What Would You Do If You Played for the Los Angeles Clippers and Donald Sterling?

Los Angeles Clippers in Protest

LA Clippers Refusing to wear their warmups
LA Clippers Refusing to wear their warmups | Source

Worst Possible Timing

Imagine being placed in the unenviable conundrum as members of Los Angeles Clippers are currently in. In a time where the franchise is finally riding high, no longer having to take a back seat as the little brothers of the Lakers, the bad franchise does what a bad franchise usually does: shoot itself in the foot to eliminate any momentum and progress that has been made. It started off in the 1970’s with the Buffalo Braves selling their playoff team that had such greats as Hall of Famer’s Bob McAdoo and Adrian Dantley. Next they move from San Diego to of all places “Show Time” Laker City to try and compete for their fan base. And now they have to deal with an ignorant owner mouthing off and getting caught spewing racist remarks about Magic Johnson and all African American fans.

April and the NBA Playoffs pick up where the greatest sporting show on earth known as March Madness leaves off. Many great legends have chased the Larry O’Brien trophy their entire careers only to be left at the altar year after falling for its visions of grandeur. Your window of

opportunityis only available for brief finite time. Once you put all of the pieces together to make a run at the championship, everyone in the franchise must have a laser-like focus to achieve this goal. The coaching staff puts together a scouting report and game plan for you to use and execute. The one scenario the coaches don’t draw up a scheme for is to put damage control on your owner’s bigoted comments towards the race that many of team’s players belong to. With so much attention being placed on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling ‘s comments towards Blacks, the question remains: What would you do if you were a member of the Los Angeles Clippers?

Forms of Protest

How would you have protested the Donald Sterling situation

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Los Angeles Clippers Owner Donald Sterling
Los Angeles Clippers Owner Donald Sterling | Source

The Perfect Response?

How would you handle the situation? Would you refuse to play for Donald Sterling as long as he is the owner of the Clippers? You would not get paid for the games that you sit out. The fans would miss out on the exciting product that you and your teammates put on the floor night in and night out. Would you and your teammates “tank” a game, giving less than your all just to get back at the owner? Do you leverage a trade at the end of the year if Sterling does not sell the team? Would you publicly speak out against your owner knowing that other potential employers are watching to see how you handle tough situations like this? How would you proceed if the NBA Commissioner gives Sterling a smack on the wrist for his conduct (One million dollar fine and suspension for the rest of the playoffs)?

There have been opinions given as to how the Clippers should handle the situation, the most notable being former New York Knicks coach, Jeff Van Gundy. He suggested that the player stage a silent protest for 15 minutes on the bench or give a statement as a team before the game saying there is no room for racism in the game of basketball. Van Gundy said the worst action would be inaction. There are some things that are more important than “pursuing a championship”.” Making a stand on something that will impact society is even more important.”

The Clippers’ players ultimately decided to take off their warm up shirts and place them at center court, warming up without wearing their team name on their chest. They also wore black socks in protest. What will they do next in protest?

What would I do if I were in this situation? I think you’ve shed blood, sweat, and tears in the off-season and during the 80 games to get to the reward of the playoffs and possible NBA Championship. I would almost play to spite the owner, to show him that it doesn’t matter what race you are when playing this game. A champion doesn’t come in a particular color. I would try to band together with the rest of the team to win the championship and dare Donald Sterling to come up on stage with us. That is one of the proudest moments in a franchise when the coaches and players are given the opportunity to present their owner with the championship trophy as reward for their dedication to the franchise. What better way can you dig your finger into the sore than to ban him from the celebration.

I guess there is no right or wrong way to handle the situation. Only time will tell how the rest of this soap opera unfolds.

The Players Response

Los Angeles Clippers warm ups lay at mid court
Los Angeles Clippers warm ups lay at mid court | Source

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Comments 19 comments

2 years ago

If donald sterling was black there would be no attack. It is time for a race change.

mosaicman profile image

mosaicman 2 years ago from Tampa Bay, Fl Author

I'm not sure what you mean. Can you explain a little further? Thanks.

Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 2 years ago from Southern Clime


if a white male said to his father, "I hate whites!" Do you think that the father would have him jailed? If the father's supervisor, a black, said to him, "I hate whites," do you suppose the father would take action right away? We have a tendency to trust our own's intentions more than others. People are like that. It is like black guys calling each other "ni33er," but feel insulted when other races say the same. It is a "trust-of-intention" thing.

I understand your point. I do not think that many of us can honestly say that we have never uttered or thought racist statements. Oh, I do not think that it is wise to change your race, but you might be surprised at what you could learn. Remember John Howard Griffin's BLACK LIKE ME? Sometimes walking a mile in other's shoes can give us understanding. I tried to put myself, as a black woman, in Sterling's shoes. Instead of the girlfriend, I placed a boyfriend. What would I say to him if he hung around, took pictures, and brought white girlfriends to our game? He could not bring BLACK girlfriends to our game! Uh-oh! That would be a problem and would definitely begin strings of gossip that could cause problems in our relationship and embarrass me. My boyfriend could not sleep with them either!!! I am not saying that Sterling is not racist. I do not know enough to make a judgment. I am just trying to look closely at one part of his conversation by putting on his shoes.

