Thursday, May 1, 2014

Benefit of a Doubt

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Have you ever wanted to point something out to people… but you knew in your heart that it was a trap? Plain & simple. Of course, the biggest thing in sports right now is what LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling said in a recorded phone conversation with his mistress… and apparently it’s the most horrific & racist comments that any reporter, player, coach or fan of the NBA has ever heard. Now… I’m going to start by going against what everything tells me to do… and ASSUME that everything said in the conversation is completely legit & untampered with in any way (though obviously coaxed by his mistress). So with that assumption of absolute GUILT before proven innocent that surprisingly EVERYBODY is making… here’s my thoughts (cuz why else would you be reading this far).
1)    Consider the source (Mr. Sterling) - Granted, again if confirmed true, what he said is many things… including racist, stupid, ignorant and… frankly, a little confusing & hypocritical at time… but let’s face it, he’s an old man. He’s in his 80’s so I’m guessing that more than a quarter of the things that come out of his mouth are going to be one of those adjectives at any point in time. Is that an excuse? No. I’m just saying that there were some parts where I was just like “Oh, grandpa is rambling again & seems to be going in & out of conversations again… let’s get him some pudding.” By the way, he’s been married for over 50 years but apparently has a plethora of mistresses over the years… so he’s a stand-up guy to begin with. Wait, is that why he’s got a lifetime ban & all that? Nope, he said some stupid sh*t. If any time that somebody said some stupid sh*t they were kicked out of the NBA, there would be no NBA. More on that later…
2)    Consider the source (The Mistress) – This woman (shivers) is the person who is what… a third his age & was perfectly fine with everything when she was getting a multi-million dollar condo, two Bentleys, blah blah blah in exchange for her company… and by the way, apparently not exclusive by any stretch of the imagination… but hey, do you. Sure, he was married for over 50 years… but he’s rich as f**k! When did it all go wrong for her morally? The exact moment that Mrs. Sterling filed to get all the “gifts” back from the Mistress thanks to California law. Then she recorded the babblings of an old man to hold for extortion (I’m sure that was a few weeks ago) and then outright mass media release. Again, do you.
3)      Just one little thought… the first time that I read a little blurb about this… there were a lot of (black people) notations thrown into quotations where they could’ve just as well put (noun) in any context… so I wasn’t reading it as “You shouldn’t bring those (black people) to the games” like that, but rather as “You shouldn’t bring those (people that you’re f**king who aren’t supporting your lavish lifestyle like me) to the games” because… let’s face it, would you want your “girlfriend” to be bringing the other dudes that she’s f**king to your place of business in one of the $300,000 car that you bought her? Let’s be real… regardless of race.
4)      The NBA Powers That Be – Let’s face it, they’ve wanted Donald Sterling out as owner of the Clippers since the late 80’s as far as I know. There have been countless scathing remarks about everything from his frugality in free agent signings to just his business practices in general. All they needed was a good reason to kick him out of the league… and frankly, they seemed good enough… though is it really? Anyway, they got their reason… and before anything was even confirmed… they slapped him with a lifetime ban from attending NBA games (from his own stadium? Balls…), a $2.5 million fine, and apparently he has to sell his team. Why did they have to come down so hard, so fast & with sketchy proof at best? They had a smoking gun and… the rest of the league & its fans demanded it.
5)      The Rest of the NBA – Again, before any conviction, players were allegedly ready to boycott unless the NBA did something HUGE to show that racism will not stand in the league. Excuse me… but… I’ve watched hundreds, possibly thousands of professional basketball games in the past quarter-century… and I’m pretty sure there has not been a SINGLE GAME where I did not here an N-bomb dropped… not a one. From what I’ve been told though, it’s okay… because probably 99.999% of the time that speaker of this forbidden word has had a certain tone of skin. Let’s keep is real…
