While Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is forever remembered as one of the best big men, if not players, in basketball history, we are occasionally reminded that he’s a hell of a writer, too. Kareem’s new op-ed piece was published by TIME Magazine and takes on the hottest topic of the day – L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s latest episode of “Look How Racist I Am!” As TMZ recently reported that Sterling reached out to his girlfriend/mistress/favorite automobile enthusiast V. Stiviano to see what he could do to make this all disappear – because that’s what will happen, Don – Kareem writes that we should all stop finger wagging like Dikembe Mutombo and start asking the important questions, like, “What happens next?”
Additionally, while the Hall of Famer claims that he’s all for parading a racist “around the modern town square of the television screen,” he also thinks that there is a lot more at play here than just a guy who we’ve all known to be a racist for years. Kareem wants us all to focus on the entire picture and everyone involved.
What bothers me about this whole Donald Sterling affair isn’t just his racism. I’m bothered that everyone acts as if it’s a huge surprise. Now there’s all this dramatic and very public rending of clothing about whether they should keep their expensive Clippers season tickets. Really? All this other stuff I listed above has been going on for years and this ridiculous conversation with his girlfriend is what puts you over the edge? That’s the smoking gun?
He was discriminating against black and Hispanic families for years, preventing them from getting housing. It was public record. We did nothing. Suddenly he says he doesn’t want his girlfriend posing with Magic Johnson on Instagram and we bring out the torches and rope. Shouldn’t we have all called for his resignation back then?
Shouldn’t we be equally angered by the fact that his private, intimate conversation was taped and then leaked to the media? Didn’t we just call to task the NSA for intruding into American citizen’s privacy in such an un-American way? Although the impact is similar to Mitt Romney’s comments that were secretly taped, the difference is that Romney was giving a public speech. The making and release of this tape is so sleazy that just listening to it makes me feel like an accomplice to the crime. We didn’t steal the cake but we’re all gorging ourselves on it. (Via TIME)
Furthermore, Kareem wants everyone to be outraged that Stiviano might possibly benefit financially from this brazen act of betrayal, writing that she “will probably get a book deal, a sitcom, trade recipes with Hoda and Kathie Lee, and soon appear on Celebrity Apprentice and Dancing with the Stars.” Ultimately, his point is that we shouldn’t wait for racist things to happen, when we can instead seek it out and put an end to it before a guy like Donald Sterling is allowed to be exposed several times.
Still, the head on a pike idea is always a good Plan B.