Alphadogg16 profile image

Alphadogg16 2 years ago from Texas

I'm a little confused with that statement as well, mosaic man. I'm not sure what I'd do, basketball has always been my first love & I play with my heart. Not sure the opinion of an old man would affect me at all.

mosaicman profile image

mosaicman 2 years ago from Tampa Bay, Fl Author

Thanks for the feedback Levertis and Alphadogg16. As far as experiencing another persons race/culture, the book Black Like Me and the movie Watermelon Man are classic.

Sterling has to realize when you are in a high profile position, you cannot go off with racial blasts and think there won't be consequences. The NBA and NFL try very hard to build their image up. Just take a look at how David Stern built the relations between the NBA and European talent. He wanted to have the best talent playing for his league. With the progress the NBA has made, Sterling is trying to turn things in reverse 20 years.

The game of basketball is "amazing" and everyone regardless of their skin color or ethnicity should be allowed to enjoy the experience of being at a game. Taking Sterling out of the equation would only brighten their experience.

Froggy213 profile image

Froggy213 2 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

I believe Larry Johnson also then needs to be taken out of the equation. Zero tolerance needs to be leveled on all fields.

mosaicman profile image

mosaicman 2 years ago from Tampa Bay, Fl Author

Froggy213 can you remind me as to what Larry Johnson did?

Paco Valez profile image

Paco Valez 2 years ago from Pittsburgh

What they did before game 4 was appropriate, but the players union pushing around a rookie commissioner I don't like one bit. I wrote a hub on this myself, come check it out.

mosaicman profile image

mosaicman 2 years ago from Tampa Bay, Fl Author

Paco, that is great perspective to write about. Unfortunately when extreme situations happen early in one's tenure, you must make a decision that will set the tone for the rest of your time as commissioner. I'm going to check it out.

Froggy213 profile image

Froggy213 2 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

If you see the hub I wrote on this, it shows what Johnson tweeted,claiming blacks should ban whites and just do their own thing. Like Sterling, people have to read between the lines, but it is evident what Johnson meant, as he has said racially charged things before.

mosaicman profile image

mosaicman 2 years ago from Tampa Bay, Fl Author

I would definitely go for a hefty fine and suspension for Larry Johnson saying blacks should have their own league. He got away without punishment because there wasn't as much noise being made in the media. I'm not sure how many people take Grand Ma Ma seriously these days (even if he is an exec with the NY Knicks).

2 years ago


I am trying very hard to start a race change movement. This is how it would play out. The white community needs a black voice. The white community needs to take about 3 percent of white males and have them go undercover as black men. Under my system there would be oreo bosses and assistant bosses. There would be oreo cops and security guards. And there would be oreo lawyers. Oreo meaning white man disguised as a black man.

white people need to realize that they can get much more productivity out of there black employees with an oreo boss. Oreo security can help with black crime. Lets say a black person accuses you of racism. The white man should be defended by an oreo lawyer.

the problem is the white man always uses white hands to handle his black issues when he needs black hands. If the white man does not pull the trigger on bringing pigmentation into the white community things are not going to get better.

robert downey jr. Showed the world that it is possible to go u dercover as a black man yet thete is no conversation about bringinging pigmentation into the white community.

big daddy oreo 2 years ago

As far as the larry johnson situation is concerned I think a black face could talk some sense into him better than a white could. Oh thats right the white community does not have a black voice. But I can assure you if I was in charge they would. Getting a race change favors the white man, not getting a race change favors the black man.

If there is a safe and affordable way for a white man to go undercover as a black man that would be great news for whites.

in basketball terms I will say it like this black skin would be more valuable to the white community than lebron james is to miami. Black skin would be more valuable to the white community than jordan was to the bulls. The white man is only shooting himself in the foot each day he does not act on this movement.

titan 2 years ago

I got to admit there would be no better place for george zimmerman to hide than behind a wall of black skin.

mosaicman profile image

mosaicman 2 years ago from Tampa Bay, Fl Author

Changing your skin color won't cause you to get more production out of black workers. As I mentioned previously, no matter what skin color you are, you have to earn their respect. Then they will give you that effort that you desire.

Even though you would change your skin color, you wouldn't be able to relate black people without understanding their experiences. You would quickly get outcast. The only thing you would gain by changing your skin color would be to learn some of the experiences (good or bad) that we have on a daily basis.

Have you read "Black Like Me?" If so, what did you think?

big daddy oreo 2 years ago

I think the oreo boss would help because black people would see more people that look like them in high places. I am not a boss I just have my opinions based on what I observe. I do think that the white boss has substitute teacher syndrome when dealing with black employees sometimes.

What is missing in the white community is they do not have a black voice to turn to. By bringing pigmentation into the white community

it would open that door. Mitt romney should have had some oreos help him get black votes. The republican party in general could use a black voice. Not that I like republicans.

I have heard of black like me. It sounds a bit risky. I wish they would invent a chocolate spray tan and if it does not turn out right you don't have to worry because it will eventually fade away. I personally would love to go undercover as a black man. I already got my nickname big daddy oreo. Lol!

brian 2 years ago

Black skin would make donald sterling look like a tough sumbitch.

mosaicman profile image

mosaicman 2 years ago from Tampa Bay, Fl Author

I don't know about that. Unfortunately, he'd just look like a wrinkled black dude.

jack 2 years ago

Black skin would be like a bodyguard for george zimmerman.

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