It has been pointed out by almost everyone who has written even just one opinion about this whole Donald Sterling saga that the Los Angeles Clippers owner isn’t a rookie to the racism game. In 2006, he was sued by the U.S. Department of Justice for race-based discrimination in regard to the type of people he preferred to rent his properties to – reportedly claiming that “black tenants smell and attract vermin” – and he eventually agreed to pay a $2.7 million fine and legal fees that were significantly higher, which was ultimately just the change that he could gather from his dodo-skin couches. Later, he’d be sued by NBA great and Clippers exec Elgin Baylor on the grounds that he was paid poorly because of his age and race, and that lawsuit included claims that Sterling referred to his players as “poor black boys.” That suit was eventually unanimously rejected by a jury, though, so maybe that example doesn’t count to some people.
However, ESPN personality and SB Nation writer Bomani Jones called into the Dan LeBatard Show yesterday, and he explained why this story is so prominent now compared to 2006 and even any times before that may not have been as well-documented. While he started off discussing some of the humor that could be taken away from Sterling’s downfall being his 20-something wannabe model mistress, Jones ultimately took a very serious tone discussing how discriminatory race practices in housing have led to the kind of crime and murder rates that we’re seeing in Chicago today.