and veteran sportswriter. He knows the answer to that one. A commissioner's job was once upon a time to police owners. But it isn't anymore. The Commissioner serves at the pleasure of the owners. Sure, Stern will criticize Mark Cuban for castigating referees, but his main job is to keep players in line, not to keep an eye on what the owners do during their day jobs. The day Stern does that, he'll get forced out of his job. Bashing players for wearing headphones is a lot easier, and doesn't get a commissioner fired from what is a pretty cushy, crazily well-compensated gig.

Dan points out: "Coincidentally, long before Stern became commissioner, he was a young lawyer who worked for the good guys on housing discrimination cases in New Jersey." The tacit question there is--where is that young lawyer who cared about housing discrimination cases in New Jersey?

Answer: He sold out and became a shill for billionaires. Barring some sort of Freaky Friday/ Christmas Carol type of review of his life, Stern isn't going to let his principles get in the way of letting Donald Sterling run the Clippers into the ground over and over again for the rest of his natural life.

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