77 “Like Beating a Dead Horse”- But it is something I have to say.

Freedoms, are they really free?

I have put a lot of thought in what has happened to Donald Sterling and I may make some enemies by writing this hub.

I too, just like at least 90% of the country, if not the world, am completely appalled by the words that came out of his mouth on that recording during a supposed private conversation.

Anyway, Donald Sterling was speaking his mind in this supposed private conversation. His supposed “mistress” recorded this conversation and made it public, I guess because she had not already gotten enough from him. That is the same as making public thoughts. How many times have you or I had “private” thoughts that could have gotten us in trouble at one time or another in our lives? Maybe not very often, but I would be willing to bet they are there.

And the last time I checked this is still a “free country”, where we were free to think and feel the way we want. This man wasn’t giving a speech or saying these things at the time to hurt anyone. He was discussing something with someone and showing jealousy, even though I don’t think he realized at the time that’s what it was.

But I will defend to my death his “right” to think and feel the way he wants. I have heard public speeches and rants where there were worse things said than what Donald Sterling said. And they didn’t have to sell their business or pay a fine of two and a half million dollars.

He has said a lot worse things in public since and has now dug himself into a hole. But I don’t think anyone has the right to force him to sell the team. If people are so down on what he did they will stop going to the games and supporting him and then he will be forced to do something and far as the fine is concerned, WHY? Who will get that money? He really didn’t “hurt” anyone. The only person that actually hurt anyone is the person (not pointing fingers, but we all know who) that recorded this and then released.

There is one thing that bothers me also. Where was this conversation recorded? Every time they play the recording they show pictures of them in public. This could have been said completely in a private conversation, which doesn’t really make any difference, but would have a whole new twist and would support his story that what he was saying was out of jealousy and not actually a racial comment.

Like I said at the beginning, I DON’T agree with his feelings, but I will defend to my death his right to feel and think the way he wants. If not, we are all in trouble.

These are my opinions and no one has to agree with me.

Greg

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27 comments

wrenchBiscuit profile image

wrenchBiscuit 2 years ago

Greg,

I totally agree.I hate racists with a passion,but what I hate more is fascism,censorship,hypocrisy and B.S..Let's make a big deal about a guy who has been a racist his entire life.Now,let's take away his team.A free democratic state? Really? Here is how it would work in a truly free ant-fascist society:

If the fans have a problem with an old white racist who owns the team,then the fans can stop attending the games.If the greedy players don't like it, they don't have to renew their contracts.If the legal system don't like it they can look the other way if players break their contracts.Sterling has a right to his opinion,whether I like it or not.This is just one more reason why I find the 4th of July celebrations annoying.What are they really celebrating? The freedom of not having to think for themselves?


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi WB, thank you for the visit and the comment. One thing that gets me, if he has been like this his whole life, why hasn't it ever come up before? I would say because people put up with him because he had money. Now he is at a point where he won't be able to do for them much longer because of his age. Again, just my opinion, Greg.


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

gregas, I understand your point about free speech, but I think free speech is not the only issue to be considered.

Yes, Sterling's comments were made in what he thought was privacy, and it was a disservice to him to make them public without his permission. But once they became public, by whatever means, the NBA and society as a whole had to respond. And there are only two responses: approval or total condemnation. When it comes to remarks that denigrate an entire race, especially given a history in which such denigration has encouraged actions involving the worst kind of race-based discrimination and oppression, up to and including lynching, failure to condemn is just another form of approval. So, yes Sterling has a right to his views. He has no right to expect those who are massively offended by them to not react.

The NBA is a business. Sterling created a situation in which that business would be disrupted and all the owners would suffer were he to be allowed to remain in control of the Clippers. I hope it’s obvious that after all the race baiting that African Americans have for centuries had to endure in this country, it would be impossible for any self-respecting black player to work for an organization that implicitly approved Sterling’s remarks by not doing anything about them.

To say that “he didn’t really hurt anyone” is to deny that words have power. They do. And it’s a power that for far too long has been used to hurt and devalue people and make their lives more miserable, to blight their hopes, limit their prospects in life, and tell them they are considered worthless, something less than fully human. If Sterling’s sentiments were made public without provoking the greatest possible backlash, it would give encouragement and cover to others that their racism, and the harmful actions it often promotes, are still acceptable.

We have made enough progress in this country that African Americans no longer have to just “take it” when they are denigrated in this fashion.

And they won’t.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi Ron, thank you for the visit and the comment. As for being racist, he used the word "blacks", which, from what I understand, is what they prefer to be referred as. He never used the "N" word or anything like that. Greg


wrenchBiscuit profile image

wrenchBiscuit 2 years ago

Greg,

Yeah,somethings up.He obviously got set up for a particular reason.I am sure that many will see his demise as a victory,but it won't change a thing.It's only window dressing. And who was he discriminating against? Were the players getting paid less than minimum wage? Was I wrong in thinking that a majority of these players are rich? There are so many more important issues than this. 300 kidnapped Nigerian school girls, and the high murder rate of inner city youth to name a few. It wasn't long ago that you could get arrested and charged with sedition just for making derogatory remarks against the U.S. government.People just don't get it.This is a road that ultimately leads to the same place.If you haven't seen this check it out: http://www.seditionproject.net/


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

I think the fact that he was being blackmailed should be of bigger concern. People are just way to sensitive these days way to eager to jump in with the crowd. Greg.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Interesting hub gregas. I hadn't even heard of Donald sterling until I saw this on the news, so I don't feel it is right to me to comment. However if he has always had these opinions I find it hard to realise it hadn't been made public before now, unless everyone just come to accept it and tolerated it because of his importance to the game.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Jodah, thank you fir the visit and comment. It IS hard to believe that nobody ever said anything before about this until this very vindictive person decided she wasn't happy with what he had already fiven her and wanted more. Greg.


skperdon profile image

skperdon 2 years ago from Canada

Love your view point gregas! I agree with with wrenchbiscuit too. It's a shame that the words that Donald Sterling spoke is gaining so much outrage and the act of kidnapping hundreds of innocent young girls by the terrorist group is being put on the back burner.

