Video: ESPN columnist highlights the real issue with Donald Sterling's racism 9 years ago

Video: ESPN columnist highlights the real issue with Donald Sterling's racism

This is important for you to listen to, honestly. We mean that.


We'll start at this point - we know this is the internet age of short tweets and two line articles, we know that asking for just under 12 minutes of your time is asking a lot.

So we're asking a lot of you. Deal with it, and give it to us, you'll be better for it. If you really want though, skip ahead to 4:31, where the really important stuff starts, but there's plenty of context beforehand that is useful to know.

In case you're not up to date on the whole Donald Sterling thing, there have been a few major events, that can be broken down like this:

  • Donald Sterling was recorded (without his knowledge) saying that he didn't want his mistress associating with black people
  • This recording was given to TMZ and they broke the story
  • Donald Sterling was roundly (and rightly) criticised for what he said
  • NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life, and issued the maximum fine of $2.5 million, as well as stating they will force him to sell the LA Clippers

That's what has caused such outrage, and everyone and anyone has come out to say that Sterling's racism in the context of the NBA is unacceptable. However, ESPN columnist Bomani Jones went on the Dan Le Batard Show, both of whom have long spoken about Sterling and the inherent problems of racism in American society and sport, and decided to bring attention back to what the real issue is.

Nine years ago, Jones wrote an article about Sterling's racism, when the NBA and many didn't react to the levels they have this past week. As Jones highlights, the real problem is not what he said on the tape, the problem is that his discrimination has influenced his day to day dealings, and what he has done with the properties that he owns.

A few years ago, Sterling was also in trouble for racially discriminating against tenants, and Jones' point is that is why we should be outraged. This is what continues to create dangerous and violent areas in the cities where he has apartment blocks, which engender more problems, create more racial divides and are genuinely worse than anything that Sterling said on those tapes.

But no one wants to talk about that. They want to talk about sports.