Don't Kill The Mellinger

Columnist Sam Mellinger's thoughts on sports and other important stuff

Donald Sterling and the power of a taped conversation

04/28/2014 4:35 PM

04/28/2014 4:35 PM

We are now in day three of Donald Sterling, Racist

and I fully understand the level of NBA interest here in Kansas City so I’ll keep this fairly short.

Sterling,

obviously

, said some despicable things. You can take this as the ignorance of a racist pig or perhaps as the ignorance of an old and perhaps not-all-there-upstairs racist pig, but either way, there is every indication that the NBA (which has always been at the forefront of inclusion) will come down hard on the kook.

My only point here, and it’s a small one that

people who follow the NBA realize

but seems to be lost in the explosiveness of the tape: Sterling has been a racist pig for a long time.

If anything, the tape is far less despicable than many of the other accusations against Sterling, most notably a ridiculous discrimination in the rental of apartments he owns in Southern California — he allegedly said that "black tenants smell and attract vermin." How the NBA didn’t take more action then is something the league must answer for now.

The NBA will be better without Sterling, but that has been true for a number of years. Sterling has paid millions to settle racial discrimination lawsuits, but if the momentum caused by this TMZ (and, later, Deadspin) tape has substance behind it, this might be the end of his ownership of the Clippers.

Even though a nonsensical (and perhaps set up) argument with his girlfriend is a lesser crime than actually discriminating and negatively affecting others’ lives based on your own ignorant views.

This last one was caught on tape, though, and in the world we live in there are few things as powerful.

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