After living in LA for more than 30 years and going with my family to every conceivable sport venue repeatedly, this story about the racist owner of the Clippers, hurt in so many ways.
It made LA look bad, and LA Sports look bad, it was/is just plain ugly.
We are speaking of a huge sports loving family here: Hockey, Football, Baseball and of course, Basketball games.
And, LA has a team for everyone!
We loved it all and it was a huge part of my family’s lives there for many, many years.
Going to any of these games was a joy for us all and if racism was part of it back then, we were not aware of it.
So, seeing all of the sad, vicious, ugly words running amuck on the News all week, leaves me questioning and wondering about the future of our species and of sports in general.
Yes, agreed, this man has serious mental issues that only he and his God can solve, but in my opinion, what the press and so many experts seem to be missing is, it isn’t just in sports, it is NOT just an NBA Issue, racism and the evil it brings are still very much alive, not only in America, but all over the world.
Try to find a place without it.
LA has, to be sure, seen its fair share of racism exposed for the world to witness.
The riots in Watts in the 60’s, the beating of and then the trial and its mess surrounding Rodney Allen King in 1991.
I can tell you that living in Simi Valley on the day that those policemen were found not guilty was terrifying.
I had to show my ID to the Police standing on the off ramp that day just to get home.
The riots that followed were just another mess that we had to deal with.
But, somehow, we survived and I can speak only for me on this, I have been in every part of Southern California over my 30 years there and never felt that racism was going to do us in.
It seemed to me like we saw the problem and reacted to it, then resolved to try to get it right, when it was exposed.
Yet, here we are, so many years after all of this and racism still unbelievably, exists in so many parts of this country.
I have seen its ugly face and know it how it works.
My best friend lives in Mississippi and every time that I go to see her, there it sadly is, still alive and well.
Blacks there are still treated badly and are still living with this ugly word.
It is still in existence here in Florida, in Orlando several times recently, KKK propaganda has been put into plastic bags, tied to a rock and thrown into yards in all black neighborhoods.
So, now what about this sad man who has been slapped down by the NBA Commissioner for the ugliness and evil that lives in his heart?
I do not know him, so I can only speak to what is in the Press.
He has made generous donations to many groups all over LA for years, some now want to, or have already, given his money back.
His reputation in LA is split.
Some hate him, some don’t.
But if you take his money, can you still call him names?
A bit two-faced I think?
But this much I do know.
LA is not a place where this will EVER be allowed to exist without a response to this kind of evil.
And now that the Commissioner has responded with his punishment, perhaps it may be time for all of us to look into our own hearts and say, ” Am I a racist? “
” Do I secretly harbor ill feelings toward those of color?”
If the answer on any level is yes, perhaps this nightmare could be cathartic for us all.
Maybe the surfacing of all of this hate of color, could help us to be more tolerant, to openly accept and care for each other, with no regard for color or race.
Hating, takes so much energy, so much more than acceptance, loving and kindness.
We Humans, as a species, have been here long enough to have settled this already.
So, why haven’t we?
The answers are not on TV, in the News, in a book, or even in our Religious facilities, the answers are in our hearts.
So I will only ask this in conclusion, what is in our hearts?