You have to be stupid to insult the African American community if you own an NBA (National Basketball Association) team that has a majority of African American players. Donald Sterling, former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, apparently doesn’t understand hypocrisy and racism, which became evident as he was recorded making derogatory comments while having a conversation with his mistress, V. Stiviano. In the recording, he is upset that she posted photos of herself with Magic Johnson, a person who is a “minority,” according to Sterling. He advised Stiviano to not be photographed with African American people or associate with them publicly, even though she is of African descent. A third party released the recording and a public outcry ensued over the comments made by Sterling. Those who have taken offense to his outrageous views are now calling the billionaire a racist. Sterling not only embarrassed himself, but he embarrassed the NBA, which took swift action by banning Sterling from the NBA for life, along with a fine of $2.5 million, the maximum the NBA allows.
Sterling will not be able to attend games or enter the offices of any NBA team, including his own. V. Stiviano, 31, is now coming to Sterling’s defense because she believes that Sterling’s old age (80 years old) has a lot to do with his opinions and she doesn’t believe he is a racist. Although she disagreed with him on the recording, she is willing to support him because he is apparently “traumatized” over the reaction to his comments. Even though Stiviano appears to be sympathetic and concerned for her boyfriend, she may now be under investigation for trying to extort money from him in exchange for keeping other tapes from being released. This scandal gets even more interesting as it has been speculated that the release of the tape may have been in retaliation to Sterling’s wife, Rochelle Sterling, who filed a suit against Stiviano in March. The legal suit alleges that Stiviano “engages in conduct designed to target, befriend, seduce, and then entice, cajole, borrow from, cheat, and/or receive as gifts transfers of wealth from wealthy older men whom she targets for such purpose.” Sterling has given Stiviano a $1.8 million apartment, two Bentleys, a Ferrari, a Range Rover, and piles of cash, “without the knowledge, consent, or authorization of his wife,” according to NYMag.com.
Donald Sterling has amassed his fortune from his real estate business based in Beverley Hills. His business partner, and wife, is Shelly Sterling, whom he married straight out of high school. Concerning their real estate empire, Shelly and Donald had not always participated in the most ethical of ways concerning the business. Sterling has reportedly preferred Asians, especially Koreans, to other tenants. He makes it as hard as possible for African Americans, Mexicans, and families with children to live in his apartments. It has been reported that Shelly Sterling has posed as a government official to illegally inspect tenants apartments. It is surprising that such blatant racism and illegal activity has gone unchecked for so long.
I am astounded that this conduct has been overlooked for so long; it is about time that this information came fourth and punishment can be dealt.
– Katrina Luque