I don't doubt that both issues are of great importance to us all. People in Donald Sterling position should be careful what they say if they want avoid public outrage.

Personally, I have heard worst racist remarks from the "man in the street" and no one even so much as bat an eye.

All in all, thank you for the hub.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

SK, thank you for the visit and the time to comment. It is to bad that we really all have to be careful what we say, even in private, anymore. Greg


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

NBA gives privilege to own a team (yes a closed monopoly) but in that it was a non-governmental privilege that was denied and a penalty only by contract, I get the repercussions. It seems fitting. But I bet Magic has said just as heinous stuff about whites in privacy and with Blacks only.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi Eric. Yes that goes both ways. Thank you for the visit and comment. Greg.


kj force profile image

kj force 2 years ago from Florida

gregas...First off let me congratulate you for your candor regarding this issue. Evidently " freedom of thought/speech " has different meanings...The issue I have is, since when does anyone have the right to take away a business that someone worked for ? As noted previously the players made good money through the years, and their jobs were provided by

D. Sterling..How many of us Black/White/Yellow/Red/Beige

have been guilty of some prejudice in our life and nothing to do with race ? The other day I was at a car was and a guy, (of dark skin) parked next to me was blaring his radio, some hip/hop music ( ?) the " N" word was repeated 22 times within about 4 minutes. I finally spoke up and said politely that " N" word is offensive to me, he yelled out loudly

" F *#* U " ...what you gonna do about it ? I closed my door and left...the world is changing and NOT always for the good...

Kudos on your write...Thank you for the share !!!!


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

KJ, thank you for the visit and the comment. Everybody has at one time or another been racist. I still don't know where the conversation was recorded. I have heard that it was recorded in the privacy of home. Greg


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago

I have some dear wonderful African-American friends, so I certainly do not agree with what Donald Sterling said. But Sterling didn’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater. As a journalist I wonder whatever happened to free speech? His statements cost him a bundle.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi MizB, thank you for the visit and comment. Not only free speech, it is the fact that we can't even think and/or feel the way we want anymore. I still think "she" should be the one getting in trouble because blackmail is against the law. Greg


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

I can see your point. He has a right to his thoughts even if you don't agree with them. The parallel would be Muslim societies which don't allow freedom of religion and who punish Muslims who change their religion with death. Freedom of thought, of faith, all kinds of freedoms should be allowed. In the case of Sterling, as you said, it was the girlfriend who taped his conversation. It's sad that racism still exists, and hopefully in time it will be eradicated completely. I hope that Sterling will also change his mind someday, but it has to come from him.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi Mona, thank you for the visit and the comment. The thing with the Muslims is that is their belief, no matter how sad it is. But we live in America and that is NOT the American way. I believe if Muslims want to live their way, they should live in their Muslim countries. Don't come here and expect us to believe their ways. Just my opinion, Greg.


ricksanford profile image

ricksanford 2 years ago from Charlotte, NC

This is to Ericdierker: Why bring Magic Johnson into this? Why do you assume to know that Magic said "just as heinous stuff about whites in privacy and with Blacks only?" Just as Donald Sterling brought Magic up again during his interview with Anderson Cooper, your mentioning of Magic in this situation is totally inappropriate and a total non sequitur.

And Gregas, for you to say it goes both ways! What goes both ways? You also assume Magic says these heinous things? Why? What proof do you have?


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Rick, I didn't mention any names. I do know that there bad racial feelings in every race going "both ways". Greg


Ann1Az2 profile image

Ann1Az2 2 years ago from Orange, Texas

First of all, I don't agree that the team should be ripped out from under an 80 year old man, dying of cancer. As far as the fine is concerned, to Sterling, it's a drop in the bucket - he's a mult-billionaire. That being said, does that mean, then that each of us should be fined if we say something that's racist? We are human - we all say things we shouldn't sometimes. Racism has no place in a free society. I think we are all in agreement on that. Yet, none of us are perfect and we have no right to judge others.

In my opinion, this whole affair is about money and greed. Sterling's wife stands to gain most of the ownership of the team if the NBA rips it from the old man. The woman that he supposedly has as his mistress may have a book in the works, so she stands to gain money from it, too.

It's all so sad in a way. The NBA is standing up there all high and mighty, when they have players and other coaches that are just as bigoted as Sterling - they just haven't gotten caught.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Ann, thank you for the visit and the comment and you reflect my sentiments exactly. Greg.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas

That is the problem with trust. Sometimes people betray us. Sometimes we even betray ourselves. True character reveals itself with or without help from others, though. That said, we all make mistakes and instead of persecution, perhaps our own thoughts should be better managed.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi Shanmarie, that is so true. Thank you for the visit and the comment. Greg.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

You have posted an interesting view on this current issue in sports. True, a man (or woman) should be careful what they say in general, you never know how it is going to be interpreted by the public. In private, although it is a shame he did say it, a person's home is their private domain.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi Teach, thank you for the visit and comment. It is a sad world that we actually have NO privacy with todays technology. Greg.


Life History profile image

Life History 23 months ago

If our country was under a dictatorship, then it would make sense; but we are a free America and to hold him accountable for a private moment, no matter how wrong we think it is ridiculous. If we held our political officials to the same standard, we wouldn't have any. I just know that they have all had "private" comments that are probably no better, but they want to dictate policies and behavior that they don't adhere to themselves.

We have become a society of do as I say, not as I do.

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