What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
The other day, I did a podcast on this Donald Sterling situation, and one of the things I mentioned in that show is that when it hits the media, racism does a wonderful job of exposing stupidity, both for the jag-off who says the racist comment and invariably for somebody who gets their hand forced by it. Thanks to the 24-hour news cycle, we are all balls-deep in what Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling said. But with all the attention being paid to that idiot, there’s some others who are getting exposed as well.
The first of what I’m guessing will be several examples to come from this whole affair is Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers. Here’s a guy with a real problem on his hands. On one hand, whether he likes it or not, he is stuck in middle of this mess, and on the other hand, he has no way out. And he has nobody to blame but himself.
That fact was made clear when Rivers was questioned about whether or not he knew about Sterling’s racist past. The quote is priceless.
“Didn’t know a lot about it. Probably should have.”
At first, I had no idea what the fuck that was supposed to mean. Then it hit me. Rivers is doing the exact opposite of what Samuel L. Jackson did after he got criticized for his role in the movie “Django.”
Jackson, speaking at a press conference, continues his casting anecdote for his fifth go-round with Tarantino: “Then, when I read the script, I called him (Tarantino) back and said: ‘So you want me to be the most despicable Negro in cinematic history!’ We were both like laughing together and we said: ‘Yaaaaah! Let’s get on that!'”
The character of Stephen is an evil, selfish man who has risen to a position of influence in the household of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Calvin Candie, the most notorious plantation owner in the Old South. “I’m the power behind the throne,” Jackson says gleefully. “I’m the Spook Chaney of Candieland!” It is Candieland where Foxx — as Django — and Christoph Waltz — as the bounty hunter who buys, frees and befriends Django — will challenge the institution of American slavery.
Some people were offended at the harsh and non-censored view of slavery that movie provided, and when he was criticized for his role in it, Jackson fired back. albeit In other words, Jackson was upfront about his role in something that was seen as offensive.
Samuel L Jackson has defended his new movie ‘Django Unchained’ and its director Quentin Tarantino from criticism of its use of racist language, including that of renowned black film maker Spike Lee.
The controversy surrounds the film’s use of the slur commonly known as ‘the n-word’, with Lee saying that he will boycott the film over the language.
Talking to The Independent Jackson said: “Did they have another name to call the (black) people they were talking about at the time? If you’re going to deal with the language of the time, you deal with the language of the time. And that was the language of the time. I grew up in the South. I heard ‘n****r’ all my life. I’m not disturbed by it.”
So, why is this the exact opposite of what Doc Rivers has done? Because Rivers isn’t being honest about this situation. A breakdown of his quote shows why.
“Didn’t know lot about it.” First of all, I don’t buy that for a minute. Sterling’s assholery has been the worst kept secret over the last thirty years. Even I knew it. I’ve written about it several times.
Guess who tops all three lists? Donald Sterling and/or the Los Angeles Clippers.
That also means there are two big problems with Rivers’ denial. If he didn’t honestly know, then he didn’t do his homework, which is a major flaw for a guy who gets paid to do his homework. Think about it; a major part of coaching is to do the required reading on opposing players, teams, and coaches amongst many other things. In other words, Rivers expects me to believe that a guy who gets paid to do his homework wouldn’t bother to get the skinny on his new boss, especially for a job he openly campaigned for. Rivers expects I’ve forgotten about that as well. I didn’t.
Just in case you have, it is important to remember that while Doc Rivers was watching his Boston Celtics turn into a retirement home, he was also making sure the whole goddamn world knew he would be interested in the Clippers job once they fired Vinny Del Negro. That’s because he knew the Clippers were a playoff contender loaded with young talent, as opposed to the “no future” Celtics. Even if Rivers didn’t know, he has an agent. Am I also supposed to expect he didn’t know as well?
Now, for the sake of argument, let’s say Doc Rivers knew about Sterling’s past. In addition to what I’ve already mentioned, there’s Elgin Baylor’s lawsuit against Sterling for wrongful termination based on race. There was the fact Sterling is notorious for trying not to pay former coaches and players who were under contract. There’s the multiple lawsuits Sterling has settled over housing discrimination where he is on record saying “black people attract vermin.”
In other words, if Rivers knew all of this ahead of time, then he made a conscious decision to ignore it because he wanted the job. Not just any job, the Clippers’ job specifically, and for the reasons I’ve already mentioned. That means Rivers is either an idiot for not doing his homework, or he’s a hypocrite for acting outraged about a situation he decided to live with for personal gain.
Reblogged this on Sports Blog Movement.
I think part of Rivers’ apparent ignorance regarding Sterling’s racist past is the fact that if he had lost the job with the Celtics, it’s highly unlikely that he lands another one. So go get another job and keep your career moving forward…or just let it all go up in smoke when the Celtics crashed and burned because of age.
Not buying that. I think Rivers knew exactly what he was getting into; he wanted the Clippers’ job specifically because that was a championship-ready team. Now that this latest situation developed, he’s trying to pretend like he didn’t know what Sterling was all about, because he is too much of a chicken-shit to admit that career advancement means more to him than any of this so-called “righteous indignation” over race he’s trying to sell now..
Career survival…career advancement…semantics.
And there is part of the problem. The Sterlings of the world exist for as long as they do because people are far too willing to give guys like Doc Rivers a pass for being a hypocrite.
I’m not saying I’m giving him a pass….I’m saying I understand why he was willing to make that jump
I agree with that. My big problem here is that there are people out there trying to make Rivers out to be some sort of victim. I don’t buy that; I’m saying that a lot of people would have understood him had be been honest about this.
All he had to do was say “Yeah, I knew Sterling was an asshole, but guess what? 75% of the owners in this league are assholes of one sort or another, and I wanted the Clippers job because I thought I could win with that young talent.”
Doc did exactly what the NBA has done all during Sterling’s reign…look the other way. It will be interesting to see if someone in the media actually calls him out for being an enabler of this ownership rather than a victim. The Association is guilty by association. Sterling has such a rap sheet and yet, up until his girlfriend apparently wore a wire and the results hit the airwaves the man was an owner in good standing. Regardless of how despicable he is, also setting a precedent of forcing his ownership hand doesn’t leave any wiggle room for any future owner who might have no “priors” and say something stupid. Owners have a way of being savvy when it comes to self-preservation and they aren’t going to leave themselves exposed for possible future indiscretions. The punishment and sentencing phase of this trial without jury will be fascinating.
Well done, sir.
I bet it’s times like these that Doc just wishes he had stayed in the broadcast booth.
Interestingly enough Doc played for Sterling on two separate occasions during his career, yet claims he knew nothing of the man’s past or character? Methinks something doesn’t sound quite right!
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