Seeing the Round Corners

August 6, 2018


   Today’s edition presents readers with a column from this writer’s archives and a request. The column appeared in 2014, just four short years ago.

We should all give thought to how the World has changed over these four years – a greater awareness of how racism still impacts lives, perhaps the beginning of the end of sexual harassment and bullying.

ONE-SIDED RACISM IN AMERICA                        May 5, 2014

After a very long absence, its soapbox time for this writer. As with all news cycle events, the LA Clippers owner/Donald Sterling one seems to have no limit on who adds their two cents, and as usual, the media presents only one side of the issue. 

As you read today's edition, please keep this question in mind:  If the Clippers team was 75% American Indian and the remarks made by team-owner Sterling were made about American Indians, would this event have exploded to the proportion it has? If you have to think about the answer, maybe you should not read the rest of today's edition!  

The rage against the Clippers basketball team owner, Donald Sterling, is the impetus for this the first soapbox edition of 2014. No one should take this statement to mean that this writer condones racism of any type, against any human being.  But in such mega events as the Sterling one, there's always two sides, and only one is being splashed all over the news courtesy of the media.

Racism has come to be a touchy issue in America, and has for many decades. Far too many situations occur when people fail to speak up for fear of being accused of racism. Seldom is any type of racism, except white versus black, focused on by the media. Most large cities have various organizations identified as the Black Chamber of Commerce, the Black Policeman's Association, the Black Firefighters Association, but is there such a thing allowed as the White Chamber of Commerce, the White Policeman's Association or the White Firefighters Association? That would be blatantly racist! 

There are a few points that bear recapping on Clippers-owner Donald Sterling – emphasis on owner (note, statistics are from various media reports and coverage and not verified by this writer which is usually not the rule):

  • Sterling's worth in dollars is estimated at $1.8 billion;
  • Sterling purchased the team for $12.5 million in 1981, a team that is reportedly worth more than $575 million (Forbes-placed value);
  • Sterling's girlfriend , V. Stiviano. also referred to as “his assistant,” and whose race is unknown, believed she could pull off the “innocent” blackmail attempt of the century” – note, no one has asked if sex was a part of her responsibilities or just a perk;
  • Sterling is now quoted as saying he should just have paid her off;

Sterling's estranged wife who is said to be part owner of the LA Clippers makes an appearance as the supportive wife, but then claims she is willing to sell her share of the team – no doubt lawyers are absolutely salivating uncontrollably at the thought of a divorce case;

  • all the so-called experts have so far ignored the illegality of the girlfriend not informing Sterling that he was being taped; 
  • Sterling is now “quoted as saying he should have just paid her off – no doubt the after thought would be something along the lines of “no better use of my money;” and
  • finally, the principle of personal loyalty is being ignored when the “assistant” blatantly associates with persons her boss/bed partner objects to regardless of the race factor – future employee anyone?

   Does anyone but this writer smell the set-up in this charade? Could Hollywood come up with any grander plot?

Players have shown their disdain for Sterling's remarks, but how many NBA players are there waiting in the wings for the kind of money NBA players and yes, Clippers players are being paid?

Experts have not even attempted to address the big dollars the African-American Clipper players are being paid – are salaries less then other NBA players? Are other benefits and perks of African-American Clipper players comparable to other NBA players? If not, in the world of mega million dollars contract deals, these aspects of the plot are intentionally being ignored.

One last question – of course, the NBA has its rules and regulations about conduct of both owners and players, it could not operate in an environment where the egos are commensurate with the mega dollars being paid without such rules and regulations! But, are there no rules in this world about “young assistants” setting up the “older” boss making illegal recordings  as was done in this case? Some or all of the experts should be looking at the background of the assistant to see who is backing this seemingly obvious set-up to force Sterling to sell the team.

Racism and discrimination are ugly, there are no other words to describe it. But in the Sterling case, a blatant miscarriage is being carried out and fueled by the incessant coverage of the media. The big dollar world of mega salaries and egos have always been a breeding ground for such hyper outrage as the world is seeing in the Sterling-Clippers show.

The freedom of association and with whom one associates with has been a bedrock principle of America since its founding. Sterling voiced his choice of association, unfortunately, to an opportunistic blackmailer willing to use her association with him to extort more than just money.

The test in this case is does he/the Clippers organization discriminate in salaries and contracts. Athletes are the first to bolt at bigger salaries and better, more secure contracts. No statistics on any such cases have been disclosed.

In the world of corporate espionage, the “rat” in this one is likely hiding in the wings waiting to step up and do the noble thing – let the NBA owners force Sterling to sell his team! 

The mission of Seeing the Round Corners is to evoke a thought process and interest in becoming better informed and to be skeptical of the headline-grabbing purveyors of information.

The reader's comments or questions are always welcome. E-mail me at