6)      The Crime – He said stupid sh*t to his mistress. Not that he had a mistress… not that he was killing puppies… not that he’s even committed a f**king crime!!! No DUI, selling booze to minors, sexual harassment (well, a few non-convictions on that), public urination, parking tickets, bringing glass bottles onto a public beach, drug smuggling, choking his coach, vehicular manslaughter, or anything else that the NFL pretty much keeps a list of on every pre-draft roster… he said some stupid sh*t… and this is what he gets for it:
7)      The Punishment – Lifetime ban from NBA games… if it’s found to be true, do you REALLY think he wants to show his face in public ever again? $2.5 million fine… where’s the money going? To a charity spreading the awareness of racism? Or to something useful perhaps? Or straight to the NBA’s massive non-for-profit (according to tax codes anyway) pockets? I haven’t heard any specifics on that yet. Sell the team? Sure… to who? For how much? Does he have to sell it to the NBA like New Orleans did a few years back? Sure, market value of the Clippers was almost a billion dollars last time I checked… top-tier basketball franchise doing well in the playoffs with exciting young superstars based in Hollywood with a new state of the art stadium… write a check. How about those guys in Seattle that’ve been trying to buy the Sacramento Kings for the past decade it seems? Do the Clippers move to Seattle, leaving the Lakers alone in LA? So… your punishment is that you make him sell a team for a billion dollars since he’s never going to show his face in public again because he’s an old man who said some stupid sh*t to his mistress… still at the point of “allegedly” in all legal terms? My assumption is that you shot for the moon with the punishment… and then when reality sets in, even if it’s all true (I feel like I’m saying that a lot just to keep it in everybody’s mind, though it’s probably all true, we’re not sure, I just want that to be part of the conversation), then it won’t be quite an insanely ludicrous punishment.
8)      The Precedent – The one positive thing about this may be the Precedent that it sets. What is it? If anybody in the league says something f**king stupid, they’re immediately thrown out of the league, slapped with a huge fine & can never show their face in public again. I’m looking at you Charles Barkley!!! That cushy job with TNT doesn’t sound so f**king cushy now, does it? By the way, wasn’t Charles on the cover of Sports Illustrated a few years ago in chains & shackles? It’s okay though… because he was a certain tone of skin color… otherwise it might be construed as racist. I may have to check that definition again sometime soon… I’ve heard it so much recently that I feel like I might’ve forgotten what it means.
Look… I agree that if everything turns out like everybody’s already assuming it is… then he should be punished. How? Look… who knows? Obviously he’s not going to be able to show his face in public again like Marge Schott back when she owned the Cincinnati Reds and… again, was an old lady saying stupid sh*t. Fine him? Sure… but in the true heart of keeping racism out of the league… fine everybody who ever says anything that could even be construed as racist or insensitive ever again the same amount (or in proportion to their own ludicrous take-home salary). What’s that? That’s a ridiculous solution? How so? Obviously it’s perfectly fine! You know, as long as we’re keeping everything on the same level. If we REALLY want to keep it on the same level… the next time that… a two-guard drives the lane & gets a hard foul from another player and I hear that N-bomb loud & clear on my HDTV, then I DEMAND that he be banned from the NBA for life, slapped with a six-digit fine & chastised for the rest of his days without any trial or criminal wrongdoing whatsoever. He (or she) can even keep their NBA franchise… because I’m not crazy. Then again, the obvious public backlash may force them into selling all of their possessions & retreating to the mountains to live out the rest of their wretched & miserable days of bigotry.
Anyway, just a few thoughts on the subject. Judge not & all that jazz… fair & just trials… though I’m sure that ignorant bigot said all of that stuff & meant it… still… let’s just keep it real… the reactions that everybody’s having about it honestly kinda scares me. Oh well… as is my new excuse for everything… culture. Sorry to rant on this normally super upbeat blog but… I just love basketball… and this story just made my heart hurt in a lot of ways having almost nothing to do with the sport. Have a great day everybody!!!

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