Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Was Going to Let it Go

Everyone and their next-door neighbor has had something to say about it. So I was going to let it go. I was going to let it go and let everyone have their say and just let it go.

And then the Tribune reminded me: therein lies the trouble.
The owner of the LA Clippers was recorded by his female companion making racist remarks. Shortly after verification of his identity on the recording, the NBA's commissioner made a public statement fining the owner, banning him from NBA games, and encouraging other owners to insist on his sale of the team.
Round of applause, please!


Why are we congratulating the NBA for late-to-the-party decency? Do you think this owner's viewpoint on race and its place in his life has never been expressed prior to this episode? No one knew he is a racist? Uh. That's a lie. That's a lie and I won't let it go.

It's a lie that the NBA deserves credit for being the most progressive organized sport in the country, or the most moral. One gay guy doesn't cure the league and little boys in Englewood are not killing one another over tennis rackets. 

It's also a lie that racism doesn't exist in the NFL or MLB or any other sport. Writer John Smallwood with the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote this last year regarding racism in the world of FIFA: "It is the most popular sport in the world, so it only makes sense that soccer would be infected with the universal virus that exists and thrives everywhere. Intolernece based on race, religion, sexual orientation, secular origin and other factors was the world's game long before humans decided to kick a ball into a net." 

So really, save your artificial shock, it's wasted on me. You know it's a lie. And we don't even care.

As the Trib editorial in today's paper succinctly sets out, what we care about is money. When racism does not interfere with our profit, we are rendered mute. When our recorded bigotry is exposed and infects our potential earnings? Then! Then we are moral, upright and serious.

We banned a millionaire from a game and we're hugging and kissing like cousins at a we-solved-the-problem-of-racism-in-America reunion. Kind of a low threshold, but o.k., let's tell the kids on the West Side they can breathe easy. Situation handled. 

Of course, while we're at it we should be fair and tell women that the sports-loving public doesn't condone racism (yay us!) but treating women like trash is another subject. The young woman who recorded our friend Don during his bigoted rant? She has been alternately described as  a "hoe", "gold-digger", "b**ch", and "girlfriend from hell".  Thanks for that.

I probably can't solve these problems alone. Heck, I know I can't. And neither can you. But that Frozen gal got it all wrong, at least on this subject. There's no way in hell I'm going to let it go.

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