Commentary on the economic , geopolitical and simply fascinating things going on. Served occasionally with a side of snark.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Deadspinning and Black Sports Online....... on the Donald Sterling fiasco ( check out Bomani - listen to the WHOLE thing - once he gets warmed up , he sets the roof on fire! ) ....... and Jameis " Crab Legs " Winston
Sterling's offensive behavior was no secret for years
Donald Sterling, who bought the Clippers in 1981, is the NBA's longest-tenured owner.
Shortly after the Clippers made Danny Manning the top pick of the 1988 NBA draft, team owner Donald Sterling invited the player and his agent, Ron Grinker, to talk contract in Beverly Hills. It was recounted to me how Sterling lounged around his mansion in a bathrobe open to his navel, wearing nothing underneath.
At one point Sterling's preteen son wandered in and was chastised for skipping Hebrew school. The owner commanded the boy, "Go to your room and get undressed." The child slouched upstairs. Sterling followed. The next thing Manning heard was a belt thrashing and the boy wailing, as Grinker bounded up the stairs yelling, "Stop! Stop! We'll sign."
I heard this in the course of reporting a profile of Sterling (owner of THE WORST FRANCHISE IN SPORTS HISTORY per the cover) that I wrote 14 years ago for Sports Illustrated (April 17, 2000). Except that much of the anecdote didn't appear in the magazine. The profile did include Sterling's hiring a former model to be an assistant GM. And his placing newspaper ads for "hostesses" interested in meeting "celebrities and sports stars." The women were interviewed in Sterling's suite. But so much of his behavior -- extreme parsimony, discriminatory practices, wild sexual escapades -- was deemed too weird, too cruel, too contemptible. An editor told me, "You've demonized him."
Really? I said. I thought I'd bent over backward to be fair.
"Even if Sterling were the source of this stuff, no one would believe it."
Today? Nothing edited out of my profile seems remotely out of character. Who wouldn't believe it?
This is a guy who in 2003, at 69, stated in a deposition that he regularly paid a woman for sex. ("All over my building, in my bathroom, upstairs, in the corner, in the elevator. ... It was purely sex for money, money for sex, sex for money, money for sex. ... I probably didn't tell my wife.") Sterling conceded that he had asked the woman in '01 whether to hire Alvin Gentry as coach and which players deserved contract extensions.
This is a guy who in 2009 paid $2.73 million to settle federal allegations that he systematically discriminated against Latinos, African-Americans and families with children at scores of apartment buildings he owned.
This is a guy who, also in 2009, was sued by Elgin Baylor, his general manager of 22 years, for age discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination. (Baylor lost.) In 2010, Sterling fired Baylor's successor, Mike Dunleavy, who went to arbitration and recovered $13 million he was owed.
The image-conscious NBA, so strict with players' dress codes and inappropriate language, has long given Sterling a free pass. His prime enabler was former commissioner David Stern, who surely knew the potential for disaster. As one erstwhile Clippers executive put it to me this week, "I'm not surprised by Donald's crash landing; I'm surprised he didn't crash sooner."
How did Sterling stay in the game? One factor: He found that he could generate his own good publicity. In the profile, I wrote that for all his ruthlessness and narcissism, Sterling was routinely feted by groups as their Humanitarian of the Year. "Donald doesn't write checks unless he gets something in return," says his former press agent, Michael Selsman. "These aid organizations give him a chance to demonstrate to a skeptical community that he's a worthy man."
The L.A. chapter of the NAACP bestowed a "lifetime achievement award" on Sterling in 2009. (The branch president publicly defended the choice.) Perhaps coincidently the office has lately received numerous grants from Sterling's foundation. He was due to receive a second award this year before the organization scrapped the idea.
Until recently, the only way the Clips made news was by entertaining offers for their inevitable lottery picks. Sterling bought the franchise 33 years ago for less than $13 million, and during the first 31 years of his fiercely frugal tenure the team had two winning seasons. But Sterling was always a time bomb, and even when the franchise stopped taking a licking, he kept on ticking. Now, with the Clippers finally relevant, he exploded.
I ended that SI piece by quoting one of Sterling's friends, Barry Dean. "You know when the Clippers will be successful?" Dean asked me. "When Donald finds out what he doesn't know."
It doesn't appear that Sterling ever got around to learning much. But now, to catastrophic effect, the ignorance has been exposed.
NBA commissioner issues lifetime ban to Sterling
Sports Illustrated's Maggie Gray and Chris Mannix discuss NBA commissioner Adam Silver's decision to impose a lifetime ban on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
I could delve deeper into some of the points Bomani Jones made yesterday on the Dan Le Batard Show, about how fundamentally silly this whole Donald Sterling affair sounds when you really listen to what's being said, about how exasperating it is for those of us who see the everyday effects of race to have to deal with the performative sanctimony of those who deny race's continuing impact in all but the most obvious, largely inconsequential situations, or about the collective failure of the NBA, the media, the players, the coaches, and just about everyone else to comprehend, condemn, and take action against the actually harmful things Sterling has done over the years, but instead I think the flamethrower Jones uses is plenty hot enough.
According to Tomahawk Nation, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was recently cited for attempting to steal crab legs from a Publix grocery store.
Here's Tomahawk Nation:
"He got an adult civil citation," a trusted source inside Tallahassee Police told Tomahawk Nation. "If he completes the sanctions it will never show up on his record. They commonly give them to juveniles on first criminal offenses. They are now doing it for minor misdemeanors for adults to lower crime rate."
Although Tomahawk Nation cites a source within the Tallahassee police department, the citation was not given by Tallahassee PD (a spokesperson within the department vehemently denied that any recent contact had been made with Winston), but by the Leon County sheriff's office. It appears that the sheriff's office plans to hold a press conference to shed some light on the situation, for some reason:
Who uses the phrase “intent to buy dinner”? With that being said, I don’t know how you forget to pay for Crab Legs, Jameis has to be smarter. Everything isn’t free just because you won the Heisman Trophy.
“As reported in the news, last night I received an adult civil citation for petit theft from a local supermarket,” Winston said. “I went to the supermarket with the intent to purchase dinner but made a terrible mistake for which I’m taking full responsibility. In a moment of youthful
ignorance, I walked out of the store without paying for one of my items.”
“I realize that I am in the public spotlight and my conduct needs to be above reproach,” Winston said. “Over the last year I’ve learned that my accomplishments on the fields can be a wonderful thing for my school, teammates, friends, and family. At the same time, I must realize that my mistakes are magnified and can bring great embarrassment to all those who support me every day. I make no excuses for my actions and will learn and grow from this unfortunate situation. I hope and pray my friends and family will view me as the 20-year-old young man that I am, and support me through this unfortunate situation.”